Behavioural Competence is a crucial factor in the success or failure of organisations. It is a central issue in organisational development and performance but is often neglected as it has been seen as primarily personal and subjective. Whilst there are many definitions of Behavioural competence, it can be broadly defined as “those competencies that enable people to fulfil their potential”.
This article aims to provide an overview of how leaders can leverage behavioural competence for building successful organisations, the structure to be put in place to ensure behavioural competencies and how to ensure that your employees exhibit behavioural competence.
What Is Behavioural Competence?
Behavioural competencies are behaviours, attitudes, or personality traits that help predict a candidate’s success at the job they are applying for.
Behavioural Competence is any behaviour feature, such as knowledge, skill set, teamwork, leadership abilities, technical know-how, etc., that enables a person to advance within an organisation and assume more critical tasks. It applies to all levels; thus, it is not only for those at the top, middle, or bottom.
Behavioural competencies are utilised to enhance organisational awareness and employees’ skills in all managerial positions to make the transition from one job to the next more seamless. It involves not only work but also one’s personal life. It relates to things a person has or ought to have to succeed.
Examples of behavioural competencies include communication, collaboration, leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, time management, emotional intelligence, etc.
The first step in developing your organisation’s competency framework, which will aid in better-informed decision-making at each stage of the hiring process, is to grasp the behavioural competencies needed for each function.
For example, behavioural competencies for managers could differ from behavioural competencies of other employees; HR behavioural competencies usually focus on core competencies needed to succeed in that role, and so on.
Identifying capabilities is closely related to job analysis, which can provide confirmation and fresh perspectives on the competencies you should include in your framework. The job requirements for job descriptions and postings can then be defined using the information provided.
Importance of Behavioural Competence
For a number of compelling reasons, Behavioural competency is of utmost relevance in today’s workplace. It acts as the cornerstone for productive interpersonal interactions and teamwork in organisations. Employees who possess strong behavioural competence are able to interact and empathize with coworkers and resolve problems effectively. This not only promotes harmony at work but also improves collaboration and output.
Behavioural competence enables people to cross cultural and communication barriers, resulting in more inclusive and creative teams as the modern workplace grows more varied and interconnected. It is simpler to set clear expectations, communicate them effectively, and make objective decisions when you have a solid understanding of the fundamental skills of your organisation.
Behaviour-based competencies play a crucial role in the hiring process by aiding recruiters and hiring managers in identifying candidates who are well-suited to achieve the organisation’s objectives.
This streamlined approach not only saves valuable time and resources in the recruitment process but also minimizes potential productivity setbacks caused by a mismatched employee. By understanding the pertinent behaviour-based competencies required for each position, management teams can pinpoint specific skills that can be nurtured in employees to enhance their productivity.
Linking Behavioural Competences to Building Successful Organisations
Successful organisations are successful because they have implemented a process that ensures employees exhibit both technical and behavioural competencies. Behavioural competencies are on the rise as a powerful and effective tool that any company can use to align their organisational strategy with the needs of current and future employees.
To link behavioural competencies to building successful organisations, leaders and HR professionals should consider the following.
- Understand what the company wants to achieve and ensure their goals match what the company needs most.
- Identify the core Behavioural competencies most relevant to the organisation’s goals and values, and then assess and develop these competencies in employees through training and development programs.
- Incorporate these competencies into the recruitment and selection processes to ensure that new hires align with the organisation’s culture and values. Ensure that hiring and selection processes become more rigorous whilst supporting behavioural competencies in the candidate. Use behavioural competencies as part of performance evaluations to provide feedback and encourage ongoing growth and development.
- Invest in leadership development programs that focus on developing leadership competencies at all levels of the organisation.
- Encourage a continuous learning and improvement culture where employees are empowered to develop and apply their competencies in their roles.
- Increase employee engagement through changes to reward systems, communication strategies and leadership styles, which encourage behavioural competencies.
- Create a healthy work environment that encourages an individual’s ability to adapt to different situations or environments while maintaining high happiness, well-being and productivity.
