What is Competence Management?
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What is Competence Management?

What is competence management? This article attempts to give a clear view on the concept.

‘Competency’ and ‘Competence’

First of all, it is quite important to make the distinction between ‘competency’ and ‘competence’. A competency is related to the behavioral demands an organizations has for its employees, while a competence is related to the different kinds of behavior the employees have to offer. However, one should not spend too much time and attention on the differences between these two concepts, since the similarities are in this case more important than the differences.

‘Competence’ and ‘Talent’

In the context of management, competences are the behavioral demands that employees are supposed to live up to from the perspective of the company. Competences are thus related to the job. Talents on the other hand, are the knowledge, skills and attitude that an employee possesses (these can be both overt or latent). So, talents are directly connected to the employee as a person, and not to the specific job.

Concrete Application

Essential for the application value of competence management is that competences and talents are both developed into concrete behavior. By doing this, it becomes possible to connect both concepts. More clear-cut definitions could be:

  • Competence: A specifically described behavioral characteristic that noticeably contributes to the successful functioning of the company and the realization of the company goals.
  • Talent: A skill that allows an individual to add value to the organization he/she works for.

Competence Management

Bearing in mind all the previous, competence management can be accurately described as the continuous, integrated tuning of the talent s of employees to the strategic goals, which, in turn, were translated into competences.

Competence management is based upon three determining elements:

  • Continuous: it is an ongoing effort.
  • Integrated: it is a systematic whole of personal systems and instruments.
  • Tuning: it concerns the dynamic joining of what the company requires and what the individuals can and are prepared to do.

Two Human Resource Approaches

The emphasis on the tuning between company and individual basically means that competence management is a striving for a proverbial win-win situation for both. This means that two approaches commonly used in human resource management come together:

  • Human Control: a top-down and control-minded approach, aimed at the realization of the company goals through controlling the required behavior, i.e. competences.
  • Talent Development: a bottom-up and development-minded approach. Offering individual development options to people so that their talents, in light of the ambition of the company, are developed as much as possible.

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Comments (1)

Very well written... excellent article.