Jeff Griffiths

Using Competencies For Success: A People-Centric Approach To Business Growth With Jeff Griffiths

PSF 64 | Competencies For Business


Wouldn’t it make for a great business and business environment if we have the right people with the right skills in the right roles? For Jeff Griffiths, this is where the value of competencies show up as we move our business towards success. He is a performance and growth consultant who specializes in diagnosing the human side of mid-sized industrial companies’ businesses. In this episode, he discusses how a people-centric approach with the use of competencies makes companies more agile, capable, and future-proof. He talks about talent management strategies in the workforce and walks us through getting the executive buy-in. At the end of the day, people love it when what they do matters. When the business or organization takes care of that, it snowballs, and you will grow by leaps and bounds.

Using Competencies For Success: A People-Centric Approach To Business Growth With Jeff Griffiths

We are so glad to have you here, Jeff. We are talking about using competencies for success, which is an area that I am super passionate about. I can’t wait to learn from you. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I will introduce some of the regulars for those of you that are joining us for the first time. Howard Nizewitz is a Rewards and System Strategist and is a guru about all things related to compensation systems.

If you want to get him going, talk about how much you love spreadsheets, and Howard will never stop talking. We have an anti-spreadsheet platform here. I want to introduce Char Miller. She’s our People Strategist, but she’s so much more than that. She’s had a long history and now is an entrepreneur and has been in all sorts of industries. Her theme is how to have HR with a heart. I love that because it’s about bringing the people part back to people management.

I’m Wendy Graham. I’m also a People Strategist. My area is learning and development and talent management. I’m passionate about helping people enable them to change and choose change for themselves and move through change. That’s one thing I’m excited about. I’m doing a lot of work with competencies these days. I’m glad to hear what Jeff has to say for us.

I am introducing Jeff Griffiths. You are a competency geek. I love that. It’s like pretty much one of the best titles ever at Workforce Strategies International. You are helping organizations to fine-tune their approach so that they can be as powerful and performing as possible. I would love to hear a little bit more about you and how you got into this. Why this is your passion and why should our readers even care about this? For me, the word competency can sometimes be off-putting because there are so many syllables. What is it even?

To answer the second question first about what competency is, there are as many definitions of it as there probably are consultants dealing with it because it’s a relatively young field. I agree with you. It is off-putting because when you say competency, people start thinking incompetent, which drives people away. We work with competencies. We don’t spend a whole lot of time talking about it. What we talk about is getting stuff done in a way that matters to the organization and the individual. I will go back to your first question about how I got into this. Like most consultants, by mistake, my first career was as an officer in the Canadian Air Force.

The one thing the military does better than anything else that it does, and probably in many cases, is to develop people. They spent an awful lot of time and resources developing people. It begins on day one of boot camp and lasts until you finally punch your ticket and get out. I was an instructor. Instructors in the military and running a training organization in the military is not something that you do as a career.

It’s something you do. They pull you out of operations and make you an instructor for a while, and then they send you back to your real job. We are all versed in the idea of developing people and training and development in that. It’s part and parcel of being in the military. On one of my tours, I was an operations officer on a radar squadron. We were tiny by Canadian standards, and by American standards, we were microscopic in terms of the number of people that we had.

This is back in 1993, so it’s ancient history. We were assigned to go and plug a gap in the US radar coverage along the Mexican border, which is not where you expect to find a bunch of Canadians, but that’s a whole different story. We went with literally everything we owned, which we packed onto one American transport that came to get us and spent two and a half months working on this covert operation down along the Mexican border with twelve people.

Three of us are out on the radar once we got things set up. The unit that eventually came to replace us, which I understand was a US Marine Corps unit that traveled light, they had 75 people that they brought with them. I was like, “How is that possible? How were we able to do what we did?” We got a NORAD commander’s commendation out of this thing. How were we able to do what we did with so few people?

Partly out of necessity because in the Canadian military, we are always strapped for resources. The approach that we took was whole-person competency, letting people do whatever it was they were capable of doing regardless of what their job description said. Those are jobs of what their area of specialization was and allowing them to be the best that they could be.

