Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Competencies and Managerial Effectiveness: Putting Competencies to Work

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

Competencies and Managerial Effectiveness: Putting Competencies to Work

Article excerpt

We all have competencies. These are the sum of our experiences and the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes we have acquired during our lifetime.

In the workplace we use our competencies to perform a variety of behaviors and activities, which in turn produce outputs (products and services) that we provide to others. It is the quality of these outputs and the reactions of those who receive them that lead to results with positive, negative or neutral consequences for the organization; the people who work there; and its suppliers, shareholders, clients, and customers.

The current and future success of an enterprise is a reflection of the effectiveness of the senior management team, their vision and leadership, and the combined knowledge and skills of the organization's workforce. This means that the identification of critical management and specialist competencies that will enable enterprises (and countries) to meet the demands of the future has assumed an even more important place as a key responsibility of senior business executives, human resource practitioners, educationalists, public administrators and government leaders.

A major survey of global organizations conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit found that 61 percent of the respondents from the Asia-Pacific area indicated that there was a need to improve management competencies. They also expressed concern about the need to improve organizational structure, to better utilize corporate strategy to drive change and to strengthen the link between strategic intent and day-today implementation.

To be effective the development of workplace and managerial skills must reflect the current and projected needs of the organization. It is a critical responsibility of senior management to identify the core competencies of the enterprise and to ensure that the competencies required by managers, specialists and the workforce in general are adequate and appropriate. Competent people are the key to future success and offer organizations their only sustainable competitive advantage.

The development of an effective competencies framework and a complimentary performance management program provide an opportunity for enterprise and individual growth, and in the longer term, can also increase shareholder value.

High Performance Workforce

The ability to create, apply and extend knowledge in the workplace is one of the critical factors in the future success of enterprises. Around the world increasing attention is being paid by human resource practitioners to the development of a high performance workforce. This means significant change and resistance to change has been identified as one of the major causes of business failure. Unless workplace learning keeps pace with the rate of change within an enterprise, that organization is doomed. If it does not cease to exist entirely, it will be at best a mediocre performer.

Achieving a high performance workplace requires the integration of work, people, technology, and information with an enterprise's strategy and culture. This integrated approach will help focus the effective use of all available resources on the prime task of achieving organizational objectives and will have an impact on the performance of individuals, work teams and the total organization.

Training and development activities play a most significant role in achieving the objective of attaining a high performance workplace. This means that the human resource function must actively participate in the development of workplace activities that are directly in accord with the strategic direction of the enterprise.

Knowledge and Learning

While it is very clear that learning is an important business strategy, which has a significant impact on competitive advantage and can build long term shareholder value, today's performance measures do not place value of knowledge as an asset. The successful organizations of the future will have an environment and culture that actively encourages and rewards learning and the sharing of knowledge within the workplace. …

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