Competency Benchmark Survey Results

By Marcie Levine

When we work with clients on their 360s and employee surveys, we typically discuss how to collect feedback on the competencies that will help their organization grow and succeed.

Over time, we have gathered a lot of anecdotal information on common competencies that cross organization lines.  It seems that no matter what industry you are in, no matter how big your organization is, and no matter where you are located, leaders who effectively demonstrate certain competencies like Communication, Integrity and Managing People will help move an organization forward.

In the past 60 days, we asked our colleagues to complete a Competency Benchmarking Survey.  The objective of this survey was to collect information on what people view as the gold standard competencies for their organizations, where they currently see their organizations strengths and opportunities, and to try and understand the gaps.

Basically, we asked three questions:

  1. In describing a successful organization, which of the following competencies do you think are most important for leaders to have? (please select 6)
  2. In describing your current leaders, please select their overall strongest competencies (please select 6)
  3. In describing your current leaders, please select their overall weakest competencies (please select 6)

This list may not include some of the competencies that you use, and did not have explicit definitions for the competencies listed.   The list was selected from researching the competencies that were most used by SurveyConnect customers in the past three years of deploying 360s; it was felt that most respondents would have a common understanding of their meanings.  While not a purely scientific survey, we believe that there are some interesting results.

We had 100 respondents complete the survey, and here are the results:

Most Important CompetenciesCurrent Strongest CompetenciesCurrent Weakest Competencies
Scale ItemPercentPercentPercent
Accountability46.46%29.82%28.07%
Approach / Style19.19%24.56%43.86%
Collaboration and Teamwork44.44%36.84%19.30%
Communication66.67%28.07%52.63%
Conflict Management22.22%10.53%56.14%
Continuous Improvement15.15%29.82%19.30%
Customer Focus28.28%50.88%8.77%
Goal-Setting and Measurement27.27%28.07%42.11%
Identifying and Developing Talent49.49%10.53%50.88%
Influencing34.34%38.60%31.58%
Innovation8.08%17.54%40.35%
Integrity70.71%50.88%10.53%
Knowledge10.10%50.88%10.53%
Managing Change27.27%21.05%43.86%
Problem-Solving and Decision-Making54.55%57.89%10.53%
Resilience17.17%40.35%14.04%
Rewards and Recognition11.11%14.04%35.09%
Risk-Taking7.07%17.54%40.35%
Vision / Strategy65.66%42.11%42.11%

Top Five Key Findings:

  1. The competencies that respondents felt were important for their leaders included Integrity, Communication and Vision/Strategy.
  2. The top competencies that current leaders possess included Problem-Solving and Decision-Making, Knowledge, Integrity and Customer Focus.
  3. The three weakest competencies in the current leadership of organizations included Conflict Management, Communication and Identifying and Developing Talent.
  4. Integrity was rated as the most important competency for successful leaders.  It is also rated as the third highest competency that current leaders do have.   This competency is aligned between what is seen as important and what current leaders possess.
  5. Communication was the second most important competency for successful leaders to have, but this competency is rated as the second weakest competency for current leaders.  This competency has one of the biggest gaps between what is seen as important and what current leaders possess.

Please let me know if we can help deploy your next 360 degree Leadership Feedback project!

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About the author

Marcie Levine

Marcie Levine

Prior to founding SurveyConnect, Marcie had more than twelve-years of experience in HR, both as a consultant and in several corporate positions. As an HR consultant, she worked on a variety of client assignments, including the design and implementation of surveys. She created SurveyConnect to streamline and simplify the process of survey creation and administration. Marcie has published articles about 360 feedback process in trade magazines, including the International Society for Performance Improvement, Selling Power, T+D Magazine, and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.