4 Steps to create behavioural learning on the job

Most organisations have moved beyond delivering e-learning to improve their return on investment for learning expenditure or to achieve a crucial legitimate short-term goal or business objective. The ROI with e-learning is usually undisputed. Certainly, aligning learning and development activities to business needs is equally important; e.g., training employees in sales techniques or new product knowledge to increase sales for the organisation.

The most significant long-term organisational success can be achieved when a competency-based approach to behavioural learning and development is utilised because employees will gain the knowledge, skills, and mindsets that will directly and positively contribute to the success of the organisation and to the personal success of employees in their job role, especially when evaluated through demonstrated behaviours.

I have found the following four steps can help you create a competency-based approach to learning on the job with quick and immediate results:

1. Start with a ready-made behavioural competency framework or model because it will reduce cost and minimise the implementation timeframe. Why reinvent the wheel when there are several behavioural competency models available, such as Lominger or Vado.

2. Define the behavioural competency requirements associated with the relevant job roles within your organisation.  Once you have chosen your behavioural competency framework or model, you can map those competencies to the job titles within your organisation.

Competency development needs to be tightly aligned to your organisation’s competency model to ensure organisational success.  Employee development that is not aligned to your competency model can result in developing skills and capabilities that will not drive your organisational success. Learners need to see a direct relationship between what they are learning and what the organisation has defined as important for effective and competence in their job performance. The development of personal competencies specifically aligned to your organisational priorities will lead to increased personal performance and organisational performance. 

3. Define the learning system to meet the requirements of your employees in their job role, preferably a learning management system that allows you to define the learning and competency requirements for job titles.

There are many performance management systems that assess competencies as they are linked to an annual performance review.  It is important that the competencies linked to an employee’s job role in a performance review are also linked to the learning and development resources that will help the employee achieve those competencies.  Otherwise, learners will see you are measuring one thing on their performance reviews, but providing learning courses and developing different competencies in practice.

4. Behavioural learning and development activities need to have a direct relationship to the competencies required for the employee’s job role.

This is where a lot of HR and L&D professionals find challenges because most organisations have a wide range of behavioural competency requirements, which then require a corresponding wide range of learning and development activities so that employees can have access to the tools and resources to achieve their competency requirements.


By implementing a behavioural competency based learning and development program using the steps above, your employees will gain the knowledge, skills, and mindsets that will directly and positively contribute to the success of your organisation and to the personal success of your employees in their job role.


About the author

Kathleen Bosworth has been working with HR, L&D and training professionals for more than 15 years.  Kathleen works closely with clients to help implement job title competency matrices in a variety of market sectors.  Kathleen earned a Master of Education from University of Houston.  For more information on Kathleen can assist you and your organisation, call +61 [0] 403006062 or email kbosworth@dotstalent.com or  kathleen@e-resources.com.au.