It’s partly because we didn’t have any choice. Afterward, we started thinking about this and doing it on purpose and using that as the key to development. With a small organization, that’s possible. When I got out of the military and started working in the industry, a couple of things happened. The first thing that happened was the things that I took for granted in the military didn’t exist in the corporate world.

The way that we had run this small unit, there was still a hierarchy, but we ran it like a hockey team. Who’s in charge is whoever’s got the puck. You can’t micromanage a hockey game. You got to drop the puck, get out of the way, and let the players figure it out. I found in most organizations that I have worked with, like in manufacturing and other places since then, that’s not the way they think. It’s very much a hierarchical organization. There’s very much a lot of emphasis on standardized procedures and doing what you are told.

Eventually, I wound up doing this for a living. I am taking what I have learned over through my military career in training and development and what I have learned in organizational development and trying to shift the paradigm for organizations towards this people-centric approach. It makes companies more agile, more capable, more futureproof, and it’s a way better place to work. It’s terrifying for management to give up control that way, but you gain control by doing it. That’s what I have been doing for many years. It’s been a fascinating journey.

PSF 64 | Competencies For Business

Competencies For Business: Shifting the paradigm for organizations towards this people-centric approach makes them more agile, more capable, and more future-proof. It’s also a way better place to work in.


I have said this as an HR business partner. Oftentimes employers like a person or think this person’s a good fit for this role and hire this person for a role. I have always said it needs to start with the business, the business strategy, and the vision of the business. You then align the competencies, the skillset, and the talent to the needs of the business.

My question to you is this. Did you start that way when you say that in that experience you started learning the competencies, the talents of your team, and having each person do their best? How did you do that? What was the process? Did you do an assessment, or was it an organic process in that particular scenario?

It’s a little bit of both. I want to go back. I’m assuming you are talking about my time in the military. In the military, we have a certain amount of turnover every year because people post in and people post out. It’s normal, and we have no control over it. We don’t get to handpick who comes. We get whomever they send us. Your first job as a senior NCO or an officer is to open the personnel file and look if so-and-so is posting in, where they have been, what have they done, what training have they received, and what is beyond their occupational code.

It’s all the little subcodes that come underneath that tell us, “This is who this person is,” whether we have ever met them or before or not. Knowing what I know about this person’s skillset and their competencies are based on their employment record, where do I fit them into my organization so that I can make the best use of what they are bringing to the table? Also, how do I put them into a place where I can develop them for their next job, which they might be gone from the unit in two years?

That’s a constant thing in the military. We are constantly thinking about it. That’s the formal part of it. The informal part of it comes from getting to know people and understanding what I always call whole-person competency because no one is their job description, and everybody has a life outside of work. We had the advantage because we were a small unit. We could take a more personalized approach with our teams. I mentioned that we ran out like a hockey team. We had a hockey team that also punched above its weight because we worked well together.

On the hockey team, myself and the commanding officer, I was the deputy commander. We were just plugs. We were backend defensemen. The people running the team were corporals because they were way better hockey players than we were so we let them do that. We got into this notion of understanding everybody what their skillsets were both based on their particular job and also on all the other stuff.

As an example, we didn’t have anybody specifically assigned to our unit who looked after our generators and our other equipment, but we had a couple of folks who built hot rods and things like that in their spare time. They loved tinkering with stuff like that. Guess what? They looked after the generator sets. They looked after all the motor power stuff, even though they were radar techs or operations people. We encouraged all this cross-pollination across the unit so that once we identified skillsets and talents that people had, the whole person competency outside of their role, how do we give them opportunities to grow all these other things that they like to do?

Encourage that cross-training, encourage all the operations people to understand basic maintenance functions, and maintenance people to be able to do all the basic operations functions. It’s partly from necessity because we had such a small operation, but partly because it made so much more sense. As officers and senior NCOs in that unit, our major responsibility was understanding the people were that were working for us. It was a constant ongoing thing and then finding ways to make use of that talent.

Can we jump ahead now to 22 years later? I know Wendy and Howard have some questions too. How do you translate that now and how do you move forward to talent management strategy in the workforce nowadays? Second of all, how do you get executive buy-in, and what do Workforce Strategies Internationals offer now?

