88 Background Information About Succession Planning and Management
of one’s self-image, social role, or a body of knowledge) that results in effective and/
or superior performance in a job.’’
4
It is worth emphasizing that competencies are
about work performance and results. Competency identification is the process of dis-
covering these job competencies.
5
A competency model is the result of competency
identification.
6
Competency assessment is the process of comparing an individual to an
existing competency model,
7
and that can be done by many means—including full-
circle, multirater assessment, assessment centers, or other ways.
Organizations have made extensive use of competency models in recent years,
which have been widely accepted.
8
One reason is that competency models can help
to clarify differences between outstanding (exemplary) and average performers—an
increasingly important issue in a fiercely competitive global business environment. A
second reason is that competency models are superior to work-based approaches,
which rely on job descriptions of work activities only, in pinpointing what people
need to be successful. Increasingly, knowledge is only part of what is needed to be a
successful performer. Also needed are appropriate attitudes, motivation, and interper-
sonal skills, none of which are well examined in traditional job descriptions or tradi-
tional performance appraisals.
How Are Competencies Used in Succession
Planning and Management?
Competency models are essential building blocks on which to base an SP&M effort.
Without them, it is difficult to:
' Link and align the organization’s core competencies (strategic strengths) to
job competencies.
' Define high potentials, high professionals, high performers, or other broad
categories of employees.
' Clarify exactly what present and future competencies are essential to success
in the organization and in its various departments, jobs, or occupations.
' Provide a basis for performance management by creating a work environment
that encourages high performance among all workers.
' Establish clear work expectations for the present and future.
' Create full-circle, multirater assessments that are tailor-made to the unique
requirements of one corporate culture.
' Devise competency menus that describe how individuals might be developed
for the future.
American Management Association
www.amanet.org

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