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How long does it take to get a sense of the atmosphere of a restaurant, church, grocery store, or your organization when someone walks through the door?

Usually moments. This feeling can be called many things: culture, work environment, climate, ambiance, unwritten rules, brand, or identity. Nevertheless, this work energy is real, and it affects both the customers who do business with your company and the employees who work for you.

HR professionals can recognize this informal intuition and help create an organization that feels right – that is, an engaging and effective organization – by becoming “capability builders.”

Capability building” includes the skills and knowledge necessary for a particular task. An organization might have the capacity to change without having the key capabilities.

Capability building focuses on people’s professional development rather than performance management. By giving employees a structure for continuously growing their capabilities, this people-oriented approach helps them move beyond the restrictions of their position descriptions and numerical targets of your organization.

HR as a Capability Builder

An effective HR department creates a strong organization, and the organization is a specific set of capabilities. Capability represents everything that the organization is good at.

HR’s role as a capability builder is to help recognize and build these capabilities. This can be done by conducting a capability audit, which shows the leaders their employees’ capabilities and encourages them to work on improving these and building new skills, according to the company’s strategy. With the help of a capability audit, the company is also getting information that helps it shape the organization’s future, to attract new talents that would fit in.

These capabilities outlast the performance of any manager or individual. Capabilities include a company’s process, culture, and identity. One of the modern capabilities of successful companies is to create an organization where employees find purpose and meaning at work. HR professionals can help managers create meaning in the organization.

Organizations must be designed to help the strategy come to life. In order to do that, HR professionals and business leaders must look at an organization as a set of capabilities and not just the structures, processes, or systems. This kind of audit should consist of five steps:

  1. Choose an element within the organization in which the organization audit should happen. This element can be the whole organization or a business unit, plant, or region.
  2. Come up with the content of the audit.
  3. Collect data from various groups on the current and wanted status of the capabilities that you are assessing. This information can be collected by looking for various patterns: 90 degrees, 360 degrees, and 720 degrees.
  4. Synthesize the data to determine the most critical capabilities that require managers’ immediate attention. The results from the audit need to be condensed into critical messages and then put into action.
  5. Form teams to deliver critical capabilities by creating an action plan with measures to track and steps to take. This plan has to be focused and timely.

Discover the best way to build your employees’ capabilities, consistently connect with your leadership team, and predictably turn them into highly engaged employees. Call me for some complimentary advice. Book an appointment at or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734