The Easy-360 Competency Model: Leadership Domain

Leadership in any organization involves creating and sharing a vision of the future, inspiring and managing people and resources to work toward the vision, and building and coaching teams to achieve the vision.  The Leadership Domain in the Easy-360 Competency Model includes factors that enable effective leadership, such as:

Providing Direction involves clear, positive communication, timely follow-up, and recognition for successful work performance. It includes attempts to improve performance by modifying or reinforcing workforce skills and behaviors, and to help others fulfill their work potential by building confidence in their skills and abilities.

Performance Management involves the development and implementation of strategies that optimize an individual’s performance within the organization.

Empowering Others involves entrusting responsibility, inspiring individuals and groups, and giving autonomy to others in order to enhance their performance and encourage their professional growth.

Leveraging Diversity involves working effectively with individuals of diverse cultures, interpersonal styles, abilities, motivations, or backgrounds in order to make effective use of the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals.

Continual Improvement involves allocating resources to achieve results consistent with organizational objectives and engaging in recurring activities that improve the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency in attaining its objectives.

Change Leadership involves managing, leading, and enabling the processes of change and transition while helping others deal with the effects. This includes creating conditions and processes to support and orchestrate the pace of change, and to maintain commitment to the change process.

Envisioning involves building and sharing a compelling view of the direction or sense of purpose of the organization, and engaging with and motivating others toward a common goal.

Indicators for the various factors in the Leadership Domain focus on how the leader structures and manages the organization’s efforts to achieve the stated vision. This includes setting goals, communicating expectations, fostering inclusiveness, supporting change processes, and providing feedback. Results from the Leadership Domain of the Easy-360 survey give indications where leadership activities are working, and where growth opportunities can be pursued.

The Easy-360 Competency Model: Expertise Domain

The Expertise Domain of the Easy-360 Competency Model contains factors related to the knowledge of an individual in the sector in which the work is done. The knowledge can be conceptual, theoretical, and procedural, and is gained from experiences throughout the person’s career. Expertise factors include:

Organizational Awareness is the extent to which a person understands and utilizes knowledge of the organization’s structure, culture, role definitions, position relationships, and political and economic factors to carry out work activities and achieve personal and organizational outcomes.

Professional Practice involves the utilization of relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences in an area of expertise in order to effectively and efficiently perform tasks related to a job

Financial Acumen involves applying critical financial concepts and practices in order to establish and maintain realistic budgets. It includes an understanding of the rules, policies, regulations and procedures of the organization, as well as management practices that use financial resources effectively and economically.

Problem Solving involves the use of domain knowledge and experience, along with effective processes to define a problem, generate solution possibilities, implement a chosen solution, and evaluate the solution results.

Project Management involves creating and maintaining an environment that guides a project to its successful completion by defining tasks and milestones to achieve objectives, managing processes involved in the project, and ensuring the optimal use of resources to meet those objectives.

Change Management involves creating conditions and processes to support, orchestrate, and maintain enthusiasm and commitment to the change process.

Operational Management focuses on planning and organizing the actions and work activities of others (and self), effectively using policies and procedures for planning, coordination, and execution of project goals and organizational functions.

Indicators for factors in the Expertise Domain focus on behaviors that relate to both understanding of the organization’s structure and culture, as well as management of various aspects of the organization. The ability to solve problems is highly related to knowledge and experience, so indicators related to this factor are important measures of job effectiveness. Easy-360 results in the Expertise Domain provide important feedback about areas of strengths and opportunities for growth.

The Easy-360 Competency Model: Social Domain

Easy-360 competencies in the Social Domain include factors that identify skills necessary for effectively working with others. The “core competencies” necessary for effective job performance are defined within the Personal and Social Domains. Definitions of the Social factors of the Easy-360 competency model are given below.

Participation – working within groups to achieve consensus, solve problems, and help others to accomplish objectives.

Communication – involves an exchange of information, requiring full concentration to ensure understanding, responding to, and remembering the content of communication.

Social Interaction – using communication skills to accurately perceive thoughts, feelings, and concerns in order to prevent or manage conflicts and to maintain mutually beneficial working relationships.

Influence – interacting with others to explore alternative ideas and positions which lead to the support and cooperation of all involved to achieve desired outcomes.

Valuing Diversity – recognizing differences between people and acknowledging that these differences are valuable assets. It involves respect for individuality while emphasizing the contributions of various groups (e.g., ethnic, gender, income, sexual orientation, etc.) to the quality of the organization.