That’s a multi-part question of how we translate it into the organizational structure of the future. We are in a position now with technology where we can finally extend that view of the big picture view across a large organization where you can have teams of teams operating semi-autonomously within an organization.

We have the capability now through technology to allow an individual who ordinarily would have had a worm’s eye view of where the organization is going to have the big picture and to understand how they fit into it. We’re operating as a cell but within an autonomous organization. Martin Reeves, another consultant, has a great TED Talk that everybody should watch where he talks about the organization as an immune system, which is layered. It has a certain amount of redundancy. It has a specialization. It has all these other things, and it operates on its own. It does what it does without being told. It does that in the service of the larger organization because it understands its role.

If you think about an organization functioning that way as an executive or manager, how does each of these little pieces work? How do they connect to the whole? How do we maintain some insight into what’s going on in other places? Technology will allow us to do that, but the biggest issue is executive buy-in.

It’s recognizing that by letting people do what they do, what they are trained to do, or what they are capable of doing, by allowing people to make mistakes, ideally not huge ones, and learning from those, you get a degree of performance that is beyond what the program says you can achieve. You get a degree of buy-in and engagement that is unsurpassed.

PSF 64 | Competencies For Business

Competencies For Business: By letting people do what they are capable of doing and by allowing them to make mistakes and learn from those, you get a degree of performance that is beyond what the program says you can achieve. You get a degree of buy-in and engagement that is unsurpassed.


You wind up with better safety records, better quality records, higher productivity, lower cost, more profitability, and an ability to be agile in the marketplace. It’s hard to get managers and executives in a traditional organization to think that way. We normally start on the fringe, and you find a little black op cell someplace that can operate without a lot of oversight from the central body.

That might be one plant in a multi-plant operation, and you get them to start thinking this way and working this way. When their results take off, people notice. Smart organizations go, “What are you doing and how do we do it everywhere else?” Stupid organizations will find a way to shut it down because it’s non-conformist.

If you can start on the fringes that way, convince a small organization or a small subunit within a larger organization to change that paradigm, and then let that build out and infect the rest of the organization, it’s almost viral. In a small organization, you can start from the top and work down. In a large organization, you have got to work off the fringes, but it is possible. The acceleration of virtual and hybrid environments is forcing organizations to think more this way. We are noticing a lot more people paying attention to it years after the world blew up than we did in 2019.

How do you get started? Once you get the initial buy-in, do you use testing? How do you assess whatever the essential competencies that are needed or the competencies that the individuals have? Walk us through that process.

It starts with alignment to strategy. We look at human capital practices. We look at how those human capital practices are aligned with the strategy as well as the level of maturity of the organization because they are often misaligned. As an example, if you are trying to do coaching and mentoring but haven’t fully identified competencies within the teams and individuals, it’s very hard to run an effective mentoring program. We drill down and look at what’s going on structurally within the organization.

We will work with managers and incumbent workers and figure out, “What is it that makes someone successful here at a team or organizational level? What are the competencies?” We don’t need 800 of them. We need a handful that is observable, measurable, and usable in the day-to-day operations of the organization, and then how does that align with the overall values and drive of the company?

We are always seeking alignment. If there are gaps, how do we fill those gaps? What’s the fastest way to fill those gaps? The fastest way is by having people who are good at things and teaching people who aren’t. It’s about a managerial-level understanding of job assignments and how that leads to competency. It’s understanding the different approaches to competency management and performance management based on the level of expertise and proficiency that an individual has and the key competencies that they need to do their job.

There’s a lot of coaching for managers and a lot of working one-on-one with management and with experienced workers within the organizations. Generally, they know better than management does what’s necessary in order to be good at your job. Working on that and consistently measuring and moving it forward that way allows the organization to start seeing some real gains and key metrics usually fairly quickly.

The other thing is that by doing it that way and by focusing on the team level, you create an incredible amount of engagement from the individuals because they can see that what they do matters. People care that they have an input into what’s going on. That level of engagement accelerates the change in key metrics, and then it snowballs. We reckon we can take an organization that’s mediocre and usually starts seeing some significant improvements in results however you like to measure them usually within 90 days and often faster than that.

People care that they have an input into what's going on. That level of engagement accelerates the change in key metrics, and then it snowballs. Click To Tweet

If I miss something, how do you assess the competencies? I’m hearing you have the conversations and the dialogue. You use assessment tools. Do you use any other tools other than coaching dialogue or mentoring coaching sessions?

When we are talking about key things and observable behavioral things that people can do, and you can measure performance on the job, you are testing more or less through observation against a standard that’s been established within the organization for what good looks and what does competent look like in this particular role and breaking that down into key performance characteristics that you can manage and observe almost every day.

There are tests that you can do around psychometric testing and things like that which are helpful. It’s usually faster to look at the specifics of what people are doing on the job and measure where the gaps are there. That’s something you can deal with immediately and identify or do some diagnostics at that level and understand where the gap is, “Why is it that they are having that issue?” We’re changing that. We will do formal testing if necessary, but we think a lot of this stuff can be done without it.

I will use a personal example because my vice president would always say I need to be better in my metrics and data analysis, everything that Howard is good at, which is also why he’s part of our team because it takes diversity from a talent management strategy. Where do you get this input about what they perceive their competencies are? If my VP doesn’t think I’m good at data, I might be good at data, but perhaps in a more creative type of way. Where do you get the example about their perception of their competency?

The key role of management is the development of people, individuals, and teams. Those happen in regular conversations and regular constant assessment, which is an ongoing thing. We think individuals should be empowered to have those conversations all the time. No one should ever be surprised by their performance review. It should never be it. This should be an ongoing thing.

PSF 64 | Competencies For Business

Competencies For Business: The key role of management is the development of people, individuals, and teams. Those happen in regular conversations and constant assessment.


Sadly, way too many employees, including myself, are so fearful of that performance review because it’s going to impact my raise, a potential promotion. Oftentimes those performance evals feel very negative sometimes, and sometimes they are positive.

When we look at high-performing organizations, they are learning organizations. They are constantly in the zone of proximal development, which is that place just outside your comfort zone where you can’t do it by yourself, but you can do it with assistance and support. An organization that lives there isn’t afraid to not be perfect. In fact, you expect not to be perfect. We try and emulate this in our organization. There’s this notion that if you are 10 on 10 on your performance review, you are in the wrong job. If you are happy being 10 on 10 in your performance view, you are probably in the wrong company because we want to come to work every day and learn together towards a solution.

Management isn’t those people who have all the answers. Management is people who assemble the teams that will find the answers. In that environment as an individual, you are pretty aware of where your capabilities are and where they aren’t. It’s an open book. Your manager is very aware of it, and you are very aware of where your manager’s limitations are as well because it’s an open book.

Management is not those people who have all the answers. Management is people who assemble the teams that will find the answers. Click To Tweet

While we have different responsibilities and accountabilities, the idea is to get the most out to achieve whatever it is we have to achieve. That’s a very open environment. I’m trying to convince people that if someone’s not good enough at their job, whose fault is that? That’s a management problem. When you say in the military, there are only four reasons why someone doesn’t do what they are supposed to do.

They don’t know they are supposed to do it. That’s a management leadership problem. They don’t know how to do it. That’s a management and a leadership problem because they never should have been assigned a job that they couldn’t do. They know how to do it and they know they are supposed to do it, but something else in the environment is preventing them from doing it. That’s a management and leadership problem. They don’t feel like it. That’s a management or leadership problem.

Everything comes back to the understanding of competency, the understanding of what people are capable of doing, the understanding of where they want to go, and then finding ways to mix and shuffle the deck so that you are taking the skills and strengths that people have, applying them optimally within your organization to achieve what it is you are trying to achieve, and providing those opportunities for people to grow and recognize where their particular skillsets may be weak.

That’s related to what we talked about. You were talking about key messaging. Is that what you mean in these dialogues?


What does that mean?

You want everybody to understand where they fit or where you see them fit. That opens the conversation, “Where do I think I fit? What do I think I’m capable of?” It’s very disheartening and demotivating for an individual to be told, “This is what you are. This is who you are. This is what you do, and you are stuck in this box. Shut up and do your job.”

