Competency management plays a key role in the assessment of employee performance. It provides a viable way to identify key areas for training and human resources development. As a result, it becomes easier to cultivate talent pools for the business. The approach has been shown to help build a strong corporate culture, align the company’s human resources and encourage improved performance.
An organization’s core competencies enable it to gain and sustain a competitive advantage on the market. Competency management makes it easier for employees to familiarize themselves with the skills framework required to perform duties more efficiently. The framework is typically used by the human resources (HR) and the Safety (HSE) departments to recruit new staff and for existing employees to succeed in their roles safely.
The key aspects of competency management
1. Developing planning tools
Developing competencies is undoubtedly complex, particularly for large companies that employ thousands of workers. For this reason, it is important to develop and implement competencies for critical roles at a time as opposed to all employees. This reduces the workload and complexity of planners. Establishing a common language regarding competencies is another vital aspect that should not be ignored.
Typically, Occupational health and safety legislation for a particular province or state mandates a broad suite of competencies based on hazards, industry and risks. Contacting these regulatory organizations is a great tool in planning this compliance-based competency layer.
Planning tools help solve these issues by creating common competency language and culture. These tools are designed to help organizations boost productivity while simplifying the entire skills mapping process. Handling the project properly can have a significant impact on the business. Studies have shown that businesses with a viable competency model are more likely to take advantage of effective initiatives.
2. Align business goals and competencies
Companies should align their competencies and business objectives by ensuring that employees understand the organization’s vision and values. Core competencies are typically easy to understand and measure. When properly implemented, competency management reinforces a shared vision and culture of high productivity, safety and innovation.
It has been proven that businesses that align competencies and operational goals reap significant benefits. This can be achieved through leveraging technology and other tools via a competency-based training matrix. Failure to maximize effectiveness through technology can compromise the overall results. A lack of investment in these initiatives is not an option; hence, the need to align them with broader business objectives.
3. Create different levels of knowledge
When your organization has implemented the basic aspects of competencies, you can focus on scaling the initiative. This stage allows you to measure the individual knowledge of all your employees. You can also use this opportunity to establish a solid framework for helping individuals identify their strengths and weaknesses. The framework is also useful for evaluating progress over time.
Some of the levels that can be used to measure the level of knowledge include:
– Completely unfamiliar
– Novice (grasps the definition and importance of competency)
– Advanced beginner (demonstrates a specific competency under supervision)
– Competent (demonstrates competency with or without encouragement or supervision)
– Proficient (demonstrates the ability to help other employees with issues concerning a specific competency)
– Expert (has the ability to develop innovative ways to apply a competency)
Bear in mind that the HR department and Safety department often have a varied set of needs and will need to collaborate heavily.
4. Maximize your competency budget
Reports show that only 23 percent of companies allocate a minimum of 10 percent of their skills management finances to competencies. It comes as no surprise that organizations that allocate 10 percent or more of their budgets to take advantage of better results. Top consultants have been analyzing the management of competencies for many years. They noted that most companies are not fully cognizant of budgeting needs for effective competency management.
In some cases, organizations attempt to implement the initiative with no existing budget. Higher spending is intrinsically linked to a marked increase in key performance indicators (KPIs). For this reason, entities that allocate at least 10 percent of their talent management budget benefit from significant revenue growth. Companies that disregard this key factor missing out on viable opportunities for their business operations.
Many companies use online training courses as a starting point with their competency profiles to help extend their budgets for training. Building your own in-house online training via a Learning Management System works very well. Another great way is to use Digital paperwork to track and manage 1on1 competency-assessments!
Planners must focus on key factors like proper competency budgeting, alignment of business goals with competencies and leveraging technology.
5. Designing a competency framework
A competency framework forms the backbone of your organization’s initiative. It defines various aspects of core and role-specific competencies that are vital for the success of the business. To handle this stage properly, planners must have an in-depth understanding of low- and high-level roles in the organization. In some cases, it is vital to enlist the services of third-party consultants to develop a proper framework.
Making the decision to implement a competency strategy is the first step to boosting productivity and transforming organizational culture. This step should be augmented with a proper implementation based on a viable framework. These aspects must be supported by an adequate competency budget and appropriate technology. Please contact us today to discuss how our robust software suite can help to manage, track and administer your competency-based training system.