There is an increasing trend towards organisations to develop and use behaviour frameworks as part of their performance management/appraisal system either complementing their skills and competency models or replacing them altogether. So, if you are not yet one of the organisations to follow the trend what are behaviour frameworks and what might be the benefits.
What are Behaviour Frameworks?
Behaviour frameworks differ from skills and competency models in a number of ways.
Typically, competency models describe the skills and competencies required for a particular role at a number of levels usually directly related to the grading system. Often managers will rate their staff against the competencies and use this rating to identify development needs. They may also be used to justify why someone is at the grade they are or to support a promotion.
Unlike Competency Models, behaviour frameworks are not related to a role but are directly related to the Values of the organisation. They usually consist of a number of behaviour statements or descriptions that provide generic examples of how the organisation expects it s employees to behave in respect of each of the organisations values. Often these behaviours are described at three or more levels but are not directly related to the grading system as it is recognised that there can be significant difference in the behaviours required for different roles. For example a Call Centre operative might require a higher level of customer facing behaviours than a back office finance clerk with no customer contact.
How are Behaviour Frameworks used?
The main purpose of behaviour frameworks is to help staff in organisations to live the values in their day to day work. They are primarily used: for use in agreeing and evaluating how staff are behaving as part of performance management/appraisal; as a guide for individual learning and development; to support recruitment and selection. The main benefit of behaviour frameworks is that they give managers the opportunity to have discussions about peoples behaviour in ways that it is difficult to do with skill and competency models. By using examples of behaviour which relate to an individuals actual role the manager is able to have a discussion which enable them to:
• praise good behaviours and use them as an exemplar to others
• identify and discuss unacceptable behaviours and offer alternative behaviours
• point out higher level behaviours that would useful to acquire for future development
Some of the feedback from managers who have used behaviour frameworks in appraisal for the first time is often quite dramatic as they discover the ability to tackle behaviours that have been ignored for years.