Types of competencies

Organizational competencies: The mission, vision, values, culture and core competencies of the organization that sets the tone and/or context in which the work of the organization is carried out (e.g. customer-driven, risk taking and cutting edge). How we treat the patient is part of the patient’s treatment.

Core competencies: Capabilities and/or technical expertise unique to an organization, i.e. core competencies differentiate an organization from its competition (e.g. the technologies, methodologies, strategies or processes of the organization that create competitive advantage in the marketplace). An organizational core competency is an organization’s strategic strength.

Technical competencies: Depending on the position, both technical and performance capabilities should be weighed carefully as employment decisions are made. For example, organizations that tend to hire or promote solely on the basis of technical skills, i.e. to the exclusion of other competencies, may experience an increase in performance-related issues (e.g. systems software designs versus relationship management skills)

Behavioral competencies: Individual performance competencies are more specific than organizational competencies and capabilities. As such, it is important that they be defined in a measurable behavioral context in order to validate applicability and the degree of expertise (e.g. development of talent)

Functional competencies: Functional competencies are job-specific competencies that drive proven high-performance, quality results for a given position. They are often technical or operational in nature (e.g., “backing up a database” is a functional competency).

Management competencies: Management competencies identify the specific attributes and capabilities that illustrate an individual’s management potential. Unlike leadership characteristics, management characteristics can be learned and developed with the proper training and resources. Competencies in this category should demonstrate pertinent behaviors for management to be effective.

Examples:

Initiative and creativity
Plans work and carries out tasks without detailed instructions; makes constructive suggestions; prepares for problems or opportunities in advance; undertakes additional responsibilities; responds to situations as they arise with minimal supervision; creates novel solutions to problems; evaluates new technology as potential solutions to existing problems.

Judgement
Makes sound decisions; bases decisions on fact rather than emotion; analyzes problems skillfully; uses logic to reach solutions.

Cooperation/teamwork
Works harmoniously with others to get a job done; responds positively to instructions and procedures; able to work well with staff, co-workers, peers and managers; shares critical information with everyone involved in a project; works effectively on projects that cross functional lines; helps to set a tone of cooperation within the work group and across groups; coordinates own work with others; seeks opinions; values working relationships; when appropriate facilitates discussion before decision-making process is complete.

Quality of Work
Maintains high standards despite pressing deadlines; does work right the first time; corrects own errors; regularly produces accurate, thorough, professional work.

Reliability
Personally responsible; completes work in a timely, consistent manner; works hours necessary to complete assigned work; is regularly present and punctual; arrives prepared for work; is committed to doing the best job possible; keeps commitments.

Commitment to safety
Understands, encourages and carries out the principles of integrated safety management; complies with or oversees the compliance with Laboratory safety policies and procedures; completes all required ES&H training; takes personal responsibility for safety.

Support of diversity
Treats all people with respect; values diverse perspectives; participates in diversity training opportunities; provides a supportive work environment for the multicultural workforce; applies the Lab’s philosophy of equal employment opportunity; shows sensitivity to individual differences; treats others fairly without regard to race, sex, color, religion, or sexual orientation; recognizes differences as opportunities to learn and gain by working together; values and encourages unique skills and talents; seeks and considers diverse perspectives and ideas.

Job knowledge/technical knowledge
Demonstrates knowledge of techniques, skills, equipment, procedures and materials. Applies knowledge to identify issues and internal problems; works to develop additional technical knowledge and skills.

Quantity of work
Produces an appropriate quantity of work; does not get bogged down in unnecessary detail; able to manage multiple projects; able to determine project urgency in a meaningful and practical way; organizes and schedules people and tasks.

Communication
Writes and speaks effectively, using conventions proper to the situation; states own opinions clearly and concisely; demonstrates openness and honesty; listens well during meetings and feedback sessions; explains reasoning behind own opinions; asks others for their opinions and feedback; asks questions to ensure understanding; exercises a professional approach with others using all appropriate tools of communication; uses consideration and tact when offering opinions.

Customer service
Listens and responds effectively to customer questions; resolves customer problems to the customer’s satisfaction; respects all internal and external customers; uses a team approach when dealing with customers; follows up to evaluate customer satisfaction; measures customer satisfaction effectively; commits to exceeding customer expectations.

Problem solving
Anticipates problems; sees how a problem and its solution will affect other units; gathers information before making decisions; weighs alternatives against objectives and arrives at reasonable decisions; adapts well to changing priorities, deadlines and directions; works to eliminate all processes which do not add value; is willing to take action, even under pressure, criticism or tight deadlines; takes informed risks; recognizes and accurately evaluates the signs of a problem; analyzes current procedures for possible improvements; notifies supervisor of problems in a timely manner.

Attention to detail
Is alert in a high-risk environment; follows detailed procedures and ensures accuracy in documentation and data; carefully monitors gauges, instruments or processes; concentrates on routine work details; organizes and maintains a system of records.

Flexibility
Remains open-minded and changes opinions on the basis of new information; performs a wide variety of tasks and changes focus quickly as demands change; manages transitions from task to task effectively; adapts to varying customer needs.

Organization
Able to manage multiple projects; able to determine project urgency in a practical way; uses goals to guide actions; creates detailed action plans; organizes and schedules people and tasks effectively.

Staff development
Works to improve the performance of oneself and others by pursuing opportunities for continuous learning/feedback; constructively helps and coaches others in their professional development; exhibits a “can-do” approach and inspires associates to excel; develops a team spirit.

Quality control
Establishes high standards and measures; is able to maintain high standards despite pressing deadlines; does work right the first time and inspects work for flaws; tests new methods thoroughly; considers excellence a fundamental priority.

Responsiveness to requests for service
Responds to requests for service in a timely and thorough manner; does what is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction; prioritizes customer needs; follows up to evaluate customer satisfaction.

Innovation
Able to challenge conventional practices; adapts established methods for new uses; pursues ongoing system improvement; creates novel solutions to problems; evaluates new technology as potential solutions to existing problems.

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