Competency Mapping Analysis

1) Identify key components of employee job descriptions – the critical points only. Focus on what characteristics and skills are absolutely essential to get the job done. Remember that job descriptions often serve different purposes when posting a position than is needed to explain the role’s responsibilities.

2) Clarify roles and eliminate superfluous information – narrow the scope again. Look through your essential words and phrases. Ask yourself whether you have more words than needed to describe the essential characteristics. Then ask yourself whether the role’s responsibilities are clear. How do they align to the task? the team’s mission? the overall organizational strategy? If they don’t, back to the drawing board.

3) Identify required aptitudes, attitudes, skills, and knowledge for roles – critical components of the competencies are what is beneath the surface of employee behavior. Like an iceberg, we see only what is above water, but realize the vast majority is underneath. These values, underlying skills, and approach to work is what you’re after. Identify what you need for a successful employee.

4) Synthesize ideas into central themes and define them – no more than 10 competencies. You will get mired in the assessment and analysis portion if you don’t narrow it down to the critical few. Start researching other similar organizations and the competencies they require of employees. Look to the K-12 educational sector. There’s quite a bit of knowledge about teacher competencies that will likely align very well with your team.

5) Create a five-scale rubric system – describe what a novice looks like for each competency. What about your expert? What does performance at each level in between look like? What are the skills, aptitudes, and knowledge required at the minimum for each level? Here’s where you will want to clearly describe the behaviors exhibited by individuals who perform at each level on the novice-to-expert scale. Ask others to review your list. Would they know what is expected to perform at each level? If not, it’s back to the drawing board.

6) Build assessments – organize your set of questions aimed at identifying level of alignment for each of the five scales you’ve designed. Don’t just ask questions that measure whether someone is an expert. Look for open ended questions such as “describe how you would do…” or “explain what you did when you were able to accomplish…” Ask your candidates multiple layered questions. Never, ever, ask a question that can be answered with a “yes or no.” You’re looking for depth of answer here so that you can evaluate how well it fits to your rubric.

7) Build logistics for roll-out and on-going measurement cycles – this is the fun part! You build a list of competencies, defined them, built rubrics to assess level of competency on a novice-to-expert scale. Now you need to launch your program. Pay attention to your audience. Are they a group of people with test anxiety? Do they prefer written or oral assessment? Would they be excited to show where they are at as far as their performance? The program will lose its luster if you only do it once. Build a plan for continuous assessment – but don’t go crazy with it. Twice a year is probably more than enough. Use the time in between to build on the gap areas of your team. Make sure they’re moving toward the skillset of your defined expert. However, don’t assume everyone will get there. A good rule of thumb is that you’ll have the majority of your team in the middle 60%, with 20% of them on either side of the novice-to-expert scale.


Steps in Competency Mapping Process

  1. A job analysis is conducted by requesting individuals to fill a position information questionnaire. Questionnaire asks them to describe what they are doing, and what skills, attitudes and abilities they need to have to perform it well. one on one interview can also be used to gather data. The main objective is to gather data from employees about the key behaviors essential to perform their respective work.
  2. Making use of the results of the job analysis, you are ready to create a competency based job description. This competency based job description is presented to the HR department for their agreement and additions if any. It is developed after thoroughly examining the input from the represented group of employees and transforming it to standard competencies.
  3. Once we have competency based job description, we start the process of mapping the competencies. The competencies of the particular job description become factors for assessment on the performance evaluation. Making use of competencies, you can perform more objective evaluations determined by displayed or not displayed behaviors.  Feedback can be given to the participant about the competencies that has been assessed and where they stand.
  4. A detailed report is prepared of the competencies assessed and also the development plan for the developmental areas. The outcomes of assessment can be employed to identify what competencies employees require. Additional development or training can be provided to employees. This will help employees in achieving the objectives of the organization.

The underlying principle of competency mapping is that behavioral and knowledge characteristics could be perfected, and that the behaviors and knowledge sets people outwardly show are just a little part of the behaviors and knowledge sets which individuals are competent at showing. People who use competency mapping feel that if an individual understands what qualities are important to performing efficiently in a provided role or situation at the office, he can work at building those qualities.

Competency mapping provides HR manager a reasonably clear idea of the employee. When the employee `tops’ every indicator at his level, he progresses to a higher level and begins there at the base – in a nutshell, he is promoted. It also helps in figuring out the training and development needs and importantly it helps to motivate the best talent and develop the rest. It is a win-win situation for employees and the organization.

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