People Competency Improvement versus People Capability Improvement

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 - Uncategorized


Robert asks: What is the difference between People Competency Improvement & People Capability Improvement, and how it is related?

In answer:
If you understand the difference, then as a business owner or director you can ask your HR team to build your companies HR strategy and business decisions around these two key areas:

Competency = Skills: the skills that are required for an individual to perform the job. Managers can deliver solid impact by hiring people that have demonstrated the competencies key to fulfilling the job. For instance, it is logical to assume that an artist will be less capable to work as accountant than a mathematician: an artist has different type of competency. If your organization is not capable to do something, look for misplaced talents and perform HR assessment. Ongoing coaching and performance management/evaluation can help sustain and improve those results (motivation is also a layer here).

Capability = Capacity: look at this as the process in your organization, resulting in efficiency and effectiveness. For instance, if an engineer is competent, they will find and fix a problem quickly; where as if a painter is competent they will use the right brushes to paint. If an individual is not capable of painting, you could invest a lot in brushes, but will never get a painting in return. By continually assessing and working to improve your processes a function of people, tools and approach/process), the overall capacity of work done by your teams will rise, as will the quality. You will also end up driving out unnecessary cost and waste.

Good Luck!

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