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Part 1: Aligning the HR function to the SHRM Competency Model
Do any of the following statements describe you?
If any of these describe you, congratulations! You have joined the Competency Club. Welcome to the future of HR. You recognize the value of the competency-based approach to HR, including professional development and certification. You understand how a competency model helps the HR function leverage its strategic role by aligning HR processes to the organization's strategic objectives.
Competency Model as a Framework for Success
If strategy is the "what" for an organization, a competency model can define the "how" for employees to help that strategy succeed. The model serves as a framework for defining what success looks like across all roles and functions within the organization. It connects different HR processes, allowing for an integrated approach to managing talent and performance, and increasing the understanding of how individuals drive organizational success.
Are your organizational leaders in the Competency Club? If not, put on your
Consultation hat and get to work explaining the above! Then convince your organization to adopt a competency-based approach to HR management. Recognize that such an effort is considered a change management initiative; it must be handled effectively if it is to succeed.
SHRM Competency Model can be deployed in multiple ways to define competencies and ensure that the HR function is operating in support of the overall organizational strategy. The list below can help you develop a comprehensive plan for your HR department to follow as it implements a competency-based approach, designing the HR function and aligning HR processes to the SHRM Competency Model:
This article examines steps 1 and 2. Next month's article will look at steps 3 to 5.
Structure Your HR Function and Team
The HR strategy sets the foundation and vision for the HR function overall. Does your organization already have an HR strategy in place? If yes, revisit and refine it. If no, create one.
Start with a draft strategy that defines what successful HR looks like in your organization. Next, identify the core competencies required to demonstrate that vision of success. All HR employees will need these competencies to carry out the HR strategy effectively.
Further define your HR strategy, making sure it aligns with the core competencies. (The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. It may take several iterations, and that's OK!) Linking HR strategy with organizational strategy is essential to ensure that the HR function and your employees perform in a manner that enables the organization to achieve the goals defined in both strategies.
Now, create a comprehensive HR plan—fundamental for achieving the goals identified in the HR strategy. This plan should address how HR processes will be aligned to the core competencies. A competency-based approach isn't a one-off solution limited to certain HR processes; for optimum HR effectiveness, your plan should design and implement all HR processes using a common competency framework.
In using competencies to structure your HR function, consider these steps:
Identify and Select Talent
A competency-based approach to identifying and selecting talent ensures that your workforce possesses the competencies required to achieve the goals identified in both HR and organizational strategies.
In using competencies to identify and select talent, consider these steps:
SHRM continuously develops new resources to help organizations seeking to join the Competency Club. Questions? Need additional information to get started? Reach out to the SHRM HR Competencies team at
Competencies@shrm.org, and stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next month. Ashley Miller, M.A., is senior specialist for HR competencies at SHRM.
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