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.

Process
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.

Results
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.