Example of a Behavioural Competency in a performance appraisal.
Behavioural competencies are skill sets that relate to the roles, responsibilities and knowledge levels of employees. If you’re looking for a bespoke performance appraisal process, you’ll need to tailor the behavioural competencies against which employees are assessed during their performance review.
The first step is to identify the core behavioural competencies expected of employees within your organisation and then group these competencies to match employee roles and responsibilities.
What exactly is a behavioural competency?
A behavioural competency is any skill, knowledge, ability or other attribute that an employee needs in order to perform an element of their job effectively. Behavioural competencies must be observable skills or behaviours. This means they can be used during the appraisal process to identify good performance and also areas for personal development.
Defining sets of behavioural competencies for roles in your business helps to show employees what the business expects of them. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘competency framework’. Having a competency framework as part of your performance management process also clarifies the behaviours and skills the company values and which it requires in order to achieve its corporate objectives.
Adding a Competency Framework to an appraisal process also ensures that…
- Employees demonstrate sufficient expertise and knowledge to perform their role effectively.
- You recruit staff with relevant expertise and knowledge.
- You can identify skill and competency gaps within your workforce more efficiently.
- You can identify training and development needs more effectively.
- You provide relevant and coordinated training and professional development.
- You evaluate and record performance constructively and efficiently.
- Employees clearly understand what is required of them.
Example of a behavioural competency
Let’s clarify what a behavioural competency looks like in the context of performance appraisals.
If your employees are to succeed in achieving their personal objectives (and ultimately your organisation’s objectives), it’s essential they possess relevant skill sets in order to do their job effectively. It certainly helps to know if a staff member lacks a certain skill. Having a competency framework linked to your performance management process makes this possible.
For example, if one of the essential skills an employee requires is ‘creativity’ in their approach to work, then ‘creativity’ would be listed as one of the behavioural competencies listed on the appraisal form.
To ensure clarity and consistency of interpretation for appraisers and employees, the skill sets which relate to the word ‘creativity’ should then be explained using a definition. This definition should contain a set of behaviours and skills that describe the type of performance employees must demonstrate to be successful in the context of the ‘creativity’ behavioural competency. The definition should be included on the performance appraisal form or within the ‘user notes/instructions’ that accompany the appraisal form.
Here is an example of how the behavioural competency ‘Creativity’ may be listed and described on the appraisal form. Depending on the employee’s role, it may be just one of a number of behavioural competencies shown on the appraisal form;
Behavioural Competency name; Creativity
Skill Set Definition; Approaching problems with an open mind, seizing opportunities, feeling empowered, using initiative, demonstrating a positive mental attitude when challenged.
Download this essential Performance Appraisal Guide. A handy list of the key actions to take when preparing for the appraisal, during the appraisal meeting and throughout the year.