Imagine you are new to an organization or role. Do you know what is expected of you? Do you know how management decides if you’re doing a good job? 

One of the most difficult things employees confront is being placed in a job where there is little direction with unclear job expectations. Employees need to know exactly what is expected of them in their particular roles; otherwise, problems can arise. Uncertainties about expectations can cause anxiety for workers and lead to expensive issues in HR management (e.g. high turnover, legal disputes, etc.). This issue is not isolated only to front-line employees as managers also need to be held to specific competency standards to ensure they are executing their job tasks properly.

The point to take away from this blog post is that any organization can benefit from the use of a well articulated and comprehensive competency management and training system. Through the implementation of a competency management, measuring, and training system, costs associated with HR management will be reduced.

Why do competencies reduce workplace anxiety? 

Competency-based training and management strategies can reduce uncertainty and help to develop, optimize, and enhance a workforce.  People thrive on certainty.  Without it, their self-confidence may suffer which may eventually lead to potential issues with anxiety.

Current research highlights significant losses associated with workplace absenteeism caused by anxiety. This anxiety is situational, which implies that something in the worker’s environment may be the culprit. While competencies cannot change workplace dynamics in terms of personality conflicts, their implementation can reduce conflicts that arise from uncertain expectations.

The aim of competencies is to reduce absenteeism and presenteeism in your workforce by making people feel confident in their roles. This can be accomplished through the implementation of a competency management and training strategy. By organizing the roles in your organization in terms of competencies and tracking these competencies effectively, your workforce will be given a comprehensive understanding of: (a) what the expectations are in a given role; (b) how to meet these expectations; and (c) how they can progress in their careers through the development of new competencies and skills.

Competency frameworks lead to better management

Managers are tasked with ensuring that organizations function properly. Without an agreed-upon framework for what is expected of employees, managers have no clear benchmarks to guide them. Managers require a framework for assessing employee performance as well as the overall performance of their departments. Without an established competency framework for job roles, managers can create arbitrary expectations that may cause anxiety and stress in their employees. In this sense, competency frameworks act as a kind of workplace memorandum of understanding which identifies the scope and expectations of a particular employee. If competencies are in place,  the risk of arbitrary management can be effectively reduced.

One reason for toxic work environments can be pinpointed to the kinds of workplace policies in place (or omitted) and how managers manipulate workplace dynamics to suit their ideals. Establishing objective measures for measuring employees’ job performance will reduce the likelihood of toxic workplace dynamics between management and employees. Through the development of a comprehensive competency training and management system, your organization can reduce the potential of workplace conflict and the potential for toxic workplace losses (e.g., reduced attendance, turnover, constructive dismissal law suits, etc.).

To learn more about how The Competency Group can help your organization thrive through the implementation of a competency-based training and management program, please contact