Universal Competencies

Using the universal competency framework, we offer critical insights to measure the functioning of the whole organization’s ability to manage product development, lead growth and development, improve client focus, and foster teamwork.

Universal competencies for consulting services

The Universal Competency Framework (UCF) provides a logical, consistent, and rational basis for understanding employee work behaviors and their likelihood of doing well in specific roles and work environments. The Universal Competencies for consulting services measure the employee’s ability to function as a productive part of a consulting firm.

  • AdaptabilityThe ability to adapt and respond to changing conditions, priorities, and requirements is a vital employee behavioral skill in the consulting industry. Additionally, it is equally important to demonstrate a willingness to alter behaviors and opinions based on new information received.
  • Client focusBeing client-focused is defined as giving superior service to both internal and external clients. The consulting company needs to adopt a customer-focused business model because its reason for existence is to give professional advice to individuals and businesses in its area of expertise.

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  • CommunicationAn employee with good communication skills can exchange information respectfully and with clarity, consistency, and tact. Active listening is part of good communication skills as it allows the employee to gain a deep insight into feedback that is provided and ensures the ability to summarize information to increase understanding.
  • Decision MakingDecision making is the ability to make well-informed and well-thought-out decisions. The employee must be able to make quick, practical decisions during crisis times and when detailed information is limited. This skill can be learned and is a vital skill for a consultant or employee working in a consultancy business.
  • InitiativeThe ability to take the initiative or identify and deal with issues that arise proactively and persistently is a core attribute and skill for any employee working for a consultancy firm. It is equally important to take advantage of any opportunities that arise as soon as they present themselves.
  • LeadershipLeadership is the ability to motivate a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. A good leader is someone who maintains a professional and positive attitude at all times, works well with a wide range of people to provide guidance, coaching, encouragement, and direction.
  • Planning and Organizing – The ability to organize, plan, and accurately estimate the duration of tasks and projects is a desirable character trait or employee behavior, including the setting out of goals, objectives, and work plans to complete tasks and projects. Developing workable, realistic project plans are an essential part of a consultant’s role.
  • Problem Solving – Problem-solving is described as the ability to identify key issues, figure out cause-and-effect relationships to solve problems. The consultant also needs to use logic and data analysis skills to arrive at a realistic solution and provide meaningful information to help resolve current challenges.
  • Results Orientation – A consultant must be results orientated with the ability to focus on desired outcomes rather than the business processes required to produce the outcome. It is necessary to focus on the means that these outcomes are achieved by meeting or exceeding standards based on past performance, goals, and objectives.
  • Teamwork & Collaboration – Teamwork and collaboration are vital skills for a consultant to display. It is necessary to work cooperatively and effectively with others to reach the stated goal. The consultant must also participate actively in group activities that foster and improve the team environment.

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Universal competencies for technology services

The Universal Competency Framework (UCF) provides a coherent and objective basis for gaining insight into employee work behaviors. The Information Technology UCF competencies must mirror the rapidly changing needs of the organization. The world is moving away from narrow-focused jobs into an environment where broader skills and flexibility are required.

  • Attendance The higher the attendance rate, the lower the absenteeism rate. Excessive absenteeism leads to decreased productivity, which adds to the organization’s expense bill. Therefore, attendance or its counterweight, absenteeism, is one of the fundamental hidden performance indicators that measure job satisfaction and employee reliability.
  • Attitude & Enthusiasm A positive and enthusiastic attitude is a vital part of workplace success. When hiring technical staff, employers consider their enthusiasm and attitude and their technical capabilities, because an employee who completes tasks with enthusiasm and a positive attitude has an advantage over a person with a negative or disinterested attitude.