The social factors described above are measured through indicators that represent the reviewers’ subjective perceptions of the recipient’s performance. Easy-360 survey results give an indication of strengths and also opportunities to identify areas needing additional skill development.

The Easy-360 Competency Model: Personal Domain

The Personal Domain of the Easy-360 Competency Model includes factors describing many characteristics and behaviors that are part of an individual’s approach to work. These factors combine with factors in the Social Domain to describe the “core competencies” necessary for effective job performance. Definitions are given below.

Conscientiousness – consistently striving to achieve goals through commitment to tasks, conformity to organizational practices, and flexibility in style or approach.

Continuous Development – a commitment to improve one’s technical and personal growth as circumstances change in the organization.

Decision Making – selecting a course of action after considering information, weighing its relevance, and considering consequences for a variety of options.

Emotional Stability – handling emotions, tolerating stress, and acting with confidence in order to function under pressure and avoid conflict is an important personal factor.

Ethical Standards – personal accountability and moral conviction to act in an honest and trustworthy manner.

Initiative –  identifying opportunities and issues, and proactively taking action to address situations.

Thinking – understanding situations through analysis of interrelated components and organizational goals, critically weighing options, and exploring innovative possibilities.

There are between 4 and 9 indicators for each factor included in the Easy-360 survey of the Personal Domain. The indicators of personal factors provide feedback about how reviewers perceive the recipient’s performance on the characteristics and behaviors identified in our competency model. The indicators in Easy-360 do not measure concrete performance requirements. Instead, results of various indicators are intended to help the recipient focus on their strengths and make plans for continuing growth.

The Easy-360 Competency Model: Introduction

Research in organizational effectiveness has studied the range and impact of a variety of job activities for many years. It is generally recognized that work competencies tend to cluster in from 3 to 7 domains, depending on the model being used. Domain models are useful because:

  • Competency profiles delineate the necessary knowledge and skill requirements in each domain.
  • Individual performance can be compared to the organization’s competency model.
  • Training and professional development can be developed to address performance needs related to competency profiles in each domain.

The Easy-360 competency domain model is useful for measuring employee effectiveness against a defined profile as well as identifying needs for training and development. The model consists of 4 domains as shown in the figure.

Easy 360 Competency Model
The Easy 360 competency domains

The first two domains, Personal and Social, represent the areas of work performance that are typically referred to as “core competencies” or “soft skills.” Personal competencies are characteristics and behaviors within the individual, while Social competencies involve skills and behaviors that are utilized in social situations.

The Expertise domain brings together competencies related to the technical and professional knowledge and skills necessary to operate effectively in the organization’s sector.

The Leadership domain delineates competencies that are required to influence people to accomplish change in the organization.

Further information about the domains and the factors assessed in the Easy-360 survey is provided in the next few articles in this series.

An overview of the Easy-360 process

360-degree feedback (also called multi-rater feedback) is a process that is widely used to help people improve their work performance by gaining a better understanding of their strengths and challenges. The process utilizes confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around an individual, as well as self-ratings of performance on factors. The results of 360-degree feedback can help individuals to:

  • Gain insight into personal performance, unseen strengths, and opportunities for improvement.
  • Clarifies role and improve work relationships.
  • Engage in reflection and dialogue.

Easy-360 feedback surveys are a useful development tool for managers and leaders in any organization. The feedback can even help non-managers be more productive in their current roles and help them develop an understanding of the competencies which should be their focus in order to move into management roles. It is important, however, to recognize that 360-degree feedback is not a way to measure employee performance objectives or basic job skills.

In an Easy-360 survey, the feedback recipient and a group of other raters answer specific questions about the recipient’s performance. These raters are chosen from those who work day-to-day with the recipient, typically supervisors, direct reports, peers, and others (e.g., clients, customers, etc.). The Easy 360 feedback system tabulates the results for each factor in our competency model and presents them in a format that helps the feedback recipient better understand his or her performance.

Easy-360 feedback gives insight to a recipient about areas they didn’t realize were strengths, as well as areas they already knew were strengths. Confidence increases as the recipient is made aware of how others view their performance. It is also important that the recipient is made aware of opportunities for improvement as they see their competencies from the perspective of others. Easy-360 feedback can also encourage dialogue about performance that leads to improved working relationships and increased accountability.

Further details about the Easy-360 competency model and survey process will be discussed in future posts.