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Creating Competence and Capabilities
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 01/26/2015

Career Correctional officers are expected to deliver mandatory elements to the workplace. Such elements include performance, attention to detail, focus abilities to carry out special assignments and many more expectations rarely taken for granted. Creating or building personal opportunities for such improvements requires the officer to develop a career or self-development plan that makes full use of their talents and improve their skill set at the same time. However, this plan cannot be developed without the employer’s help.

Budget conditions in every locality, state or at the federal level has been the focus of shortage of funds for years now. Providing good service, performance and other mandated duties and tasks are needed to meet the current technological changes and access to data critical and very important. This makes the interaction between administrative personnel and front line personnel more important than ever before.

As the burden increases and with downsizing a priority to control the costs, many governments are at risk of becoming ineffective and difficult to create better opportunities for those capable of handling such upcoming challenges. They can avoid this by implementing management principles friendly to enabling the employee while at the same time, allow full potential contributions to fill in any gaps created by organizational vacancies or short comings.

Transforming the abilities and capabilities of good employees will ensure improving the delivery of services as designed by the objectives and mission of each agency. At its core is a strong focus on capability building at all levels, which then becomes an integral part of how well the agency operates. Keep in mind the most important element is sustainability. One can build the right capabilities but without nurturing and constant advances, it can fade out surprisingly quick causing the core values to be diminished and the work left incomplete.

Why partake in capability building you ask? Competency expands your ability to provide more services with the same number of employees in the work force. It allows individuals to become more valued and appreciated boosting morale and improving attendance. Most of all, building abilities improves the consistency of the services provided and a broader range of solutions to keep the production going in the right direction while improving delivery and communication efforts.

Capability building adds value to the organization and the work force. It can integrate human solutions with the use of machines and make them work better together. It gives the business an additional resource to the solution process from those working the front lines and likely give their managers and supervisors the answers to the problems experienced on a continuous basis.

Competence building thus involves more than just teaching employees how to complete their day-to-day tasks. Instead, it focuses on a broader set of skills that increase each employee’s value to the organization, such as learning to reach problems’ root causes, or providing effective feedback to diminish interruptions of services or delivery of goods mandated by law or policy.

With the greater value that more skilled people can create, the organization will enhance its unique competitive position. That means tailoring the capability building to the organization’s business context, culture, and needs—especially to the factors that allow the organization to create value and boost productivity and efficiency levels.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:


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