Definition of Competence: Benefits and Factors Affecting Competence

Definition of competence – In the field of work, of course you often hear terms or words about competence. Where, the word competence itself comes from the English language, namely competence or competency which has the meaning of skill, ability, and authority.

The definition of competence is a combination of knowledge, skills, and personality attributes of a person so that they are able to improve their performance and contribute to the success of the organization.

In addition, competence also has the meaning of the capacity that exists in a person and can make that person able to fulfill what is indicated by the job in an organization so that the organization can achieve the expected results.


Definition of Competence

Actually, what is meant by competence? In general, the notion of competence is an ability or skill possessed by a person in doing a job or task in a certain field, in accordance with the position he holds.

Meanwhile, other opinions say that the meaning of competence is a skill, knowledge, basic attitude, and value that exists in a person and is reflected in the ability to think and act consistently. In other words, that competence is not only about a person’s knowledge and ability but also about the willingness to do what is known so as to produce benefits.

Where, according to Jack Gordon in 1998 stated that there are 6 (six) aspects contained in the concept of competence, namely:

  • Knowledge or Knowledge
  • Understanding or Understanding
  • Ability or Skill
  • Value or Value
  • Attitude or Attitude
  • Interest or interest.

Etymologically, the word “competence” was adopted from the English language, namely “competence” or “competence” which has the meaning of skill, ability and authority. Therefore, the understanding of competence is a combination of knowledge, skills, and personality attributes of a person so as to be able to improve performance and contribute to the success of the organization.


Definition of Competence Based on Members

So that you can be clearer and better understand the meaning of competence, then you need to refer to the opinions of the following experts.

1. According to Stephen Robbin

Based on the opinion of Stephen Robin (2007:38), the meaning of competence is an ability or capacity of a person to perform various tasks in a job. Where, the ability is determined by intellectual and physical factors.

2. According to Van Looy, Van Dierdonck, and Gemmell

According to the opinion of Van Looy, Van Dierdonck, and Gemmell in 1998, said that the meaning of competence is a human characteristic that is interconnected with performance effectiveness that can be seen from behavior, way of thinking, and acting style.

3. According to Sedarmayanti

According to Sedarmayanti, the meaning of competence is a characteristic that underlies a person and is related to the effectiveness of an individual’s performance in carrying out their work.

4. According to AA Anwar Prabu Mangkunegara

AA Anwar Prabu Mangkunegara said that the concept of competence is a fundamental factor that exists in someone who has more ability and makes him different from other people with average ability.

Law No. 13 of 2003

Meanwhile, based on Law No. 13 of 2003 on Employment, states that work competence is the work ability of each individual which includes aspects of knowledge, skills, and aspects of knowledge, skills, and work attitudes that are in accordance with the set standards.

Types of Competence

There are several opinions of experts that explain the types of competence. Here are some opinions of experts who explain about the types of competence, among them:

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1. According to Members Dean Lyle Spencer and Matthew Lyle Spencer

As already mentioned in the book Surya Dharma in 2003, that Dean Lyle Spencer and Matthew Lyle Spencer said competence can be divided into 2 (two) parts, among others:

a. Basic Competency or Threshold Competency

Basic competence is the main characteristic that a person must have in order to be able to perform the tasks in his job. Such as the ability to write, read, etc.

b. Differentiating Competency

Differentiating competencies are various factors that distinguish individuals with high performance from individuals with low performance.

2. According to Charles E. Johnson

As already explained in the book Wina Sanjaya (2005:34), that Charles E. Johnson said competence can be categorized into 3 (three) parts, namely:

a. Personal competence

Personal competence is an individual’s ability in matters related to the development of a person’s personality.

b. Professional Competency

Professional competence is an individual’s ability in matters related to the implementation and completion of certain tasks at work.

c. Social Competency

Social competence is an individual’s ability in matters related to life and social interests.

3. According to Kunandar

Kunandar said that competence can be classified into 5 (five) types, namely:

a. Intellectual Competence

Intellectual competence is a tool of knowledge possessed by an individual that is required in performing his job.

b. Physical Competence

Physical competence is the physical ability of an individual that is required to perform tasks at work.

c. Personal Competence 

Personal competence is a behavioral device related to the individual’s ability to understand oneself, realize oneself, self-identity, and self-transformation.

d. Social Competence

Social competence is a certain behavioral device that is the basis of self-understanding as part of the social environment.

e. Spiritual Competence

Spiritual competence is an individual’s ability to understand, appreciate, and practice religious rules.

Competency Benefits

Individual competence has a very important role in the effectiveness of the implementation of work and professional tasks. According to Ruky in Edy Sutrisno’s book in 2010, he says that large companies use competence as a basis for recruiting workers. As for some of the benefits of recruiting jobs with competence, among others:

  1. Clarify work standards and expectations that the company wants to achieve.
  2. individual competence can be used as a potential workforce selection tool.
  3. The skills of the workforce will maximize the company’s productivity.
  4. competence or skills of the workforce can be used as a basis in developing the remuneration system.
  5. Competence can also help the company to be able to adapt to the changes that occur.
  6. competence can facilitate companies in coordinating work behavior with organizational values.

Factors Affecting Competence

There are several factors that affect competence, including the following:

1. Confidence and Values

Confidence in oneself or in others will greatly influence behavior. If the person does not believe that they are not creative and innovative, then they will not try to think about new or different ways of doing things.