Be an organization that doesn’t act that way, an organization that encourages people to be very open about, “Here’s what I’m capable of. Let’s have some objective measurements around that. Here’s where I want to go. Here’s what I’m doing here aligns with my ultimate vision because everybody in an organization is a volunteer.” They can always volunteer to go work someplace else.

Creating an open environment all built around the idea of, “Here’s my whole competency. Here’s where I want to develop it and everything else,” those kinds of messages back and forth between management and the individual and then within the team across between different individuals on the team is critical.

Those conversations should be ongoing. They should be regular and fruitful in terms of figuring out where people fit. If there are gaps, then it’s incumbent upon leadership to address them through training, mentoring, coaching, or job shadowing with somebody else to close those gaps, or you wind up with a broken part in the machine that you need to get rid of.

Someone wants to know, “Could managers create observable and authentic tasks to demonstrate competency that this then becomes about ability, not the perception of ability?” What do you think about that question?

We are all for what we call competency-based assessment demonstrated ability to do the work as criteria when you are building job descriptions, as criteria that you use for screening candidates for recruiting, and as criteria that you use when you are onboarding somebody. When you assess people on that basis, A) There’s nowhere to hide and B) There’s no room for a biased perception of the individual’s skillset.

This goes back sidebar. We are involved in the reintroduction of some of the training within industry stuff from the Second World War We use it during apprenticeships and rapid skilling and re-skilling. That’s the whole Rosie the Riveter thing. You can read it there. That’s very much a competency-based approach to developing people and getting people to where they need to be in terms of skillset.

You can read language from the TWI report from 1945 that you would swear was written about the social contract between the organization and the individual. A lot of the folks that were trained under that program were women, non-traditional workforce. There are quotes in the TWI report where they are saying, “We don’t care what bathroom you use.”

It’s irrelevant. We care that you can do the work, and we know you can do the work like the evidence is. You are cranking out a bomber every day. Somehow, we lost that round about 1945 and went back to a different approach. We think that competency-based assessment by creating tests and pseudo jobs, potentially not on the customer’s product, but on another simulation gives the organization an opportunity to test actual competency and actual job fit. It removes a lot of overt and covert bias from the hiring process and from the development process, which is a good thing. Competency-based recruiting as a hiring tool creates a more diverse workforce. It has to. It’s a necessary side effect of doing a competency-based recruiting policy.

Competency-based recruiting as a hiring tool creates a more diverse workforce. Click To Tweet

In our chat, you were talking something about how we hire new grads and onboard new grads. Can you explain what you mean or why you brought up that topic?

We look at the data that comes out of Gallup and Q12 every year about employee engagement and some of the cross-referencing that they have done around age and level of education as it relates to engagement. We have looked at that. For anybody who’s not familiar with the Q12 surveys, it says the most disengaged people are young kids. We tend to swag the kids that they are lazy. They are this, they are that, and they don’t want to do things.

We did some research of our own and looked at job postings for a bunch of entry-level positions and extracted what the competencies and proficiency levels were from those. It’s a bit of a brute-force approach, but you can figure out what they are looking for in terms of underlying competencies. What we found out was these people want to hire some impressive entry-level workers because we want the best people. We will inflate what we are looking for. They are hiring people because they are smart and have a lot of skills. They may not have a lot of experience, but they are hiring the new grads because they are smart like brains the size of small planets.

Within those same things, we looked at the way that new hires and entry-level workers are put in and what the management structure is around them in the workplace. When we look at things we use something called the Dreyfus scale, which everybody knows what it is whether they know it as a Dreyfus scale or not. It’s that from a complete novice who knows nothing to a super expert who knows everything.

If you look at what organizations are trying to hire, they tend to be looking for relatively proficient and competent people at an entry level. They put them into a management structure that’s designed to support poor performers and low-skilled workers where it’s very structured, “This is what you do. This is how you do it. This is when you are given very little autonomy or ability to go outside of the process.” We know from the Q12 but also from empirical data that’s very demotivating and tends to disengage the work relatively quickly. You take someone smart. You put them in a role that says, “We hired you because you are smart. Now go over here and staple papers together and make photocopies for the next two years until you have earned the rights.”

