How Competencies Can Help You Build a Strong Employee Team

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Competencies can help your team to “see and understand” the same goal (working toward the bigger picture) because they make it easy to define your organization’s vision, goals, and mission statement into clear and observable qualities for employees.

Teamwork is a critical component in nearly every company or work environment. Not every job role requires the same level (depending on the competency in question), yet this does not diminish the importance of teamwork in an organization.

In any given organization, every individual is part of one team or another (even if he or she is not aware of this). The truth is that not many people understand how to develop an effective team or how to create the most beneficial teamwork experience. Not everyone is instantly ready or inclined to work together.

An employee team usually comprises people with a variety of knowledge, work experience, opinions, goals, and ideals. Bringing such talented people together is still no guarantee that those individuals are willing to collaborate on a project.

That is one of the challenges when it comes to creating a strong team. This issue can be addressed by using competencies to teach and develop teamwork and collaboration.

Using Competencies to Foster a Team-Oriented Environment

It is important to understand that every member has a part to play in the overall success of the organization. This is a critical foundation to cultivate a team-oriented environment and is different from developing a team solely to accomplish a specific goal.

Competencies can help your team to “see and understand” the same goal (working toward the bigger picture) because they make it easy to define your organization’s vision, goals, and mission statement into clear and observable qualities for employees.

To foster a team-oriented environment, an organization first will need to discover its core competencies. An organization’s core competencies help define how its employees or workforce operate (in their individual positions). This is done by taking employee skills and incorporating them into measurable behaviors that determine success in a role or position.

By finding your own core competencies, you help your employees get a better sense of how their actions can best help the organization achieve its business goals.

The focus behind this is to bring solid alignment (between your team and the project) so there is a common element that unites your team in the pursuit of success on a project. That common element is your organization’s core competencies as they are competencies every employee is expected to have (as opposed to technical competencies, which are job specific).

How to Create an Employee Team for a Specific Goal or Purpose

The first step is to pinpoint the necessary skills to achieve success on a team-related project. This can include both the behavioral or soft skills and the hard or technical skills. Specifically, technical competencies can help identify the requirements for specific skill-based abilities.

Competencies translate success into clear and observable behaviors. This makes it easy for employees to measure their progress as its clearly communicates the expectations for on-the-job performance.

Once you have identified the necessary competencies, you can build your team based on their competency job profiles. Once you have selected the individuals for your team, you need an effective leader who can foster effective communication (a behavioral competency) and ensure everyone is contributing to the progress of the project or organization. Members of your team will be able to clearly see how their actions contribute to the accomplishment of corporate goals, and their sense of value will increase.

Now more than ever, multiple generations are in the workforce at the same time, and this can lead to an increased need for an effective teamwork culture (due to the generational differences). Competencies can help in this endeavor as they bring together shared values, while still allowing diverse backgrounds and perspectives to shine.

Questions to Think About

By using the right competencies, you can enhance organizational success and productivity through the creation of effective teams.

Building a great team is not a one-time exercise. It is an ongoing process and one that has great potential to yield amazing success for your organization.

Here are two questions to ponder:

  • Is your organization feeling the impact of having ineffective teams?
  • How do your current competencies help you build strong teams at your organization?

Onyeka Ndukwe is a focused individual with an eager mindset geared toward continuous learning and strategic thinking. He currently works at HRSG as a digital marketing specialist in Ottawa, Canada. When he’s not busy thinking about his next idea, you can find him reading a good book or exploring the great food spots in Ottawa. Founded in 1989, HRSG is a world leader in the field of competency-based talent management. Over those years, the company has helped its clients use competencies to define their talent needs, address skill deficiencies, and improve individual and organizational performance. HRSG also developed CompetencyCore, a job description software tool to help organizations build better job descriptions, interview guides, and career pathing programs. For more information, call 866.574.7041 or e-mail: