The Competence-Commitment Model

  • by kaibizzen
  • Jul 15, 2020
  • Blog

“I hate my team!” 

My new client was clearly at the end of her tether. 

“I’ve tried to delegate, but then I lost some staff and now everything is back on my plate.” 

“I know I don’t spend enough time with them, but I just don’t want them to talk to me.”  

“I’m frustrated with myself because I know I’m doing sh*t I shouldn’t be doing.” 

“And because I’m doing sh*t I’ve employed people to do, I’m scared to let go of a couple of others.” 

“For example, besides me, there’s only one person in my business who knows how to do payroll, but she’s not performing.” 

“I’m worried that if I confront her about her under-performance, she’ll leave – or go on stress leave – and then I’ll really be left in the sh*t!” 

Does this sound familiar?  

When this client first came to us, she really was nearly at her wits’ end.  

So close, in fact, she was seriously considering of scaling back her multiple-7-figure business to just herself and maybe an admin person. 

Typically, every business owner we work with comes to us because they’re experiencing some version of the classic “time-team-money” problem. 

Not enough time to spend with their family nor to pursue their own interests beyond the business. 

Not enough money (i.e. profit) to fairly reward them for years of huge hours and sacrifice.  

Not the right team who’ll consistently go above and beyond with the owner to drive business results. 

From my 17+ years of coaching experience, I will say, unequivocally, without the right team, you’ll solve neither the time nor the money problem.  

Your team are either your biggest asset or your biggest liability.  

And, based on the statistics from Gallup’s 2017 State of the Workplace Report (which I covered in last week’s blog) , 77% of your workforce is barely giving you a return on your investment while 15% are actually costing your business money. 

However, getting the right people in the right roles at the right time in your business is the biggest and most frustrating challenge business owners deal with. 

The best way is to hire the right person from the outset and I covered how to do that, including a free resource to use, in this blog.  

However, it’s likely you’ve already got a team of people working with you and short of scrapping them all and starting again (which would be both unwise and costly), you need a systematic way to work out who stays in your business and who has to go. 

The Competence-Commitment Model 

The Competence-Commitment Model, developed by Jack Welch, is a super simple tool you can use to quickly assess your team and determine where your focus needs to be.  

For the Competence-Commitment Model to work effectively, you MUST follow this process.  

(Steps 1 and 4 are commonly left-out of most explanations of this model which leads to incorrect and inconsistent assessments of your people) 

Step 1. Define what you mean when you say someone is ‘Competent’ in their role. 

Step 2. Then, describe what it looks like when someone is ‘Competent’ in their role. What are the behaviours you’d expect to see from someone who is competent in their role? 

Step 3. Describe what it looks like when someone is ‘Not Yet Competent’ in their role. What are the specific behaviours you’d expect to see from someone who is not yet competent in their role?  

Step 4. Define what you mean when you say someone is ‘Committed’ to your business. 

Step 5. Describe what it looks like when someone is ‘Committed’ to your business. What are the behaviours you’d expect to see from someone who is committed to your business? 

Step 6. Describe what it looks like when someone is ‘Not Committed’ to your business. What are the specific behaviours you’d expect to see from someone who is not committed to your business?  

Step 7. Assess each employee individually based on your definitions of ‘Competent’ and ‘Committed’ and plot them accordingly. You can download a FREE copy of The Competence-Commitment Model here

What To Do With Employees In The Different Quadrants 

Competent and Committed Employees 

Keep them! These are your stars. They are both good at what they do and are committed to the business achieving its objectives. Typically, these are the 20% of your workforce responsible for 80% of the results. Ultimately you want ALL of your employees to be in this quadrant. 

Not Yet Competent and Not Committed 

You need to move these people on. Because they are not committed to your business, no amount of training will improve their performance. These people are unsuited for the role they’re in, do not believe in your vision for the business and really don’t want to be there. 

Moving these people on is in everyone’s best interest. In my experience, when I’ve let these people go, they often come back to me a few years later and thank me. Being let go was the kick in the pants they needed to go and find what they really wanted to do.  

Not Yet Competent, but Committed 

These team members are committed to your business but aren’t yet competent in their roles.  

For these people, appropriate training is usually all that’s required to move them into the competent-committed quadrant. To do this, co-create with them a development plan which steps out where they need to upskill and identifies clear timeframes for completion and review.  

Competent, but Not Committed 

These employees can be white ants in your business. They can be, without question, the most dangerous people in your employment.  

Because these people are good at what they do, your employees who are not as competent often look to them for guidance. This means their non-committed attitude can spread like wildfire through your organisation. 

Additionally, you can lose your best employees because of this group. When your star performers consistently find themselves picking up the slack for these people – and you as the leader consistently do nothing to address it – they walk.  

With this group, your first step is to find out what’s causing the non-commitment. Typically this is done through a directed but non-confrontational conversation.  

Then you’ll need to put a Performance Improvement Plan in place. This plan will clearly identify all areas for improvement with timeframes for review. 

If, at the end of the plan there is minimal or no change in the employee, you must move them on immediately. 

By implementing this simple tool in your business, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to create an entire team of star employees. These high-performing, highly-engaged teams are, on average, 21% more profitable and require far less work on the part of the owner to lead them.  

If you would like to know more about how Rob and I could partner with your business to create a team of star employees, reach out for a confidential discussion. We’d love to work alongside you to achieve the business you deserve for you and your family. 

02 Oct

Panel Discussion

Tuesday, 6:30pm Quest Cannon Hill

What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.



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