Nov 05, 2020 | 3
Minute Read

Competencies (DNA): What You Need to Know


The Competencies (DNA) assessment is one of TTI SI’s most popular assessments. Here’s everything you need to know, from its origins to the content of the assessment to how you can use it today.

What is the Competencies (DNA) Assessment?

This assessment was created to manage and develop an individual’s career by identifying their top personal skills, based on how they score on 25 research-based skills required by any job.


These skills are ranked from ‘developed’ to ‘needs development’. It’s also TTI SI’s longest assessment; it’s 125 questions.


Who Created the Competencies (DNA) Assessment?

The Competencies (DNA) assessment was developed and created by TTI Success Insights in the late 1990s. This assessment was created by Bill Bonnstetter, the late founder of TTI SI, to help in hiring, onboarding, and employee development.


What Exactly Are Those Competencies?

So, what exactly are those skills that every worker needs to have? Here are the 25 skills that the Competencies assessment measures.

  • Appreciating Others
  • Conceptual Thinking
  • Conflict Management
  • Continuous Learning
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Customer Focus
  • Decision Making
  • Diplomacy
  • Employee Development/Coaching
  • Flexibility
  • Futuristic Thinking
  • Goal Orientation
  • Influencing Others
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Leadership
  • Negotiation
  • Personal Accountability
  • Planning and Organizing
  • Problem Solving
  • Project Management
  • Resiliency
  • Self Starting
  • Teamwork
  • Time and Priority Management
  • Understanding Others

How Does the Competencies Assessment Help in the Workplace?


Competencies is an assessment tool that can help define if an individual has the skills needed for a specific job. This report can ensure two things: right fit and job satisfaction. It gives you honed-in insight to the skills and potential challenges of your team members and potential hires.

You can maximize the potential of your employees by using Competencies to ensure they are using their strongest skills to deliver high performance.

Who Can Use Competencies?


TTI SI has several different versions of this assessment, so everyone in your team is covered with the right information.

The Management Staff version is used for entry level employees and middle management, while the Executive version of the report is used for C-suite, directors, investors, and business owners. Finally, the Sales version of the report is used for anyone in a Sales role on their team.

These different versions of the report use the same basic assessment, but tailor the insights to each role as needed.

How Can You Use Competencies Right Now?


Here are a few ways you can use this report, right now.


Create a Development Plan

“The great thing about Competencies is that you can actively work to improve them, since they’re experience based,” said Cassandra Nelson, Solutions Consultant and trainer for TTI SI. “That’s why Competencies is the perfect assessment tool to help you build a development plan.”

Have your team take the assessment and experience a debrief to get the most insight out of the report, and then make your plan of action. View their skills that need development as opportunities to shine.


Understand New Hires

You know that you can’t afford a bad hire, so how can you measure potential candidates? This assessment is your key. Competencies lets you find out if someone has the right skills for the job right off the bat, so no one wastes their time moving forward with a bad fit. You can do this by creating a job benchmark.


Increase Employee Engagement

Today’s workers are craving development and guidance to shape their careers and increase their skills. Companies that can give that to them will come out on top, every time.

The Harris Poll reports that “while 98% of employers say they offer career development tools, only 26% of employees rate their employers' tools as delivering development very well.” Not only that, the same report showed that 77% of people felt like they were “on their own” to develop their careers.

Show your team that you are dedicated to their development. The investment of an assessment and debrief will return to you in spades when it comes to their engagement in their daily tasks and their loyalty to your company.

What’s Your Next Step?

There are a few ways you can move forward with Competencies.

If you’re interested in taking the assessment, or would like your team to, contact us here to get set up the right way.

If you’re a member of our network and want some more information about using this assessment, contact your Business Development Consultant or our Solutions Consultant team to learn more.

If you’re not a member of our network but want to learn more about how you can harness the power of Competencies, find the information you need here.

Ready to thrive? We wrote the guide on using assessments for hiring, engagement and development. Get Your FREE Copy Now

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Jaime Faulkner