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  • Communication Skills Efficient and professional communication is a key skill for technical employees. Technology can be daunting for non-technical employees, and it is easy to become overwhelmed with new technologies. Consequently, this core competency should be measured when on-boarding a new-hire and throughout the employee’s career with the organization.
  • Cooperation & TeamworkCooperation and teamwork are key universal competencies that are essential to the team’s success. Every employee that is part of a team has to be prepared to cooperate with other team members. If the employee cannot function as part of a team, the team will not meet its project goals.
  • CreativityEven though creativity is not a stated requirement for IT positions, finding creative solutions to technical challenges is a vital soft skill for a technical employee to have. Employees are required to come up with new and innovative solutions to current business processes and technical challenges.
  • Improve the decision-making and problem-solving metricTechnical problems are solved through the trial and error process. Problem-solving is a critical key skill for successful technical employees. Informed decision-making is equally important for the IT professional. It is essential to be able to defend your decisions based on relevant and strategic information.
  • Improve the dependability metric – Dependability and reliability are key character traits for a technical employee. Computer systems go down at critical stages, and they need to be brought back up as soon as possible. This often involves long hours under extreme pressure trying to determine what went wrong and how to fix it.
  • Improve the flexibility metric – Being flexible at work translates into the ability to adjust to short-term change calmly and quickly without reacting negatively to the change. In general, people find change stressful. Consequently, the ability to be flexible in the workplace under rapidly changing circumstances is an essential universal competency.
  • Improve the initiative KPI – Researchers Michael Frese and Doris Fay define initiative as “work behavior characterized by its self-starting nature, its proactive approach, and by being persistent in overcoming difficulties that arise in pursuit of a goal.” Taking the initiative translates into doing what is expected of you without being told what to do.
  • Improve the job knowledge metric – Technology is advancing at a rapid rate. It is imperative for IT professionals to continually keep up to date with the latest technological developments. This is a key metric to track over time as it can have a severe impact on the employee’s ability to fulfill their job function.
  • Improve the productivity and time management KPI – Productivity and time management go hand in hand with each other. An essential part of being productive daily is to manage your time efficiently. Time management is a set of principles, practices, and skills merged to get the most value out of the hours that the employee spends at work.
  • Improve the punctuality metric – Punctuality is a key component of a successful business. Employees must ensure that they are punctual for all work-related events at all times. This is a personal attribute that is important to cultivate in any scenario, especially in the workplace. This KPI measures the employee’s punctuality over time.
  • Improve the skill-building KPI – Skill-building is the ability to develop training materials and support services to help employees from other departments actively participate in training programs and activities. This will result in the skills to use the available technology to complete their daily tasks competently and efficiently.
  • Improve the technical skills KPI – The continual development of technical skills is a core efficiency that must be applied by all technical staff. They cannot afford to allow their technical skils to remain stagnant or lag, because modern technologies are developing at a rapid rate, faster than most people realize.
  • Improve the work consistency KPI – Consistency and reliability over time, translate into trust. A consistent employee can be trusted to complete tasks without supervision in order to complete the tasks on time and produce results.
  • Improve the work ethic and dedication metric – A strong work ethic and dedication to the task at hand differentiates top performers from average employees. Work ethic is a belief in work as a moral good. Employees with a strong work ethic are inherently motivated to complete their job functions to the best of their ability.
  • Improve the work quality metric – The quality of work delivered translates into the value of work delivered by an employee, team, or organization. This KPI measures the extent to which the employee, team, or organization consistently delivers a high standard of work and whether the quality of their work is continually improving.
  • Improve the work relations metric – Employees should have good working relationships with each other. People are intrinsically social creatures and need positive interpersonal interactions. It is necessary to foster healthy working relationships between all staff members of an organization. This KPI measures the interpersonal relationships employees have with their colleagues, managers, and subordinates.

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Universal competencies for the hospitality industry

The Universal Competency Framework (UCF) provides an objective basis for gaining insight into staff job behaviors as well as the likelihood that they will perform well in the work environments. The UCF offers meaningful insight into the operational capability of the hospitality industry to reach its stated aims and goals.

