The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Where Do Your HR Competencies Lie?

Framework_10.5x8The one-size-fits-all approach to training and development is quickly going the way of the dinosaur, and moving to the forefront is competency-based learning, where learning is less about the time spent in a classroom or conference concurrent session, and more about mastering specific skills through personalized learning experiences.

As HR professionals charged with creating and delivering learning and development opportunities for our workforce, we must pay attention to competencies and how and where they come into play. It’s no longer enough to offer broad-stroke training and development. If we are to help our institutions forge ahead into the future by ensuring that we have the best talent with the best capabilities, proficiencies, expertise and adeptness, we need to build our development programs around competencies.

But just as important as the learning we offer to faculty and staff is our own learning — the learning we do to build our HR knowledge, skills and abilities and make them relevant to the unique work environment of higher education.

While specific competencies for our various workforce development programs and trainings will look different for different institutions (and yes, it’s up to us to help define those), the competencies and proficiencies that we as HR professionals need in order to thrive in higher ed are more concrete, thanks to CUPA-HR’s Learning Framework.

The framework was developed by higher ed HR practitioners from around the country and serves as a foundation for building the skills necessary for success in higher ed HR. As an organization, CUPA-HR uses the framework to drive programming and content. As an individual, you can use the framework to determine where your strengths lie, where you have gaps and where you might need to take a deeper dive.

If you’ve not yet begun using the learning framework, you can get started in three easy steps:

  • Review the competencies of the framework. The four quadrants represent what we do (the core higher ed HR competencies), who we are (building and developing self and others), how we operate (building and developing talent and organization management), and why we are relevant (the things that help make us as HR professionals leaders within our institutions).
  • Reflect on how your current or desired skills fit into each section. You’re likely an expert in some areas, but could probably stand to do some brushing up in others.
  • Establish a plan for addressing gaps in your skills and nurturing areas of strength. Creating an individual development plan is a great way to go about this.

Learning is a life-long undertaking. Having a plan helps you make the most of the time you carve out for developing and mastering the skills you need to excel at what you do and prepare for your next opportunity.