How Behavioural Competencies align with Organisational Strategies
Behavioural competencies align closely with organisational strategies in several ways. When employees with the right behavioural competencies complement an organisation’s strategy and goals, it can lead to increased efficiency, better execution of plans, and overall success. Here’s how behavioural competencies align with organisational strategy:
Leadership behavioural competencies such as strategic thinking, and decision-making align with the organisation’s strategic goals by ensuring leaders at all levels can effectively guide teams and make decisions supporting the overall strategy.
Behavioural competencies can align with the organisation’s strategy by emphasising cultural fit. Employees who possess competencies that reflect the organisation’s values and culture are more likely to contribute positively to achieving strategic objectives.
Competencies in customer service, empathy, and communication align with strategies that deliver exceptional customer experiences. Employees with these competencies are more likely to understand customer needs and provide the necessary support.
Innovation and Agility
Behavioural competencies such as creativity, adaptability, and risk-taking align with strategies prioritising innovation and agility. Innovative employees are better equipped to generate new ideas and adapt to changes in the business environment.
Strategies that require cross-functional teamwork and collaboration benefit from competencies related to effective teamwork, communication, and conflict resolution. These competencies foster a collaborative environment where teams can work together efficiently.
Structures to Be Put in Place to Incorporate Behavioural Competence
Each organisational competence is assessed and aligned with the strategy of the business. The practitioner must establish clear criteria for which competencies should be included and how they should be aligned. This includes knowing which competency significantly impacts the organisation’s success and gives the practitioner a narrow window to focus on a discrete set of competencies.
Employment Strategy Framework
Each behavioural competence is seen as an external input to an employment strategy within an overall framework. The practitioner will need to determine what type of behaviour or behaviour contributes most clearly to the employee’s success in terms of how it aligns with other business strategies or objectives and whether or not it is sustainable in day-to-day life as part of the culture.
This typically involves identifying employees with strong Behavioural competencies to become future leaders within an organisation. Through Behavioural competency assessments, organisations can pinpoint individuals who demonstrate qualities like effective communication, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence, all of which are vital for leadership roles.
Subsequently, these identified employees undergo tailored development programs, mentorship, and leadership experiences to refine their competencies and prepare them for key positions.
Training and Development
It is possible to profit from training and development for behavioural competencies. In this case, the practitioner must determine which competency is most applicable and how best it may be linked to other organisational competencies or divisions.
This is a complex management and HR process which relies on the behavioural competencies of employees. A performance management process will define when and how employees’ competencies are measured or assessed against criteria aligned with the overall organisational strategy.
Recognition and Reward
Organisations are adopting a greater variety of recognition and reward mechanisms, often linked to behavioural competencies.
Measurement of performance can be linked to behavioural competence. The practitioner will need to define the required measures and how they will be interpreted and used within the organisation.
How to Ensure Your Employees Exhibit Behavioural Competence
To ensure employees exhibit behavioural competence, organisations need a structured approach. This includes using Behavioural competencies assessment in the following ways:
Competency-Based Recruitment and Selection
Develop a structured selection process that assesses candidates’ behavioural competencies. Candidates can be put through various scenarios and exercises reflecting the behavioural competencies requirements.
Performance management is fundamental to giving employees feedback on their performance and how they can improve it. It incorporates behavioural competencies and can assess how well employees demonstrate behaviours and attitudes that are important to the organisation’s strategy.
In performance appraisal, this can be used as a motivator for employees to demonstrate the behavioural competencies critical for success at work. It can also be used to define the physical and intellectual requirements of the job.
Succession Planning Assessment
This can be deployed to evaluate an individual’s Behavioural competencies in the context of identifying and preparing potential leaders within an organisation. This assessment process specifically focuses on soft skills such as leadership, communication, adaptability, and collaboration.
In conclusion, behavioural competence plays a pivotal role in the success of organisations. This article has explored how leveraging behavioural competence can be a powerful tool in building successful organisations. It emphasised the importance of establishing structured frameworks to incorporate and develop these competencies within the workforce.
Additionally, we discussed strategies to ensure employees consistently exhibit the desired behavioural competence. By prioritising these aspects, organisations can foster a culture of excellence, enhance employee performance, and ultimately achieve their strategic objectives in a dynamic and competitive business landscape.
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