  • Appearance Businesses in the hospitality industry are defined by the appearance of their employees. Well-groomed employees portray a professional image. And, poorly groomed employees portray a negative image. The front-of-house hospitality industry staff must pay particular attention to their appearance and personal grooming.
  • Approachable Being approachable is a core universal competency for hospitality industry employees. If employees are not friendly and receptive, guests will not feel comfortable communicating their requests to the employee. This will negatively impact the business’s reputation, and the employee’s ability to function as a part of a team.

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  • Assertiveness Assertiveness in the workplace is the ability to speak up for yourself in a manner that is respectful and appropriate for the work environment. It equates being confident in communicating your skills, abilities, and goals without being overbearing and pushy. Assertive employees advocate for themselves without seeking preferred treatment.
  • Attitude – It is essential to cultivate a positive attitude in the workplace. Negative employees can have a detrimental effect on the working environment. This negativity has the potential to spill over to guests in the hospitality industry. This results in a negative experience that will ruin the business’s reputation.
  • Drive – Drive or enthusiasm is the ability to show a keen interest in an activity, and a willingness to get involved with what needs to be done to make the project a success. It is an essential universal competency that employers love to see drive and enthusiasm in their employees.
  • Flexibility – Flexibility and adaptability go hand-in-hand with each other. A flexible employee can adapt to changing job roles and work environments. Adaptability is a sought-after universal competency in the workplace as it demonstrates that the employee can adapt to the ever-changing customer needs that are prevalent in the hospitality industry.
  • Follow up – Following up on tasks to ensure that they are completed correctly and timeously is an essential universal competency for successful employees in the hospitality industry. Team leaders and managers must make sure that they stay on top of all employee tasks to ensure they are completed on time.
  • Imagination – Creativity in the workplace is a critical universal competency. The level of desired creativity is not about creating artistic documents, rather it is the ability to think laterally and solve problems creatively. It is vital to note that part of creative thinking is to accept that some ideas will fail.
  • People skills – Interpersonal skills are the ability to interact well with colleagues, management, and customers. A crucial aspect of having good interpersonal skills is the ability to communicate effectively. This will foster good relationships between employees, employees and managers, and staff, and customers.
  • Sense of Urgency – Working with a sense of urgency is the ability to work efficiently, purposefully, and with the ability to meet stated deadlines. It is essential to prioritize tasks to ensure that they are completed on time and with an understanding of how they form part of the company’s goals and aims.
  • Stability and Dependability – Stability and dependability are core character traits as measured by the Universal Competency Framework. Employees must be reliable; otherwise, completing tasks quickly, efficiently, and correctly will not be a priority. And, when working with customers, an unreliable employee will cause the business reputational damage.
  • Teamwork – The ability to function optimally as part of a team is a core universal competency. If employees cannot work with other team members, the project will not be successful. This is especially relevant to the hospitality industry. Team members or colleagues must work together to best serve their customers.

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Universal competencies for the retail industry

Universal core framework (UCF) competencies are what sets a company apart from its competition. The retail industry is extremely competitive. Employees must display a wide range of universal competencies to ensure that they cover all job roles and provide the basis from which the company can become an industry leader.

  • Attendance Regular attendance is a vital character trait of the retail employee; the greater the attendance metric, the lower the absentee rate. Unnecessary absenteeism leads to reduced productivity, adding to the company’s expense bill. Regular attendance is one of the hidden KPIs that measures job satisfaction.
  • Attention to detail Paying attention to detail is an essential core competency for retail sector employees. Fast-paced work environments and complex tasks often make it difficult for the employee to pay attention to detail. Ignoring the small details are often costly, detrimental to the employee’s work quality, and can end up being dangerous.

