Competency development as an element of human resources management.


Employee competency development. Competency

development is “aprocess used to create opportunities to develop the professional interests and abilities of employees“. The three main sources of development are: experience, information exchange and training. The scope of activities leading to the development of human resources can be presented as a composition of largely planned projects such as: enriching one’s knowledge, shaping values, attitudes and skills, developing abilities, taking care of the physical and mental condition – thanks to training people, education, teaching and training. 

  1. Schein proposes an understanding of career development in the most general way and assumes that it is “aninteraction of an individual and an organization over time“. M. Armstrong defines the following: “the way people move up the career ladder, either by promotion or expansion, or by enhancing their roles, taking on greater responsibilities or making more use of their skills and abilities.”
  2. Szałkowski uses such nomenclature as: personnel development or job potential. He presented its following elements: knowledge, skills, abilities, health, motivation. Is of the opinion that the development of job potential is a set of deliberate and systematic activities aimed at employees of all hierarchical levels of the organization. These activities are related to specific forms of vocational training and development, career planning and implementation, and work structuring.
  3. Barthel and FG Becker are of the opinion that personnel development is a coherent and systematic concept of training, career planning and work structuring, enabling qualifications and increased efficiency. They emphasize the achievement of goals, both for employees and the company.

How to strive to increase the value of human capital?

The actions leading to the increase in the value of human capital through professional development were described in detail by the authors: J. Sutherland and D. Canwell. They specified five basic functions of professional development:

  • expanding knowledge – helpful in problem situations,
  • learning from experience – gaining practical knowledge through observation and implementing new solutions to your own work,
  • developing new attitudes and beliefs – changes in views, system of values, rules and standards of conduct, the
  • possibility of rebuilding professional qualifications – individual competences of an employee, their diagnosis and improvement to a higher level,
  • cooperation and contribution to the development of personnel – mutual learning and action, sharing skills and knowledge.

The authors presented many common elements in their definitions. They emphasize a significant role in the development of human resources of projects related to: improving skills and abilities, enriching knowledge, shaping motivation and caring for health. They also emphasize the fact that the above-mentioned activities are subordinated to the achievement of the goal of increasing the individual human resource and the market value of the human resources of the organization.

Responding to the emerging changes

The pace of civilization changes, mainly technological progress, means that the employee is forced to respond flexibly to the emerging changes and to adapt to newer challenges and requirements (the same organization strives to quickly adapt to environment). Most people feel comfortable staying in their comfort zone, using what they already know. However, development requires us to confront the area of ​​individual incompetence. However, this doesn’t mean just working on the weaknesses, you might as well focus on improving the aspects you are already good at. However, first you have to recognize that you have some shortcomings that you want to deal with. Career development concerns the constant supplementation and development of competences, retraining or even changing the profession.

Reasons for developing human resources in the organization

The main reasons for developing human resources in the organization are: improving employee performance, increasing their motivation and flexibility, supporting the acquisition of new competences, increasing the willingness to stay in the organization, enhancing desired behaviors, encouraging employees to show initiative and creativity, increasing positive attitudes to change.

Shaping human capital Shaping human

capital, in this case professional development, should lead to an increase in the value of this capital (unit) and improvement of tasks performed in the organization. Thanks to this, to a greater extent, also the company itself can strive for development and improve its results. Companies are striving to constantly increase their work efficiency, and its condition is precisely to have competent employees. It is very important to skillfully define the required competences and to develop them, thanks to which we obtain a direction of action regarding the development of human resources.

Professional development The professional

development itself is closely related to the personal progress of an individual and is often an important component of human functioning (in a holistic approach). Both processes run in parallel at a certain point in life, they interpenetrate and influence each other. The traditionally understood career path is defined as moving up the organizational structure, and the construction of this path begins when a person is hired to work in an organization, and ends when they leave it. Non-professional activities can indirectly penetrate the occupational zone of a person, thanks to which they enrich their competences and can be useful in performing tasks. Whether the development is correct depends only on the employee himself and no one but himself is able to decide on this issue. Of course, he may be influenced by someone, but in the end, he or she takes the appropriate action. It is worth adding that one of the basic mistakes that an employee may make is the assumption that the employer is responsible for the development of his (employee’s) own competences, because he has the organizational and financial resources appropriate for this.

Supporting the employee in development

Each company should be interested in supporting its employee in the development of the area that allows them to achieve the level of professional mastery. The determination of training needs should take into account the requirements of the organization as a whole, as well as individual parts and specific individual positions. It becomes especially important to take into account the training requirements of each employee and team. Employees should be able to report training needs as they usually have a good understanding of this. The ideal variant is the consistency of goals and tasks set by individuals and the organization. However, practice very often shows that the interests of both parties do not always coincide. Creating a coherent system of human resources development is extremely important as it allows for the professional development of employees in relation to the goals of the organization, increasing its efficiency and giving added value. It also contributes to the creation of a learning company capable of generating knowledge (organization of the future).

The relationship between the enterprise and the employee may vary in intensity and interdependence. The authors P. Jansen and M. Velde presented a matrix presenting four versions of the human capital development policy (thanks to the crossing of two dimensions, i.e. the development of the organization and the employee development):


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