The journey of a skillful employee [TM]

"How a competency model can help you attract, engage and retain employees"

The journey of a skillful employee [TM]

This article was provided by Normandin Beaudry

The creation of an inspiring journey for employees is based on total rewards – both monetary and non-monetary – where companies offer employees both fair wages and the opportunities to achieve their career aspirations. To make this happen, salary progressions and career is underpinned by employees developing desired knowledge, skills and behaviours. Equipping managers with the tools to develop talent around this belief has a positive impact on attracting, engaging and retaining talent.

Now more than ever, organizations are operating in an ever-changing world. Employers are seeking insights to better understand their employee needs and not surprising, high-performing talent is motivated by a meaningful employee experience that fulfills the search for meaning at work thanks to rewarding career paths and growth opportunities.

The journey of a skillful employeeTM concept, illustrated by Normandin Beaudry.

The journey of a skillful employeeTM competency model is an excellent development lever and one that can play a key role in employees successfully navigating their career. By having a clear picture of various career options, employees choose the path (or paths) that align best with their ambitions, the pace at which they want to advance and career goals. Skillful employees know their strengths, work well with others, have a clear direction and deliver results, which helps to achieve their professional aspirations.

Normandin Beaudry’s talent management model

Creating inspiring career paths      

Career paths are rooted in the development of a job architecture that classifies and maps jobs within the organization; it also highlights potential paths and commensurate levels of pay.

Once the job architecture is properly developed and communicated, the role requirements for organization’s jobs inform the recruitment needs.

​When the right people are in the right jobs, they are called upon to perform. That is when performance management comes into play to support skillful employees in their desire to go above and beyond.​

When companies take the time to learn about employees’ performance - including how they grow and develop – it makes it possible to plan for the next generation of talent, ​manage careers within the organization​ and foster employee growth through intentional development. ​

To maximize the potential of skillful employees and give them a meaningful experience, it is crucial to create competency profiles. During their creation, it is strongly recommended to align the competency profiles with the organizational strategy, analyze the context and business needs, and draw on the criteria of a high-performing organization,​ meaning one that:

  • is client-focused
  • creates lasting value
  • has a dynamic culture
  • seeks operational excellence
  • implements thoughtful strategies

A competency model helps build balanced behavioural competency profiles that outline precisely and more objectively, the expectations associated with each career path. With this competency resource, skillful employees then have clarity on where to invest their efforts to thrive.

A development culture connected to performance and compensation

Once the competency profiles are created, the connection between the various talent management and total rewards programs makes perfect sense.

For example, in the performance management process, an employee can be assessed against the achievement of annual objectives, the mastery of knowledge, skills and behaviours as well as the employee’s conduct leading to an overall performance rating. The performance rating often is used as a factor when making a base salary and / or variable pay decision.

If the year-end performance review meeting between the employee and their manager focuses only on the overall rating, the conversation is short and futile and likely unfulfilling. However, if the manager has additional tools and resources to help write the performance assessment messages to explain their decisions and can explain the possible career paths and necessary skills to help the employee develop professionally and advance their career, then that manager can inspire skillful employee and support them in their career! The relationship between the employee and their organization turns into a genuine partnership.

In closing, by knowing the organization’s job architecture the competency model helps employers, no matter how big or small to attract and retain talent on the promise of an inspiring professional journey.


The journey of a skillful employeeTM is an innovative person-centred approach developed by Normandin Beaudry that provides employees with full control of their professional journey while ensuring the organization has the right people it needs to succeed.

This approach consists in designing and integrating career journeys that support the business strategy, competency profiles required by the organization, and a coherent compensation structure. The goal is to provide clear career prospects in terms of professional development and salary progression.

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