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Four Keys to Establishing a Hospital-Wide Behavioral Competency Model

December 17, 2015

 A comprehensive competency model provides the vehicle to transform your vision and mission into action. It is one thing for hospital leadership to establish that “respect for patients” is a core value, but what does that mean in the day to day actions? What specific behaviors demonstrate respect for patients? How do we define behavioral competencies that lead to these behaviors? How do we evaluate candidates for these behavioral competencies?

1. Establish Job Families
Given the high number of job titles in a hospital or health system, developing an organization-wide model can seem a daunting task. It’s far more efficient and effective, though, to create a comprehensive and coordinated hospital-wide model. By grouping job titles into job families that have similar behavioral competencies, we can simplify the process. For instance, the “manager” competencies for a nursing manager are similar to the competencies for the person who manages dietary services. The clinical or technical skills are different but the management and leadership competencies are the same.

describe the image2. Each Competency Should Have Three Parts
Each behavioral competency should have three parts, a short definition, positive indicators and negative indicators.

3. Limit The Number of Competencies and Profiles
In 90% of the cases, organization -wide competency analysis is over-engineered, making something that should be simple and easy to use; complex and unwieldy. When competency experts are left out of the process, there tends to be a myriad of “one-off” competency profiles. The result is an unwieldy number of competency profiles and a long-term traffic jam when trying to use the competencies for Human Resource programs.

4. Don’t Over-Rely on Automated Competency Tools
Some of the biggest culprits in encouraging competency complexity are the myriad of “stand-alone” competency tools that promise to deliver behavioral competencies via a computer program or card sort. These programs collect data from job content experts and then use incomplete logic and inaccurate algorithms to determine competency profiles. Automation may enhance collection of the competency analysis data, but you should use competency experts to interpret the data, determine the competency format and ensure you have the ideal number of meaningfully differentiated profiles.

Competency experts can meld the vision of senior leadership with the realities in the workforce. They can also ensure that the data from all levels is combined in a meaningful and functional overall structure.

Next week, Ted Kinney, Ph.D, Director of Research and Development from Select International, will be speaking in Charleston, SC at a joint North Carolina-South Carolina HHRA Conference. He’ll be joining Heather Grier, Director of Talent Management at McLeod Health, discussing an efficient methodology for developing a hospital-wide competency model. 

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Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.