What Competencies are most used across Performance Appraisals?

Performance Appraisal

Performance Management

Our customers often ask “What key competencies should we use during the design of a Performance Appraisal System?” Using data for over 110,000 appraisals, we could quickly identify over 800 competencies that were being used. Since this was a large set, we used the SHRM Leadership Competencies to group these into 3 categories and 20 different competencies. This post shares the relative significance of these competencies and categories and should be helpful in identifying what works for your organization.

About the SHRM Leadership competency model

The SHRM article says that “Leadership competencies are leadership skills and behaviors that contribute to superior performance. By using a competency-based approach to leadership, organizations can better identify and develop their next generation of leaders.” It further mentions that “When selecting and developing leaders, HR professionals should consider the competencies that the individual possesses and compare those to the ones that need further development for success in a leadership role. By looking at his/her current competencies and comparing those to the skills necessary to fill a leadership position, organizations can make better informed decisions in hiring, developing and promoting leaders.

The SHRM model groups the 20 different competencies into 3 categories

  • » Leading the Organization,
  • » Leading the Self and
  • » Leading Others

Significance of each Competency category

In terms of the usage of competencies from each category above, we found that competencies belonging to “Leading the Organization” group had a more significant usage in comparison to competencies from the other two groups. This clearly indicates that Organization management skills have a disproportionate focus in comparison to people management and personal development capabilities.


Relative significance of Competencies

We could identify the top 5 that were being used in 40% of the appraisals. The next 8 were found at least once in every third appraisal indicating a usage of about 30%.


The competencies being used most often are

  • » Enhancing Business Skills & Knowledge
  • » Displaying Drive & Purpose
  • » Understanding & Navigating the Organization
  • » Developing Others
  • » Increasing Self Awareness

Drive, Learning, Developing team members and understanding of the organization were considered most important and it was interesting to see that Demonstrating Ethics, Valuing Diversity, Managing yourself were considered the least important.

Competency Mapping Approach

We identified all the competencies that were used across finalized performance appraisals conducted in empxtrack (> 110,000 over 2.5 years) and the number of times they were used. Next we mapped each one of the identified competencies to the 20 SHRM Leadership competencies. We eliminated about 50 competencies which could not be mapped to this set and then created the analytics by running pivots.

TAGS: Cloud HR, Employee appraisal, Performance appraisal, Performance Feedback

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