What Are Essential Management Competencies for Business Leaders?

Leaders in your organization need to have proficiency in core management competencies in order to successfully execute the requirements of their position. Management competencies can be learned and developed, and it is important to define key management competencies and measure the proficiency of each leader, offering frequent assessments and feedback. Here we define management competencies, list some core competencies and answer frequently asked questions related to this topic.


Post a Job

Are you a job seeker? Find jobs.

What are management competencies?

Management competencies are the skills, habits, motives, knowledge and attitudes necessary to successfully manage people. When developed, management competencies promote better leadership and contribute to business success. 


Management competencies are categorized as human capital which is broadly defined as the knowledge and skills that contribute to workplace productivity. The human assets needed for managerial competency are necessary for a productive workforce. Below, we list some core management competencies. Keep in mind, this is not a comprehensive list. Each organization has a duty to choose the competencies that enhance their business success most effectively.

Related: 7 Effective Skills to Help You Become a Better Leader


11 Important management competencies for leaders

Here are 11 important competencies leaders should master:


1. Interpersonal communication

This skill involves the ability to identify, understand, and anticipate the emotions, concerns and thoughts of others. It requires the ability to empathize and communicate effectively. Interpersonal awareness allows you to read other people’s feelings based on their nonverbal behavior, tone of voice and choice of words.


2. Motivating others

Good leaders are effective at rallying people together to achieve common goals. Using interpersonal skills, they can understand what motivates people and use that to encourage productivity.


3. Written communication

Written communication is the ability to effectively communicate with the written word. It can involve the use of proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. Additionally, excellent written communicators write in a way that is understandable and clear to many people.


4. Honesty/integrity

Good managers display behavior that is ethical, honest, and humane. They serve as a role model for others and perform actions that demonstrate their values.


5. Problem Solving

All leaders have to solve problems eventually. Good problem solvers take proactive approaches to address issues and avert conflict whenever it emerges. They empower employees to seek information that improves their ability to develop and assess a variety of potential solutions. When problems arise, good problem solvers are quick to prevent escalation of conflict between employees.


6. Developing others

Being able to see the potential in others, is an important quality of a great leader. Natural born leaders wish to help people grow and develop their skills. Every employee has different experiences, beliefs, goals and values. Great leaders treat every person with unique care. 


7. Vision/planning

Having a vision is the ability to outline a clear and vivid plan to accomplish shared objectives. Effective leaders form a long-term view and share their vision with others. They encourage others to take actions that get the team closer to accomplishing their goals. By doing this, they catalyze organizational change.


8. Creativity/innovation

Creatives are open to new ideas and innovation. They are willing to question the status quo approaches and implement new processes when necessary. Creative people can see problems from new perspectives and generate helpful insights into problems.


9. Conflict resolution

At some point, conflict is bound to arise between employees. It is a leader’s duty to find resolutions that satisfy everyone involved in a conflict. Unresolved conflicts can harm relations and impact the organizational culture, so it is important for leaders to develop this capacity.


10. Delegation

Effective leaders understand that they can’t do all the work alone. They know that they need other people to accomplish goals. 


By capitalizing on the expertise of others, they are rapidly able to accomplish goals because they know who is the best fit for each task. They distribute tasks effectively by recognizing the strengths of others. 


11. Valuing Diversity

Every person on a team has unique values, experience, cultural backgrounds and goals. Good leaders create an inclusive workplace where everyone feels welcome. They acknowledge each person’s unique contributions and insights leveraging them to further shared objectives.


FAQs about management competencies

Below, we answer some frequently asked questions related to the topic of management competencies:


What is a competency management system?

Competency management systems are a kind of software used for managing and assessing human assets. Providing a large database of competencies, they make it easier for you to identify your core competencies and create a list of job requirements for each position. 


Additionally, they provide a database where you can track your employees and their skills. Usually, they make it easier to disseminate performance reviews and give direct feedback. The software often includes learning and training resources that help employees to develop their competencies.


How do you improve management competencies?

One way you can improve workplace competency is by developing a competency model. When developing a competency model, you carefully select competencies that align with the organization’s goals. Identifying essential management competencies for workplace success is critical. Each workplace will have its own unique set of competencies for managers based on their job requirements.


Managers benefit when they have a clear idea of what competencies they need to develop to perform well at their job. It is essential to take the time to explain the target proficiency level for each core competency. When developing a competency model, you’ll want to devise an assessment strategy that allows you to easily measure the proficiency of each manager.

Read More: How to Conduct an Employee Evaluation


What are management competencies that enhance employee engagement?

Management or leadership behaviors drive employee engagement. When employees have positive perceptions of their management team, they are more likely to be cognitively, socially and emotionally engaged in their work. Being ethical and honest is a management competency that improves employees’ perception of their superiors.


Clear communication skills are one way to bolster employee engagement. When goals and objectives are communicated with clarity, employees understand what they need to do to succeed. It is essential that senior management successfully communicates the companies values and long-term vision. 


Senior management should adopt an approachable and open style of communication so that employees feel comfortable speaking with them. 


Giving frequent acknowledgment of employees’ hard work fosters a culture of and appreciation. Employee engagement improves with positive reinforcement and appropriate rewards. Developing others by giving them opportunities to grow or be promoted will also bolster employee engagement.

Read More: How to Increase Employee Engagement


Ready to get started? Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your career or legal advisor, and none of the information provided herein guarantees a job offer.