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Ignoring Needs - Competency Framework

As the world of work continues to evolve, organisations have increasingly turned to competency frameworks to guide their hiring, training, and performance management processes. However, despite their popularity, these frameworks are not always applicable in every organisation.

One of the main reasons why competency frameworks may not be applicable is that they often rely on a one-size-fits-all approach. These frameworks are typically designed to identify a set of generic competencies that are supposed to be relevant across all roles and industries. However, this approach can be problematic for organisations with unique requirements and job roles requiring specific skills and abilities. In such cases, a competency framework may not capture the unique attributes and competencies required to succeed in the role.

Another issue with competency frameworks is that they can be too rigid and inflexible. Competencies are often predefined and standardised, leaving little room for customisation or the individual. Frameworks completely ignore personality traits, natural tendencies, internal processes, life circumstances or experiences. This can be particularly problematic for organisations that must be agile and adaptive in response to changing conditions. For example, in a rapidly evolving industry such as technology, competencies that are relevant today may become obsolete tomorrow. A competency framework may hinder an organisation's ability to adapt and innovate in such cases.

Moreover, competency frameworks may not always align with an organisation's culture and values. Competencies are often designed to reflect technical skills and knowledge while neglecting the importance of soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence. In some organisations, these soft skills may be even more important than technical competencies. By focusing too much on technical skills, a competency framework may inadvertently overlook the traits and behaviours essential for the organisation's success.

Lastly, competency frameworks can be time-consuming and expensive to implement. They require significant resources and effort to design, implement, and maintain. Investing in a competency framework may not be feasible for small and medium-sized organisations with limited resources. Additionally, the benefits of a competency framework may not always justify the investment, particularly if the organisation is not experiencing significant hiring or retention issues.

In conclusion, while competency frameworks can be useful for some organisations, they are not always applicable across all industries, roles, and organisational cultures. Organisations must consider their unique requirements and constraints before investing in a competency framework. By taking a more tailored and flexible approach, organisations can better ensure that they hire, train, and manage their employees effectively.


An alternative to competency frameworks is a more flexible and individualised approach to assessing and developing employees' skills and abilities. This approach focuses on identifying each employee's strengths and areas for improvement and tailoring development plans accordingly.

One way to implement this approach is through regular strengths-based performance conversations between managers and employees. These conversations allow employees to receive feedback on their performance, discuss their goals and needs, and discuss how to use their strengths to achieve them. By focusing on individual strengths and working around lesser strengths, managers can help employees identify opportunities to build on their existing skills and knowledge and develop new ones relevant to their specific roles.

Ultimately, the alternative to a competency framework is a more personalised and tailored approach that considers each employee's unique strengths and needs. By taking this approach, organisations can better support their employees' development and growth, ultimately leading to improved performance and productivity.

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