Competency Model Development

Prioritize Behaviors for Success


Competency models are an effective tool for managing your organization's talent.

A competency model is a set of skills and behaviors needed for excellent performance in a specific role.  By defining the expected behaviors of people in an organization, the competency model provides an objective foundation for:

  • selection,
  • assessment,
  • training and development,
  • talent management and
  • succession planning. 

At Calibra, we can help you develop customized competency models and leverage them for results.

Customized competency models.

Business success depends on the talent in your organization.  Defining the competencies and behaviors necessary for success (unique to your culture, specific needs, customers, and strategies) helps pave the way for that success.  Calibra’s competency models are customized to meet the unique needs of your organization—they are not one size fits all. 

Competency models should reflect your ‘brand’; they should also be aligned with your business strategy.  Ask, “Will these be the leadership behaviors that will drive our organization into the future?” “Will these competencies and behaviors help us achieve our strategic goals?”  Leadership competencies should be future-focused and not just address current management or leadership needs.

In addition, a competency model at the executive level will usually be different than that for mid-level managers or frontline supervisors.  Functional models may also be developed. 

Competency models and 360 degree feedback.

Competency models are integral to the 360 degree feedback process. The competency model forms the basis for the dual-scale 360 feedback tool.  Individuals complete a self-assessment and are rated by their boss, peers and direct reports on the extent to which they demonstrate each behavior and the extent they need to demonstrate it within the context of their job.  The outcome is a report of each person’s strengths and development needs relative to these behavioral expectations.

Contact us

2810 Crossroads Drive, Suite 4000
Madison, WI 53718
Phone: 608-442-1121
Fax: 608-819-3801

Competency Model Development Process

If you have a model in place, we can load your competencies and behaviors and the 360 assessment will be ready for distribution. If not, Calibra consultants will help you through the competency model development process.

  1. Start with the end in mind—know what you are looking for and what success looks like. Align competencies with strategies and goals.
  2. Determine appropriate competencies and behaviors using one of three methods (or by using a combined approach):
    • Select items from the Calibra competency and behavior library—We have a library of over 30 competencies and 300+ behaviors from which to identify items.
    • Critical incident interview approach—Calibra consultants will conduct interviews with a sample of high performing leaders (or a select target group). The interviews are used to learn what competencies, behaviors and other qualities are essential.
    • Card sort exercise—Key stakeholders complete a competency card sort exercise identifying important competencies and behaviors. This allows for involvement of a wider audience in the organization.
  3. Develop a competency model and facilitate a model building meeting with key stakeholders as appropriate.

A competency model is not intended to encompass all of the behaviors expected of individuals. Instead it focuses on the high priority behaviors that will have the greatest impact on success.

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