Correlating Competencies: To Each Industry Its Own

Talent research firm Bersin & Associates recently released “The Role of Competencies in Driving Financial Performance,” a study on the relationship among performance reviews, competencies and business success.

The firm found a clear correlation between the competencies used in performance reviews and business outcomes such as growth and profitability in four different industries:

  • In the financial services industry, initiative and communication are critical to creating and managing the many mergers and acquisitions that take place in the industry.
  • In industrial manufacturing, tactical competencies such as quality and job knowledge are needed to ensure the production of superior products.
  • For retail professionals, dependability, personal organization and quality help mitigate the industry’s high turnover rate.
  • In the high-tech field, customer focus and innovation help get successful new products onto the market.

While the study consistently found the competencies that drive growth and profitability are different in each industry, some larger trends also were identified. High-performing organizations focus more on organizational capabilities, while their lower-performing counterparts value competencies that build individual skills.

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Adapted from the January 2007 issue of Talent Management

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Sandra Schwan

Sandra Schwan

Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

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