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Develop a Comprehensive Competency Framework

Leverage the single most important tool for driving key HR functions.

  • Competency frameworks are an integral part of many HR functions such as performance management, employee development, identification of future leaders, and talent acquisition.
  • Designing and implementing a competency framework can be extremely difficult and time consuming. Most HR departments are too busy with day-to-day operations and do not have time to create and build a competency framework.

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  • Get on-demand project support
  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
  • Go through a Guided Implementation to help you get through your project

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Critical Insight

  • A comprehensive competency framework provides an organization and its employees with a common understanding of the knowledge, skills, attributes, and behaviors required to achieve organizational goals and remain competitive.
  • Engaging stakeholders - from leaders to employees - is crucial to developing the competency framework as it impacts every employee in the organization.
  • Ensure your competency framework is supported as the cornerstone of your talent management practices.

Impact and Result

  • Understand the difference between core competencies and function-specific competencies. Select and modify your competencies from McLean & Company’s Comprehensive Competency Library.
  • Plan your competency framework project and gain buy-in from stakeholders.
  • Define competencies for your framework using behavior-based language if the pre-developed competencies do not align with organizational needs.
  • Implement your competency framework and integrate it throughout all HR functions.

Develop a Comprehensive Competency Framework Research & Tools

2. Select and modify pre-developed competencies

Select various core, leadership, and functional competencies.

3. Define your competencies

Define each selected competency with behavior-based proficiency statements.

4. Implement your competency framework

Secure leadership buy-in and participation and outline the competency framework implementation plan.

5. Support your competency framework

Create a defined plan for the maintenance of your competency framework.

6. McLean Academy Learning Snapshot

Watch this learning snapshot for an introduction to creating a competency framework.


Workshop: Develop a Comprehensive Competency Framework

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Select Core and Leadership Competencies

The Purpose

  • Select the core and leadership competencies.

Key Benefits Achieved

Core and leadership competencies selected

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Select core competencies.

  • Core and leadership competency names
1.2

Select leadership competencies.

Module 2: Describe Core and Leadership Competencies

The Purpose

  • Describe core and leadership competencies.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Descriptions for all core and leadership competencies

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Describe core competencies.

  • Completed core and leadership competency descriptions
2.2

Describe leadership competencies.

2.3

Present and review core competency names and descriptions.

2.4

Present and review leadership competency names and descriptions

Module 3: Complete Core Competency Proficiency Levels

The Purpose

  • Draft and review core competency proficiency levels.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Completed core competency proficiency levels

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Draft core competency proficiency descriptions by level.

3.2

Review core competency proficiency descriptions.

3.3

Complete core competency presentations.

  • Completed core competencies
3.4

Test the core competencies.

Module 4: Complete Leadership Competency Proficiency Levels

The Purpose

  • Draft and review leadership competency proficiency levels.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Completed leadership competency proficiency levels

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Draft leadership competency proficiency descriptions by level.

4.2

Review leadership competency proficiency descriptions.

4.3

Complete leadership competency presentations.

  • Completed leadership competencies
4.4

Test the leadership competencies.

Module 5: Communicate the Competency Framework

The Purpose

  • Create a plan to integrate the competency framework into the other HR functions.
  • Develop a strategy to communicate the competency framework.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A high-level plan to integrate and communicate the competency framework

Activities

Outputs

5.1

Identify how to integrate competency framework into other HR functions (time permitting).

  • High-level competency integration plan
5.2

Develop a communication strategy (time permitting).

  • High-level action and communication plan

Develop a Comprehensive Competency Framework

Leverage the single most important tool for driving key HR functions.

Executive Summary

McLean & Company Insight

A comprehensive competency framework provides organizations and its employees with a common understanding of the knowledge, skills, attributes, and behaviors required to achieve organizational goals and remain competitive.

Situation

  • Competency frameworks are an integral part of many HR processes and programs, including performance management, employee development, identification of future leaders, and talent acquisition. However, many organizations lack a consistent approach for identifying and implementing competencies.
  • Competencies reflect the organizational culture and values, help set performance standards, and build a consistent language throughout the organization.

Complication

  • Designing and implementing a competency framework can be extremely difficult and time consuming. Most HR departments are too busy with day-to-day operations and do not have time to create and build a competency framework.

Solution

  • Understand the difference between core, leadership, and function-specific competencies.
  • Build a competency framework that identifies and explains the competencies that are most important to the organization leveraging McLean & Company’s competency library.
  • Define competencies for your framework using behavior-based language.
  • Implement your competency framework and integrate it throughout all HR functions.
  • Support your competency framework through annual reviews and appropriate resourcing.

Competency frameworks are the collection of knowledge, skills, and attributes an employee requires to do a job well

What is a competency? It is made up of:

Knowledge

Skills

Attributes

  • A body of information that a person possesses that may be applied directly to the performance of a function.
  • Includes, but is not limited to, facts, events, systems, ideas, theories, methods, procedures, principles, concepts, and cases that result from formal education, training, or personal experience.
  • Demonstrated and observable ability to perform a task with ease and proficiency.
  • Often requires the use of equipment, machinery, tools, or automated systems.
  • Implies measurable performance.
  • An individual’s demonstrated personality traits.
  • Often broader and more abstract than skills or knowledge.
  • Includes characteristics like attitude, motivation, ambition, values, and demeanor.

A competency framework:

  • Is a formal structure that lists a collection of competencies, where each competency defines one aspect of behavior an employee must exhibit to perform well in their job.
  • Is used to define the critical behaviors for roles within the organization, which aids in a range of HR practices including talent acquisition, performance management, employee development, and succession planning.

A competency framework is an organization’s ultimate HR reference tool.

Develop a Comprehensive Competency Framework preview picture

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation 1: Get ready to build a competency framework
  • Call 1: Discuss making the case and ensure understanding of the three categories of competencies.

Guided Implementation 2: Select and modify pre-developed competencies
  • Call 1: Discuss and select core competencies.
  • Call 2: Discuss and select leadership competencies.
  • Call 3: Discuss and select functional competencies for each organizational unit.

Guided Implementation 3: Define your competencies
  • Call 1: Discuss themes, prioritization, and proficiency levels.
  • Call 2: Discuss and plan for focus group reviews.

Guided Implementation 4: Implement your competency framework
  • Call 1: Outline implementation plan for your competency framework.
  • Call 2: Discuss competency framework integration into other HR functions.

Guided Implementation 5: Support your competency framework
  • Call 1: Review initial evaluations and identify any trends.

Contributors

  • Andy Woyzbun, Executive Advisor, Info-Tech Research Group
  • Anthony Papa, Vice President Human Resources, Meridian Lightweight Technologies
  • Doug Rozon, Director of Marketing, Sun Products Corporation
  • Dr. Bob Saggers, President of Robert Saggers & Associates, Learning-Leadership Consultants Inc. and adjunct professor at McGill University
  • Erin Casey, CPA, CA, Assistant Controller & Associate, Dillon Consulting Limited
  • Jon Holt, co-author of A Pragmatic Guide to Competency: Tools, Frameworks and Assessment
  • Mark Tanning, Senior Director of Learning, Development & Talent Management, University of Minnesota Physicians
  • Mary Esteves, Nova Consulting
  • Michael Taylor, Marketing Professor, Western Ivey Business School
  • Michelle Berry, Director of Human Resources, Global Customer Service and Marketing, OpenText
  • Several additional contributors who wish to remain anonymous