HR Competencies: Turning Knowledge Into Action

There are lots of articles that tell human resources professionals, “This is what you need to know.” And that’s fine. We need to be committed to lifelong learning. Our profession is constantly changing because business is always changing. There’s no harm in being made aware of emerging trends in our profession.

But let me add, knowledge isn’t enough. We have to turn knowledge into action. It isn’t enough to know or recite a theory, we have to be able to apply it.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently added an interactive book to their competency model website featuring stories from HR pros who are using the model to advance their organizations and careers. It’s titled, “Real World HR: Bringing the SHRM Competency Model to Life” and I’m honored to be included in the book and you’ll recognize some other contributors like Alex Alonso PhD, Tim Sackett, and Dr. Jeff Pon.

Obviously, the goal of the book isn’t for someone to recreate the stories. It is to challenge you to think about your career.

Your career is probably filled with the same stories. If you’ve ever had one of those days where you’ve said to yourself, “I’m not doing great HR!”, bookmark this link and spend a couple of minutes reading the stories. We’ve all been there. One of the things that makes HR special is the bond HR pros have with each other. We’ve been in each other’s shoes. We can empathize.

Follow the principles for success. Each story has a few takeaways that you can immediately use in your job. You could identify a few to focus on each month. These would also be great principles to share with your team or someone that you’re mentoring. And while the book is focused on HR, some of the principles are perfect for supervisors and managers who are trying to step up their HR game.

The SHRM Competency Model website is continuing to evolve into a robust site for HR professionals to manage their career. Don’t confuse it with SHRM Certification (which is valuable too but not the same thing.) You don’t have to become certified to take advantage of the resources that the competency model provides. The resources section includes articles, books, seminars, and studies for each of the behavioral competencies in the model.

Regardless of where you are in your career, having an understanding of professional competencies is important. We get hired based on competencies. Our performance is evaluated based on competencies. Competencies are a factor in promotions and special assignments. So, bookmark the SHRM HR Competency Model page and check it out every once in a while. Your career might just be better for it.

Competency model image used with permission from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

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