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98 SMT007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2020 Sharpening Your Organization's Competencies Successful organizations invest in develop- ing their employees into high performers and continuously recruit top talent to join the orga- nization. These actions require effort and com- mitment from the organization's leadership, given that employee development and strategic recruitment is a journey of growth and long- term sustainability where a positive return on investment may take years to realize. The foundation of a successful employee development program is to evaluate and sharpen your employees' competencies and recruit prospective candidates that possess the desired competencies for which that you are looking. In this column, I will provide an approach on how to develop an employee development program driven by competencies. How Is Competence Defined? Competence is constructed from three ele- ments: skill, knowledge, and attribute [1] . A skill is something you do well—your ability to choose and perform the right technique at the right time. It's usually developed through training and practice. For example, you could become a skilled writer by practicing writ- ing in a particular style, and you can become skilled at being safe in the workplace by prac- ticing techniques during classroom exercises or labs. Knowledge is information you know— including theories, facts, and procedures—and the ability to apply this information in different situations. For instance, you could have knowl- edge about different communication styles, or you may know the key steps to plan a program or project and be well-versed in strategies for evaluating success. An attribute is an inherent characteristic or quality and is often expressed through what you think, do, and feel. For example, you could be known for staying positive and calm in chal- Operational Excellence by Alfred Macha, AMT PARTNERS

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