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Jason Volny

Jason Volny National Training Manager

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How to Build a Competency Framework

A lot of emphasis lately has been around defining and communicating your dealership brand.  A lot of value can come out of understanding who you are as an organization, what you value, and who you feel are your ideal customers.  The result is a strong, targeted message in the market.

This same strategy needs to be leveraged when you think about your employees.  You need to be able to identify what your ideal employee looks like.  One who can execute your brand vision.  How do you define the ideal employee for your brand?  It begins with competency mapping.

A competency is defined as “the ability to do something successfully or efficiently”.  Some competencies can be taught and some are inherent in an individual.  We’ll define these as temperament.  Your goal? Hire for the inherent competencies and develop systems to train the rest.

To begin, you need to define your competencies.  Google “competency model” or “competency framework”, and you’ll find quite a few resources that list competencies.  List as many as you can. 

Once you feel you have a comprehensive list of available competencies, highlight the ones that you feel the job role needs to have.  For example, you may identify that a salesperson needs to have the “presentation” competency.  In other words, a sales rep must be able to develop the ability to present confidently and effectively in order to complete a walkaround and build value in the vehicle.

After you’ve compiled a list of competencies you have determined the job role must contain, the next step is to identify if the competency can be trained or not.  “Presentation” can be learned.  You can build training around this competency and develop an employee to improve in this area.  “Attitude”, however, cannot be trained. An individual either has the right attitude for your store or does not.  Any competency that can be defined as a temperament trait is virtually impossible for an individual to develop.  These inherent competencies need to be flushed out in the interview process. 

If an applicant doesn’t possess these inherent competencies, they should not be employed in your dealership.  It’s that simple.  Trying to train someone to develop an inherent competency is an exercise in futility.  Your motto should be “hire for temperament and train the rest”.

Once you have determined the ideal competencies for a job role that maps back to your brand vision, you can interview applicants asking them questions that help determine how many they possess.  Current employees can be assessed for these competencies as well, and individual training can be created to develop and grow the ideal competencies your employees need.  Competency mapping can help you identify targeted training opportunities.

This may sound existential, but you need to be able to identify the ideal competencies for each job role in your dealership. Understanding what you want to be can be a large factor in how you implement training and ultimately lead to better employee development.

 

 

 

R. J. James

Competency mapping is an excellent way to clarify and fortify your brand message.  Also, it can help you communicate and maintain the culture of the organization.

Went through this process in 1996 with a large athletic brand.  One of the bigger challenges was get front-line supervisors and managers proficient in using the "Competency" to coach employees.  One helpful leadership workshop we developed was, "What a Competency LOOKS LIKE with Skin".   

Bart Wilson

Thanks RJ.  Management is often the linchpin to dealership success.  How can you make sure the competencies, and more importantly, the process behind the competencies is communicated?

R. J. James

GREAT Question Bart!

That was exactly why we created that "What a Competency LOOKS LIKE with Skin"  Workshop.  Those supervisors and mangers were already successful in leading and coaching their Teams, but they were UNSURE and UNCOMFORTABLE with communicating in the Competency Terminology.

The "Skin" Workshop focused on sharing and linking their actual Supervisor/Manager Experiences and Intuitions with each Competency!  Basically, the Workshop created and validated a Common Coaching Language and Performance Metrics.

After that, we also did a related workshop with Front-Line employees.  This solidified the Common Language for Employee and Supervisor/Manager.

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