Linking Business Strategy & Competency Development at a Kenyan Commercial Bank

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Linking Business Strategy & Competency Development at a Kenyan Commercial Bank.

The Business Challenge

We are invited by Kenyan commercial bank with a footprint in the East African region to recommend a competency framework which they wanted to factor into their Target Operating Model which is a core component of their current strategic plan. In other words, they wanted to have a clear picture of their existing talent pool. This would go a long way in developing a competency-based Talent Management Framework to fuel their aggressive growth plans.

Under the HR Director’s guidance, the project objectives were:

To develop an agreed, comprehensive and “simple to use” organisational competency framework (including the core and functional competencies and levelled behavioural indicators
Provide a logical and transparent framework for recruitment, performance management, personal and professional development, career pathing, succession planning, and learning and development.
To roll out the competency framework for all staff
To assess the current competencies and, to identify the competencies required and gaps in relation to the bank’s strategic plan


We planned, organized and conducted face-to-face interviews, round table meetings, focused group discussions coupled with training of team members on the theoretical framework and the benefits of competency – based- management. Using our competency model, the HR Director and her team gathered employee input on the requisite competencies. The survey results were reviewed during the focus group discussions comprising of Heads of Departments and employee representatives. We supported the team in firming up the final list of competencies and establishment of a competency dictionary for the entire organisation. We developed a competency rating scale/ proficiency levels for core, leadership, management and technical competencies. We deployed an online competency assessment tool to assess competency levels and levels of expertise (linked to other competency frameworks for all roles in the bank). Additionally, we proposed an implementation plan for all the deliverables.


Companies and organizations operate differently. There are traditions and nuances across an organization that are uniquely different from those of others. The development and implementation of a competency framework for our client has enabled them to realize the following benefits in the last three years:

Competency framework

Through the establishment of a competency framework, it has become much easier to enable individual employees to see the line of sight on how they contribute to the overall strategic goals of the bank. From a performance and learning perspective, the bank has been able to create an environment where everyone is reading from the same script.
Implementation of competency-based Talent

The bank has targeted learning and development initiatives to ensure maximum ROI. The competency architecture has gone a long way in supporting learning by:

Focusing learning on the critical competencies for success in the job and organisation.
Providing standards for measuring employee performance and capabilities.
Providing a framework for identifying learning options and programs to meet employee and organisation needs
Providing standards for determining how well learning has occurred, both at the individual and organisational level

Sharing of core competencies

The sharing of core competencies among staff across departments has helped the bank to eliminate the silos that previously existed. This has helped employees to work more efficiently and effectively – breaking down the boundaries that stifled key information from flowing across business units.

Hire and retain employees

The bank is able to hire and retain employees who embrace the same core values, work ethics and goals in line with its employer brand promise. Significant improvements have been realized in the areas of employee selection, hiring and promotions.

Integrating competencies

By integrating competencies in the performance management process, managers are able to provide feedback to employees not only on “what” they have accomplished (i.e., performance goals), but also on “how” the work was performed, using competencies for performance feedback.

Succession planning

In the area of succession planning, the bank is able to identify the various values, traits and requirements that future leaders must possess to move up within the organisation. The bank is therefore able to define what will be accomplished within a given time frame together with the numbers and types of human capital that will be required to achieve the desired business goals.
Implementation of competency-based Talent

The development and implementation of competency-based Talent Management Framework has seen the bank accrue the following benefits:

Integrated and aligned core HR processes
Improved employee onboarding experience
Attraction and retention of top talent
Improved employee experience
Improved employee and manager engagement.
Would you like to achieve these types of real results and powerful outcomes in your business? Want to know how We can help? There’s an easy way to find out. Schedule a call with us and let’s chat about how to take your business to the next level.

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