Re-focus stalled competency programme Case study


This City-based professional services firm with 600 staff had commenced work on creating new competencies, revising job descriptions alongside this and updating training, initially around appraisal to be followed by other areas of performance management and all areas of development. The temporary manager responsible for the project was about to move on and the project had stalled.

Sue Cohen’s role

  • Completing the competency framework
  • Ensuring a successful rollout out with department heads, other partners, managers and staff
  • Ensuring completion of job descriptions

As a supplement, Sue then created an appraisal skills workshop for all partners and managers to build on the competency rollout briefings and refresh appraisal skills.

Sue’s contribution

  • Through individual conversations with department heads, dealt with objections and resistance, put together final framework, consistent across the business, with flexibility for different core disciplines.
  • Worked with department heads and HR managers to finalise job descriptions.
  • Worked with two HR managers to design rollout briefings for all staff and intranet-based reference materials.
  • As a follow-on, designed and delivered refresher workshop, trained selected HR staff and line managers to role-play appraisees and provide structured feedback to participants.

Key achievements / outputs

  • Competency framework was completed well within budgeted deadline, minimising project management resources and costs.
  • Partner objections were dealt with promptly and effectively.
  • HR managers had clear information to complete remaining job descriptions.
  • Management had clear statistics showing attendees at briefings and actions for follow-up.
  • As a means of improving appraisal skills, “refresher” workshops were seen as a positive boost to line management skills, without singling out those who were seen as the poorest managers.

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