Turn core values into core competencies… no seriously.

by Oct 5, 2017

I am still surprised every time I give a speech at a conference, and someone raises their hand to ask me if they can discipline someone for poor behavior. After all, something like workplace bullying isn’t illegal.

I am surprised by this question because, being late, not showing up to work without a call-in, or failing on job duties also aren’t illegal, yet many people are disciplined and even fired for these transgressions every day of the year.

Why are we so hesitant to manage behavior? I don’t get it.

Performance happens because of the way someone behaves. They are one in the same, so you can and should use your performance management system to manage behavior.

One way to do that is to turn your core values into core competencies.

A core competency is a defined set of knowledge, skills and abilities that distinguish one person from the next.

Let’s say, for example, that your chili hot dog stand’s three core values are: Service, Quality, and Fun. You can hold people accountable to these core values through your performance management system, by turning those values into core competencies.

By making them competencies in your performance system, you are saying that one must be competent in those three areas in order to work at your chili hot dog stand.

So your job descriptions, and your quarterly performance evaluations, will include the following core competencies:

  • Service: Provides excellent service to customers and peers, even in stressful situations; quickly and effectively solves problems; presents a positive friendly manner with customers.
  • Quality: Always goes the “extra mile” to complete work; self-starter; work does not need to be redone; it is clear a strong effort goes into tasks.
  • Fun: Always perceived to be in a good mood; clearly enjoys others; engages peers and customers in conversation; regularly seen with a smile.

See, it’s easy.

Now you can interview for these competencies when filling positions, hold people accountable to them via rewards and performance, hold managers accountable to ensuring their team’s are competent in these areas, and developing training programs around them.

If you’d like some more quick and tactical tips on creating a positive work environment, I am excited to announce that I am launching a new, free webinar, The Workplace Culture Makeover Masterclass: Transform culture, get bottom line results. I have applied my long years of work, time and research in HR and positive work environments to this course, so it is definitely a labor of love that I am very proud of!

I am hosting the free webinar on October 26, and again on October 27, at 10 am PST. So claim your spot for either one, and I look forward to seeing you there.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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