It’s typical in a lot of organizations with new hires, which is not to say the new hires should be brought in and made the CEO tomorrow because they haven’t acquired the contextual understanding of the business in order to do that. Not allowing them to use their head is the perfect way to destroy them and turn them into drones.

Not allowing new hires to use their head is the perfect way to destroy them and turn them into drones. Click To Tweet

They are going to leave in six months. They have already resigned.

Worse is they stay. Peter Drucker in the ’60s said two things. Most of what we call management is all the things we put in the way of people getting their jobs done. The second thing is the best way to demotivate or lose a knowledge worker, and pretty much everybody these days is a knowledge worker to a greater or lesser degree, was to put them in a structure that made it so they couldn’t use their heads.

It doesn’t take very long in that type of environment for an individual either to de-skill or lose the ability to use their heads, or to tune out and do the whole quiet quitting thing. We have lost all that talent and potential that we hired them for. It requires a different approach to management and recognition, “This is the skills and talent that you have. Here’s how we are going to help you develop and apply that. Also here’s how we are going to help you apply these other things that we know you are missing because you have no context in this environment or that you grow.”

I also believe as a long-term HR leader that you hit on this. I have seen employees working at a company for 30 years and the company has not fostered career mobility to use their heads. The individual goes with the flow, doing the bare minimum. I also see from an aging population that we do have aging employees that want to learn about technology and learn about things to grow. When you say new grad, do you see a lot of employers focusing on younger people, or do they also look at their aging employees as well?

They need to look at both because the job market that your organization operates in is not static. Standing still is going backward. I use the example of the new grad, but we also need to be constantly looking at how we grow everybody. I’m going to take a step back here. There was a book that was published by a few McKinsey people a few years ago called Talent Wins, and they talked about finding that critical 2% of your organization that’s going to lead to the future.

PSF 64 | Competencies For Business

Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First


Hint, none of them are wearing suits and sitting in boardrooms. They are all out there creating the future for your organization, and they are boots on the ground doing stuff. They are very clear. You need to identify who that 2% is and develop the heck out of them, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore the other 98%.

They need to be brought along with new skills, new technologies, and new opportunities to grow and prosper. That allows them to stay engaged and stay relevant. Most of us are going to be working for a long time. I don’t expect to hang it up at 65 years old. In my parents’ generation, you retired at 65, but you were probably going to be dead by the time you were 70. Now, you retired at 65 and you are going to live to be 90 or 100. You can’t retire at 65. You’d go crazy.

A lot of people lost a lot of their retirement, so they can’t retire at 65.

There’s a value that older workers bring to the table in terms of experience, company culture, and everything else. By continually developing those additional skills in those people, you are creating a better organization. No one should be allowed to go stale and stagnant. If they do it by choice, they probably need to rethink if they belong here.

Career mentoring is huge, and we can utilize that.

I wanted to say we are approaching the top of the hour. This conversation has been so interesting. Time is flying by. We want to say that the show is sponsored by TMA USA. Here’s a little bit about CompTeam. We do use a psychometric tool called TMA. It’s out of the Netherlands. That’s something that Char and I work with quite a bit. I am partial to this tool because I worked with so many different ones over the years, and this one has continued to blow my socks off. We want to say thank you to TMA USA for sponsoring the show so that we can have these conversations because our whole mission is to engage, energize, and elevate the workforce experience.

That’s what we are all about. That’s what this show and forum are all about. Thank you for reminding us as peers and colleagues about the mind shift change that has to take place both for these younger generations that are coming in as well as people who are up in age, who are actively contributing and have a lot to give. That’s what TMA is all about as well. It’s trying to help identify those competencies for success and then be able to measure and align them with the values of the organization.

I invite you, Jeff, to try this because I have utilized the TMA with my company. We were small with nearly 30 employees, but we applied the TMA methodology from every cycle of the talent management strategy and became a multimillion-dollar company. I would find it interesting even if you even took the team. Let us know what you think. It’s all about positive psychology and positive dialogue.