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  • Attitude Employees fall into two groups: those who are naturally more positive than others, and those who are more negative than others. It is important to develop and maintain a positive workplace attitude. Employees that consistently maintain a negative attitude can impact the organizational culture and cause reputational damage.
  • Communication – Communicating expertly and professionally is a core universal competency for retail employees to master, especially when dealing with customers. Clients can sometimes be rude and difficult to deal with; hence, employees must maintain their composure, irrespective of how the customer treats them.
  • Continuous improvement – Continuous improvement is designed to empower employees to solve problems and improve workplace efficiencies. While continuous improvement is hard work for employees, the benefits far outweigh the work involved. Instead of being disengaged from the workplace, employees have the skills and wherewithal to actively participate in corporate decision-making processes.
  • Coworker relations – A good working relationship with your coworkers is essential for optimal business functioning. A large amount of your time is spent at work; consequently, it is important to maintain healthy working relationships. The benefits of good interpersonal relationships include improved teamwork, increased employee retention rate, and increased productivity.
  • Culture/Fun/Energy – Culture is described as the company’s voice or personality and it defines your brand. Because it exists at the core of the company’s ethos, it is the overall driver of organizational success. A positive culture is enthused with fun and energy and develops employee performance, efficiency, and motivation.
  • Customer Satisfaction – Customer satisfaction is a fundamental indicator of repurchase intentions and brand loyalty. And it measures how the company’s products or services meet or surpass a customer’s expectations. It also increases the customer’s lifetime value, reduces customer churn, and minimizes consumer negativity.
  • Dependability – Being dependable is a core universal competency for the successful employee to display. It covers other key performance areas, including arriving at work on time every day, completing tasks diligently and competently, and interacting positively, helpfully, and professionally with customers. Dependability translates into consistency and leads to job security.
  • Management Factor – Employees must manage their given tasks without unnecessary supervision. The management factor describes how well the employee self-manages to get tasks completed on time and with a minimum of fuss. It also explores the extent to which the manager supervises retail store employees to ensure a profitable, successful operation.
  • Punctuality – Punctuality is a core universal competency and is a vital part of ensuring that the business operation is successful. Employees must ensure that they are on time for all work-related events. This is an attribute that must be cultivated in any situation, particularly in the workplace.
  • Takes initiative – Taking the initiative is the ability to assess a situation or scenario and act independently. It is a core universal competency that shows a willingness to get things done. When employees use their initiative, they help solve challenges and ensure organizational success.
  • Work Consistency – Work consistency is a key universal competency that provides a sense of order and control. It helps employees regularly achieve their stated objectives and company goals. Employee consistency also improves overall company performance, improves personal productivity levels, and increases customer satisfaction metrics.
  • Works To Full Potential – Employees are a company’s most important resource and must be managed properly to ensure that they reach their full potential. Well-managed employees are more productive; thereby, increasing the company’s profitability ratio and business success. It also improves company reputation, draws customers, and has a positive effect on brand performance.

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Universal competencies for the real-estate industry

The implementation of key universal competencies is what sets a commercial real-estate company apart. A real-estate company must develop, measure, and track a list of relevant KPIs based on the Universal Competency Framework (UCF). This framework provides a logical, consistent, and reliable source for gaining insight into employee workplace behaviors.

  • Communication and active listening Communication and active listening is a key competency for real-estate employees. It is vital to communicate clearly and effectively with peers, colleagues, subordinates, and managers. Active listening includes paying attention while someone is speaking, then paraphrasing and reflecting what was said, and finally withholding judgment and unnecessary advice.
  • Leadership Leadership skills are a vital universal competency that all employees should develop. Leaders motivate and encourage peers, colleagues, and other team members, helping the team complete projects and tasks successfully. A leader is willing to make decisions in challenging situations when there is no time to research the problem thoroughly.

