The term ‘competency mapping’ has gained a wider circulation and importance among academicians and businesses in recent times. Let us recall the saying, ‘Winners do not do different things, they do things differently’. In the same vein, organizations have felt an excruciating urgency for acquiring and retaining competent employees and developing distinct competencies in today’s competitive business scenario.
Most of the jobs contain some critical elements or parts. Competency Mapping is the process of identifying key competencies for an organisation and/or a job and incorporating those competencies throughout the various processes of the organisation such as job evaluation, training, recruitment, etc. It generally examines two areas; emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ), and strengths of the individual in areas like team structure, leadership, and decision-making.
Components of competency mapping:
- Firstly, various competencies such as workplace competencies, core competencies, threshold competencies, differentiating competencies, technical and behavioural competencies have to be identified by the organization. The competency framework must not just identify job specific competencies but also define those competencies that are essential for superior performance on the job.
- Then the company has to either develop a competency model or it can use an existing competency model often referred to as ‘off-the-shelf’ ready to use model. A popular approach is to customize an existing one as per organization’s needs.
- Next, we have to do a competency assessment. The competency framework should extend itself in developing the behavioral indicators for each of the identified competencies so that observation and measurement of the identified competencies becomes possible. Some methods include assessment centers, potential appraisals, 360 degree feedback, etc.
- After this, we need to find ways of how to develop the competencies & this has to be a continuous process, not a sporadic event or even series of events.
- At last, we must ensure that a competency management framework is synergized with other hr systems for optimal utilization of the same.
Competencies allow new hires or newly promoted employees to become familiar with the nuances of the job, which makes it easier for them to understand what success looks like and what is expected of them. When you allow new employees to self-assess against the requirements that have been defined for their role, they are able to understand their strengths and what gaps they may need to close to be successful. Implementing competencies into your onboarding program requires tools such as job descriptions, assessments, learning activities, and targeted onboarding or orientation programs tied to the job requirements.
Defining the key requirements for your positions allows you to find and hire people that not only have the skills required for the job but are also able to demonstrate behaviors that fit with your organization’s values. You can then include these requirements in your job postings and identify tools that can be used to assess candidates against these requirements. Whatever tools you decide to use, whether it is pre-screening tools, behavioral based interview questions, tests, and/or reference checks, it is important to ensure that you have a training program in place to teach staff and HR professionals how to use them effectively during hiring.
Performance management and evaluation is best considered as an ongoing process rather than a single event. When employees and their managers clearly understand the skills, abilities, knowledge, and competencies required for their role, it makes performance discussions easier and more effective. Improvement plans for competency-based reviews are effective because they often focus on total job performance, not just one specific area. Assessment tools, training for managers and employees on how to deliver and receive feedback, development plan templates, and learning activities mapped to the job requirements are needed to implement competencies or NOS into your performance management program.
Defining the key requirements for all jobs allows employees to gain a clear understanding of the expectations for their current role as well as any roles they aspire to transition to. This allows employees to take ownership of their own career trajectories. Implementation requires a clear map of all roles within an organization, including the required knowledge, skills, experience, and competencies for each role. Assessment tools can help employees measure their current status against their selected career goals. Your career development program should also include individual career plans and a catalog of learning and development opportunities linked to all the job requirements.
Understanding a workforce’s skillsets makes filling key positions and planning for succession and promotion easy! By using competencies you can begin to groom existing employees to take over mission-critical positions. Through assessments and individual employee career goals, you can better identify which employees display the capacity to perform successfully and create organizational succession plans. Implementing competencies into your succession planning program requires you to define mission-critical positions, the key requirements for those positions, assessment tools, and learning and development options.
Learning and Development
Employees tend to stay with employers who provide opportunities for continued growth and development. Assessments can help you to do just that. They allow employees to rate their own performance against the observable and measurable requirements of their job and identify areas of strength and those areas in need of development. They can then use this information to create personalized learning and development plans. Assessments also allow an organization to understand where to focus their learning and development resources, such as coaching and training courses. Incorporating competencies or NOS into your learning program requires you to define the skills, abilities, knowledge, and competencies needed for success and then map these to learning and development activities (e.g., courses, job rotation, coaching). You will also need assessment tools and individual learning and development plans.
Benefits to competency management
- Competency management can identify which skills a person needs to perform well in order to succeed in their specific role.
- This ability to identify which skills are necessary for a job means that HR can better identify the candidates that will succeed in the role.
- Employee onboarding and training is made easier, as there is a structure in place. Employees who receive clear, defined instructions of their job parameters will do better in their roles.
- Productivity is improved by the ability to evaluate skills, identify which ones an employee is lacking, and providing the necessary training.
- Errors and other issues will be decreased as a result of this improved training.
- Employee retention is improved, employees who feel that their leadership team is investing in them are more likely to stay in their job, keeping their valuable skills and knowledge within the organization.
- Better understanding of what skills are necessary for the organization to grow and succeed in the future, as well as the ability to select or train for these skills in new and current employees.
- Leaders can be created from within. Leadership opportunities are important to employees, and building a skilled, loyal leadership team through effective competency management will engage employees and turn them into long-term assets.