I will put that offer out to anyone who’s reading. If you can message or support, we would be glad to let you try the assessment. It’s more than just an assessment. It’s about the employee experience from hire to retire and even moving out of the organization. That’s a little bit about TMA if anybody’s reading and wants to learn more.

I would want to ask you this final question, Jeff, and then I’m going to turn it over to you to tell us how people can find you if they want to learn more about Workforce Strategies International. Will this be made available? Yes. Our forum goes live every Wednesday from 11:30, from noon to 1:00 on the East Coast. It goes live across all of social media.

Once we are done now, it will be live on all of our social media platforms, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and our webpage, This will also be converted into a podcast. If you are driving in the car and you want to check it out and listen, you can listen online or whatever you are doing. You can multitask, take a walk with your dog, and catch up at the same time. This will be available. If you want to email [email protected], you can go to our website and check it out. Jeff, how can people find you? Thank you so much for being with us.

The two easiest ways are to look me up on LinkedIn, connect with me there, and shoot me a question or whatever that way. The other way is via our corporate website. We are there. There are blogs and things and you can comment on those. I am [email protected], so shoot me an email directly. I will answer it and we can carry on the conversation that way.

The comment was, ”There are people in my organization who need to see this. I’d like to share it with them. Thank you for talking about an important topic because this is important. It’s a whole change in how we are working.” Bringing it back to the initial topic is the whole person competency you talked about. That struck a chord with me because I was part of an organization that got acquired many times as if I was like a new employee each time.

Only because I came in a job, that’s what they saw me as. They never took that moment to step back and say, “What do you bring to the table? What other things have you done? What are your other passions? What are your other interests?” That’s always struck me. If I was a manager in that position, I would do things differently. That’s me as an individual. It’s how we cast our net broader so that all organizations are stepping back and looking at the whole person. I thought that was a great concept. It’s a little nugget for me and maybe for others. Any other final things or nuggets that you want to make sure everybody takes away with us before we wrap up?

To go back to what you said, the primary responsibility of leaders and managers is to develop people. If you take that as being your role is to develop people and make sure that you are adding value to the work that they do by developing them, improving the way and how they do their work, if you focus on that instead of looking for things that people are doing wrong all the time and micromanaging their day-to-day activities, you will find that your organization grows by leaps and bounds and your key metrics will shoot off the chart. That’s the all-guaranteed measure.

The primary responsibility of leaders and managers is to develop people. Click To Tweet

There is one thing that managers could do differently now in those regular conversations that they are having. What’s one place that managers could start? It seems like it has to start with the managers, and maybe they don’t have the skillset because this is a change.

The one thing they could do is sit down individually with everybody working for them and have that open conversation and get to start to understand that whole person’s competency, the person beyond the job description. Be very open about, “I want to find ways for you to be able to use your strengths within this organization.” Start that conversation one-on-one and then do it across your team.

As an HR leader and as a change expert in trying to move the organization, it’s often moving the Titanic before it sinks. We are little tugboats. We are trying to influence the change. We appreciate you, Jeff. I look forward to looking up your information. We’d love to hear your feedback on our TMA method. Thank you all so much.

I’m looking forward. We are going to have a look at TMA.

We will connect with you on LinkedIn and engage and learn from each other. We would want to say thank you to everyone that joined us on the show. We appreciate your participation. Please, let’s make the change needed in the world and help find the best talents and the best competencies in our employees. Help each and every one of us no matter where we are in our careers to do our very best. Thank you, everyone. Have a great rest of your week. Thanks for joining us.


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About Jeff Griffiths

PSF 64 | Competencies For BusinessJeff Griffiths is a performance and growth consultant who specializes in diagnosing the human side of mid-sized industrial companies’ businesses.

His expertise lies in helping these companies find, train, and retain the right operations and technical talent to support their growth strategies without negatively impacting their bottom lines.

Griffiths has developed a proprietary 7-step approach called “Strategic Skilling,” which has proven effective in reducing time to competence by at least 50%, decreasing employee churn, and improving critical performance metrics.

His approach has been successfully implemented in companies such as Nestlé, Engenium, and Athabasca Oil, among others.


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PSF 63 | Whole Person WorkplacePSF 65 | Creating A Legend