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  • Motivation Employee self-motivation is a core universal competency for real-estate employees, and it is key to organizational success. Motivation translates into the employee’s level of commitment, engagement, and innovation that is brought to the workplace on a daily basis and irrespective of external circumstances.
  • Overall interpersonal skills – The demonstration of good interpersonal skills is the employee’s overall capability to communicate and interact well with colleagues, executives, and clients. An important feature of good interpersonal skills is the ability to communicate effectively and find common ground with other people irrespective of their differences.
  • Responsibility – Being responsible, reliable, and trustworthy are core universal competencies that every employee should cultivate. It is key to the success of an employee, team, and company. Demonstrating responsibility includes attending work every day, arriving on time, completing tasks competently and on time, and interacting positively and professionally with customers.
  • Take initiative – Taking the initiative is the capacity to evaluate a situation or scenario and act accordingly and independently. It is a core universal competency and personal attribute that takes responsibility for and shows a willingness to complete tasks on time. When employees use their initiative, they contribute towards guaranteeing organizational success.
  • Teamwork – The ability to function effectively as part of a team is a key universal competency. If an employee cannot work together with other team members, the real-estate company’s chances of functioning optimally are minimized. Employees must work together with their colleagues and teammates to best serve their customers.
  • Understand and show empathy for others – Empathy is a core universal competency that is valuable for all employees. It is more than just being nice to colleagues and peers. Empathy shows employees that they valued and esteemed by their employers and co-workers. And it is especially relevant to improving working relationships between team members.
  • Work independently – Empowering employees to work independently is a vital core universal competency that drives productivity and business growth. Employers must let employees complete tasks without constant micro-management or supervision. This translates into happiness in the workplace which translates into the meeting of objectives across all levels of the organization.

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Universal competencies for the pharmaceuticals industry

The Universal Competency Framework (UCF) provides a coherent and objective basis for gaining insight into employee work behaviors, providing a logical, consistent, and professional way to gain insight into employee workplace behaviors. The Pharmaceutical company must develop, measure, and track industry-related KPIs that are based on the UCF.

  • Engagement Employee engagement describes employees who not only show up at work because they are paid to do so, but they are also invested in the job that they do. They seek out new ways of completing their tasks quickly and efficiently, and they excel in demonstrating initiative that produces results.
  • Health & Safety The implementation of industry-related health and safety rules and regulations are a core part of any pharmaceutical business, and they need to be rigorously implemented without exception. This KPI measures the employee’s knowledge of and ability to adhere to the relevant health and safety act.

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  • Job Knowledge Technology is advancing at a rapid rate, including in the pharmaceutical industry. It is essential for employees in the pharmaceutical industry to constantly keep up to date with the latest technological and industry-related developments.
  • Productivity – Productivity and time management are intrinsically aligned with each other. An important part of ensuring consistent productivity is to manage your time efficiently. This KPI ensures that the employee consistently completes all tasks within the agreed timeframe, effectively and efficiently, taking pride in excelling at work.
  • Quality – Paying attention to product quality is a key performance area and universal competency that is essential to the pharmaceutical industry. Making mistakes while manufacturing pharmaceutical products can result in devastating consequences. It is critical for the employee to consistently produce high-quality products that are correctly manufactured the first time.
  • Time & Attendance – Employee time and attendance is a way to determine an employee’s work-life balance. It’s essential to help an employee achieve an optimal work-life balance while avoiding burnout and its counterweight, underperformance. Consequently, this metric measures the number of days that the employee takes off versus the number of days worked.

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The Universal Competency Framework of KPIs or Key Performance Indicators aim to measure the optimal functioning and success of the whole organization’s ability to meet its stated mission, goals, and aims. Therefore, the critical performance areas that must be measured are client focus, the ability to adapt to the ever-changing market condition, the long-term retention of reliable and dependable employees, the ability to manage product development, leadership growth and development, and productivity and quality control.

Real-time KPI tracking allows management to identify negative short and medium-term deficiencies to take proactive measures to rectify these trends before they develop into long-term crises.

A guided rollout is included with all our plans. Simply send us your job descriptions and we will set up your evaluations.
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