The Blog

More Articles: Latest Popular Archives

Defining the leadership competency framework

Article by Charlotte Burton-Barker

Having great leadership is associated with many great outcomes such as increased employee satisfaction, effectiveness and commitment. This alone makes it a key ingredient for business success. On top of that, research from Gartner shows that nearly half of those in a position where they lead others were lacking the confidence to fulfil their role. Leadership development is critical for organisations to thrive, which explains why a huge chunk of training budgets are allocated to the cause.

However, data has shown that the majority of leadership development programmes do not succeed in making the behavioural changes they had intended to. Leadership competency frameworks are often overlooked as a key element of a training and development programme. 

A leadership competency framework paves the way for a successful development programme. Laying out the relevant knowledge, skills and abilities that are important for leaders in the organisation to develop provides the basis for creating valuable and effective leadership development training programmes. There are two key ways these frameworks help. Firstly, it provides us an end goal and secondly it gives us something to measure against. 

The end goal – a leadership competency framework provides us with a guideline, something to aim for. From there we can work backwards to build a leadership development programme that develops the skills the business wants from its leaders. This moves us away from the typical “off the shelf” leadership programmes and towards a bespoke programme that really taps into leadership skills that the business is looking for. 

Leadership Competency frameworks also provide us with something that is often missing in development programmes, something to measure against! How can we tell if our leadership development programme was a success without specific behaviours we are setting out to change and knowing if we have changed them? We can measure this behaviour change in a number of ways, for example through manager observation, through self-assessment, or through employee engagement figures. Having this clear cut measure allows us to see the impact of our development programmes (and adapt them if they’re not working)! 

So, when you are planning leadership training remember the importance of the leadership competency framework. If you’ve already got one in place make sure the training uses it as a guideline and measures against it. If you don’t have one, consider developing one and then build your training programme from there. 

    Charlotte is the Programmes Manager at Wiser, where she builds and develops Early Talent Development Programmes to ensure organisation's get the best from their Graduates, Apprentices and Early Talent cohorts. Her background is in Organisational Psychology and she uses her knowledge in this area to inform the design and delivery of her work.

    Receive more HR related news and content with our monthly Enewsletter (Ebrief)