Because of this, a person who has high confidence and values ​​usually tends to have good competence in himself.

2. Skills

The skills referred to here are abilities in various competencies. For example, skills in performing public speaking skills such as skills that can be learned, practiced, and improved. writing skills can also be improved with instruction, practice and feedback.

These skills should be honed continuously so that the competencies possessed can continue to grow. That way, will be more ready to compete with others.

3. Experience

Competence also requires experience, such as experience organizing people, communicating with many people, finding solutions, and so on. With this experience, one can learn and not repeat the same mistakes. This experience itself can be obtained from anywhere, it can be from a mistake or when facing various kinds of problems.

4. Personality Characteristics

A person’s competence is influenced by a person’s personality characteristics. A person’s characteristics and personality are influenced by the strength and surrounding environment. In other words, if an environment has a good support system , it can produce good characteristics as well. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of having an environment, Reader.

5. Motivation

Motivation is a factor in competence that can be changed by providing encouragement, appreciation for work under HAM, giving recognition and individual attention from superiors can have a positive impact on the motivation of a subordinate. With this motivation, then a person will be more enthusiastic in carrying out various activities.

6. Emotional Issues

Emotional barriers can limit the mastery of competence. Self-doubt tends to limit motivation and initiative. For this reason, in order for competence to continue to develop, the emotions in oneself must also be controlled.

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7. Intellectual Ability

A person’s competence can also depend on cognitive thinking such as conceptual thinking and analytical thinking.

8. Organizational Culture

Organizational culture can have an impact on the competence of human resources in activities such as recruitment and selection of employees, decision-making practices, and so on.

Competency Indicators

Competence has several indicators, among which are the following:

1. Knowledge

The first indicator of competence is knowledge. Knowledge is awareness in the cognitive field.

2. Understanding 

In this case, understanding is cognitive and effective that is owned by individuals.

3. Ability

Ability is something that an individual possesses in order to perform tasks and jobs that are assigned to employees.

4. Attitude

What is meant by attitude is a feeling or reaction to a stimulus that comes from the outside.

5. Interest

Interest is a person’s tendency to do something.

How to Improve Work Competence

The company is also obliged to help improve the employee’s work competence because it affects each other between the employee and the company. There are various kinds of activities to be able to improve the competence of employees.

However, the activities carried out must be done continuously. So that it can maintain the competence of employees in it, evaluate when there is still poor performance, or develop the quality of employee performance so that it becomes better. The following is the best way to improve employee work competence.

1. Professional Skill Training

The job training program is an important agenda that must be held by the company in order to improve the employee’s work competence. Job training programs are also implemented in order to maintain the company’s productivity and performance.

2. Job Enrichment

Job Enrichment is an activity that gives the job desk and greater responsibility towards employees. The improvement of this job desk can be in the form of system complexity or the quantity of the job desk itself.

In it, employees will feel challenged to be able to carry out new tasks and responsibilities. So that their competence can improve automatically.

3. Comparative Study

Comparative study is an activity that can be carried out by the company in order to increase knowledge in its application in the company so that the application can be done well and the competence of employees can increase.

This comparative study is generally carried out by companies operating in similar industries as well as competitors.

In addition, comparative studies will also motivate employees to be more innovative and more creative at work. Then, employee competence will develop automatically due to the motivation.

4. Department Promotion

Department promotion is the transfer of duties from one department to another department with a higher level of income, benefits, responsibility, job desk, and even greater potential to improve one’s career. A new set of tasks given by employees will then motivate them to work harder than usual.

5. Job Rotation

The work routine that is just that will certainly make employees feel bored and saturated quickly, so that it will reduce productivity. That in turn will be able to lower the competence of employees, therefore job rotation is needed.

Work rotation is the transfer of employees from branches or other places in accordance with the same job desk and division as before. Later, an employee will have a new routine that is certainly not boring. That way, it will encourage them to work more effectively and efficiently.

6. Build Teamwork

In a company, of course, it will consist of a variety of different individual backgrounds. Even so, building teamwork is very necessary to facilitate and speed up the company in realizing its goals.

The cooperation carried out by each individual in a good teamwork will create faster and more accurate solutions in facing the company’s challenges.

7. Creating a Pleasant Work Environment

A pleasant work environment can be achieved in a variety of ways, for example the arrangement of sufficient facilities that are needed by the employees as well as building a harmonious work atmosphere between fellow employees. Facilities that make it easier for employees will make them work more focused.

Meanwhile, a harmonious working atmosphere between each employee will make employees more comfortable and will foster a sense of belonging to the company. A combination of these methods can make the work environment more pleasant for employees.

8. Carrying out activities outside the routine

This activity outside the work routine can take the form of eating together or any reaction. Although it is not implemented too often, it is a good way to make employees more comfortable in their work environment. When they feel more comfortable, then they will be more motivated to improve their work competence automatically.

9. Personal Development

Individual personality is something that cannot be separated by everyone. Therefore, the HRD team must be able to create an activity that can develop the personality of each employee in a good way. The personality of the salary will make the working relationship between each employee more compact.

Basically, everyone has their own competence. Even so, competence can still be improved as long as there is a desire in a person. Therefore, never give up on improving competence.

Thus the discussion about the meaning of competence to how to improve competence.