To be competent in anything is an asset itself. Your competency ensures your success and good performance in your designated role. There are two common competencies, one is the core competency that basically applies to everyone in an organization. Then there is the key job competency, the stepping stone to your success as a star employee.
Competency management is such a process that makes sure the employees have ample skills, abilities, and knowledge that they need to meet to ensure the job expectations entitled to them. The management creates a framework and using that the HR recruits employees who have the set of skills to continue working.
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What Makes Competency Management?
Why Exactly Do the Employees Need Competency Management?
When you implement job-specific competencies, it helps your company and its employees to succeed. They also help you to define the culture and ensure that the standard of performances remains constant and remarkable. To break down the reasons behind competency management, we find:
Development through competency management can be done in two phases. One for the current role and the other for the future role. For the current one, the employees who are struggling, the ones who need to close the gap between their work rate and the requirements need to be given competency training. For future roles, the employees who are clear about their skills and know what exactly is required for pushing forward to have the next role. They need management to go to the next level.
Learning is also divided into two main sub-parts. One has to be the relevance, which states that competency management is only needed when there is a competency gap or room for improvement. In such cases, training is needed, but otherwise scheduling unnecessary courses is a waste of time. At the same time, the whole training process can turn out to be a model for the company if the planning is done right.
Compliance consists of crucial issues like shift balancing and auditing. We have to understand the impact of the competencies, as to which one affects the operational safety and who is not complying with the requirements. If the safety team is insufficient the manager can balance the shift by adding new, capable members. Auditing refers to the competency to prove compliance to the auditors. It can be following any incident or simple scheduled events.
Revenues are another critical matter here. If you cut the time to revenue by a specific and significant percentage, then you may as well be saving a good lot of costs. That actually saves the money one would spend on training the not-so-well trained employees.
Through the competency management, one can be efficient and thorough. They can do their workforce planning right, can quickly analyze a situation, work on it and figure out a feasible solution.
The Competency Map
But before someone begins competency management, first he/she needs to know about the competency condition of the employees, as to how many of them are doing their jobs well, how many are doing it just fine, how many are doing sub-par. For that, an organization can create a personal competency map for every single employee at the office.
The map would contain monthly or weekly reviews of the performances of an employee. It would also include where they actually stand considering their skills and knowledge. Here are four simple steps to make sure you have a standard competency map:
Step 1: Make a list of the key-competencies at your workplace
There has been no universal rule about setting the key competencies. There are no rulebooks, and so your competency management should be flexible and adaptable considering the organization. Naturally, teams and team members come from different backgrounds and in ambiguous forms. Hence the list fluctuates and changes from time to time.
But some of the features are compatible and usable for all kinds of competency management. For example, their professional co-operation, the client handling ability, strategy development, organizing skills, writing, initial development- these are some of the competencies that almost all the companies follow. So your list can begin with them.
Step 2: Figure out what exactly do these competencies mean in practice
We can list out a handful of competencies and skills that an employee should have. But to approve them in the competency map, they need to be put to practice. We need to see how they work in practical life.
In other words, this step means to elaborate on the competencies you’ve listed so far in step one. This gives the employees a clear-cut view to finally understand what it means to be competent in a particular something.
Step 3: Create the levels of knowledge
Now that we’re done with the basics, we’ve identified the skills one needs to be competent, now it’s time to put up with a scale. A scale that will ensure the measurement of a person’s individual knowledge level in the aforementioned areas. The scale will also set a benchmark and a framework for helping people understand their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, you can use six levels of understanding in this procedure.
Level 0: The employee is completely unfamiliar about this competency, doesn’t even understand it.
Level 1: Novice employee, understands the competency but doesn’t apply it.
Level 2: Slightly advanced employee, needs supervision to conduct the competency.
Level 3: Relatively competent employee. Doesn’t need any supervision.
Level 4: Proficient employee, supervises or encourages first and second level employees.
Level 5: Expert employee, is way beyond training, works to develop ways to improve competency training in the organization.
Step 4: Start assessing the employees with the map!
Now that we have the list, and the levels included with each competency. Now, all that’s left to do is to start assessing each and every one of the employees with the map. The tactical part here is, who will assess them? We know that the biggest critic of oneself is the person himself. So you can create some sort of a form to the employees to assess themselves. Then, taking the answers into account, the manager can make his own assessment of the employees. That should work.
In conclusion, these competencies should never be set in stone. Do revisit the list and definitions to make sure the list still fulfills the needs of your organization. Shifts and changes may come, and you better be fully prepared for it!