Competence

Definition

The ability to do something successfully or efficiently

Why is competence important

In the context of employee trust, competence can be explained as the ability, dedication and intention of the organisation to contribute to the success of its hero.

Organisational competencies are often used to describe the elements of the organisation that offer competitive advantage in the marketplace. It generally includes product capabilities, access to capital, access to customers through sales and marketing, talent, and innovation capabilities.

Competencies are not only essential to the competitive advantage, but also to employee trust. Every individual, irrespective of their level within the organisation, will assess whether the organisation has the competencies to deliver what is required for the individual’s goals to be achieved. This often happens unconsciously. Nevertheless, it strongly influences the trust that an individual has in their employer.

Where issues with competence often occur

Competence issues exist everywhere in the organisation. However, the most obvious issue can be recognised each time someone states ‘because that is the way we do it here’. Nothing shows a larger incompetence than an explanation based on habit.

A less obvious competence issue can be found in the external perception of an organisation. If your customers, the press, or friends and family of the employee are negative about your products or company, this will negatively influence the perception of competence.

The quick fix

The perception of competence is the most challenging to improve, as there are so many aspects related to it. Nevertheless, there are three things you can start doing today:

  1. Don’t accept habit to be the reason why things are being done in a particular way. Ask for a different reason. If it can’t be given: change the process.
  2. Communicate better. A common reason for employees to have a low perception of competence is due to information asymmetries. Keep your staff informed, and they will recognise your competence.
  3. Ask, with every decision you take, if this is the most competent way of achieving your goal. Be open to suggestions and reflect on the most visible parts of your business.

Did you enjoy reading this article? You will find this, and much more, in our free trust guide. Test your own trust perception and get all the information you need on employee trust. Start the free test and get the guide here.

Fairness

Fairness is experienced by everyone in the organisation, and it's crucial to employee trust.

Identification

Identification influences the trust perception and will mitigate downsides of a lack of trust.

Improving employee trust

Improving and maintaining trust is a continuous process. Here you'll find out what you need to do.

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