Competency Management 101
Training methods are constantly changing in today’s work environment. But one thing’s for sure, if you’re not tracking and assessing the progress of the learner, you’ve got it all wrong! Employees can struggle in a variety of core competencies. Competency management is the ideal way to define and strengthen the core competencies of employees and model a plan to develop the skills required to deliver on an organization’s strategy.
Competency management identifies and optimizes the skills required for an employee to produce value. This provides the foundation to manage strategic talent management practices such as workforce planning and developing employees to optimize their strengths.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What Are Competencies
Competencies are abilities, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and performance standards that impact the success of employees and organizations. Developing and managing competencies is an important way to improve employee performance. Employees can struggle with a variety of shortcomings in the area of soft skills, which are generally referred to as core competencies. Common core competencies are analytical thinking, time management, communication, flexibility, integrity, and teamwork, among others. Where goals and objectives describe “what” you want an employee to accomplish, competencies management describes “how” you want to accomplish them.
Competency management is the ideal method to define and strengthen the core competencies of employees. This is done by managing workforce planning and developing employees to exemplify the strengths of your organization, ultimately strengthening your competitive differentiator.
Competency management uses Learning Management Systems (LMS), like TalentPro, to review competencies and create a plan for the learner. Competency assessments inform leadership on the learner’s current and future talent capabilities. To be assessed as competent, the learner must demonstrate the ability to perform specific tasks. Collecting data about an employee’s skills and knowledge is important for performance risk mitigation, which leadership could otherwise overlook resulting in negative outcomes. This improves talent planning by moving the learner along once he’s shown competent to perform the desired tasks.
“Where do you want to be in 6 months?”
This is a question most people should be thinking about but don’t always. Managers ask this question and many people are able to identify a goal but not always the path they need to take to get there. The process of Competency Management begins by performing a gap analysis. This identifies shortcomings the LMS can track and assess what needs to be addressed moving forward, effectively providing career planning.
In order to model competencies, you must first identify the core competencies needed for the job and how these competencies align with business goals. Then you can highlight other strengths for the individual to develop. Competency management automation facilitates learning and development, eliminating non-value-add training. LMSs can highlight strengths to be further developed and flag critical skill gaps for mitigation, improving operational efficiency.
Competency Models can be built for an individual role, but are more effective when they take into account the learning pathways of an individual in a specific career trajectory. For example, an engineer on an oil field needs specific hard and soft skills, but his or her manager needs additional skills as well.
Individuals learn in different ways. Some learn visually, by reading written material, via audio or tactile means, and others by practicing a skill. Many also learn by being coached, with mentoring programs, and a combination of these techniques. These standardized tests are effective for some, but not equally effective for all individuals. Technology today is advanced enough to address these different learning styles for individuals. Generate higher levels of employee and leader satisfaction with their overall experience with the organization.
Benefits of Competency Management
Learning Management Systems offer a number of benefits including accessibility, reusability, durability, maintenance ability, and adaptability. Adaptive in nature, students, and teachers can access materials at any time. Teachers can also modify content and allow students access to updated material. LMSs create an easy and fair evaluation of learners based on progress, performance, regular knowledge checks, and online assessments. The material can be re-used or modified at any time it’s needed and keeping the organization up-to-date with current compliance regulations. If this sounds like a need for your organization then a Learning Management System can be an invaluable tool.
Do you need help developing a competency management system or mapping competencies?
Most importantly you need an LMS that supports content in various formats: text, video, audio, etc. TalentPro, for example, provides the learner with a personalized plan, monitors progress and provides regular competency reviews on the work they’ve completed. If you are currently in the process of mapping your employees’ competencies or in the development stage of your Competency Management System, we can help! We are able to take over where you’ve left off, get a free consultation today!