Competency Mapping

Competency Mapping

Competencies are derived from specific job families within an organization and are frequently categorized as strategy, relationships, innovation, leadership, risk-taking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, and so on. Competency mapping determines a person’s strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to help the person better understand himself or herself and to identify where career development efforts should be focused. Employee mapping can be done by the employee or by others such as superiors. It is also possible to use the 360-degree method, in which peers, first reports, and customers rate the employee.

What is Competency?

Statements like “You have the competency to do this” or “You lack the competency for this project” are commonly used in workplace scenario. There is often a reference made to one’s competency with respect to a certain task, project, or job. But what exactly is competency? If we go by the dictionary meaning, competency refers to the ability to do something efficiently. Precisely so, competency has been defined by theorists and professionals as well in a similar manner.

The term competency has been derived from a Latin term “competentia” which means “is authorized to judge” or “has the right to speak”. However, in 1797, this Latin term was changed to “competens” meaning “sufficiency of qualification”. The latter is in accordance with the popular meaning of competency which refers to those underlying characteristics of an individual that are required to perform a job or task effectively.

Competence and Competency

It is also essential to understand the difference between two commonly interchangeably used words: Competence and Competency. Competence refers to a skill or standard of performance achieved by an employee and is measured by what an employee can do. Competency, on the other hand, refers to the behaviour by which the competence is achieved.

Therefore, unlike competence, competency is behaviour-based and is described by the way the standard of performance is achieved. Being able to type fast is a competence achieved through practice. Being able to persistently practice is a competency. Another way of understanding the difference between competence and competency is by a model that defined competency as a summation of commitment and competence. Here, commitment refers to attachment or passion towards the work and competence refers to the ability to do the job. When these two are combined, it defines a person’s competency. Being able to type fast and also being passionate towards any work that involves fast typing defines the person’s competency.

What is Competency Mapping?

Competency Mapping is a process and not a product. To perform a job, an individual does not require a single competency but a combination of several competencies. Two job roles may require the same competency, but the degree or intensity may vary. Therefore, in the process of competency mapping, those competencies that are imperative to perform a task or job role are identified.

These identified competencies may be core competencies which are required by all employees in the organization or workplace competencies which are unique to a job role. Further, the identified competencies can be in terms of functional and technical skills or in terms of specific behaviours. Depending on what competencies are identified, matching is done with the respective competencies of the potential candidate or existing employee. This process of matching the competencies is what we refer to as competency mapping.

The mapping can be either job role specific or at an organizational level. The purpose is to evaluate the degree of “fit” of the candidate or employee to the job role or organization.

Competency Mapping can help you with:

  • A competency-based approach allows an organization to understand its capabilities and the gaps it is exposed to. A competency-based approach allows it to fine tune all HR related downstream activities.
  • Recruitment becomes more focused and the specific competencies required become clear.
  • Talent Management becomes easier with the skills being defined clearly and the behaviours employees are to be assessed on.
  • Learning and Development and Organizational Development become easier.
  • A competency framework makes it easier for organizations to plan, strategize and implement to optimize overall organizational capabilities.

Behavioural Competency

Any attribute related to behaviors like knowledge, skills, teamwork, leadership qualities, etc which helps in the development of a person in an organization to move up in the hierarchy is known as behavioral competency. It can be applied easily to any level of hierarchy from top to bottom. A behavioral competency is used to enhance the ability of employees at different positions in an organization for smooth transition in the workflow. It is not only limited to professional life of a person but also extends to the personal life of that person. It is a combination of traits which a person should have or has to be successful.

Measuring behavioral competency is a tough job for any one however it is used during succession planning, workforce planning and learning and development. Possessing behavioral competency is important to succeed in a job role. There are five types of behavioral competencies:

  • Intrapersonal Competencies – Intrapersonal competencies are those competencies where one’s personal attributes matter such as decision-making, teamwork, confidence, technical knowledge, etc.
  • Interpersonal Competencies – Interpersonal competencies are those competencies which determine the ability to communicate with other, persuading others, etc comes to picture. It involves attributes like matching energy levels, communication skills, persuasion and networking skills, conflict resolution, etc.
  • Motivational Competencies – Motivational competencies are those competencies which determine the ability of person to motivate self and others. It involves attributes such as being motivator, taking initiatives, motivating others to take initiatives, leading by example, etc.
  • Managerial Competencies – Managerial competencies as the name suggests are determine the managerial ability of a person. It includes behavioral traits like leading teams, managing task, directing, delegating, strategic planning, etc.
  • Analytical Competencies – Analytical competencies are those competencies which determine the logical side of a brain. It involves attributes such as data analytics, playing with numbers, complex problem-solving abilities, technical knowledge, etc.

A very prominent concept that comes to our mind is BARS which is acronym for behaviourally anchored rating scale. This is a very commonly used methodologies by multiple organizations to compare performance of its employees against specific set of behavioral traits which are linked to numerical values or rating scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. The approach to BARS is that it breaks down a bigger chunk of task into small chunks exhibiting behaviors. Let’s understand this with an example. Suppose you went to a restaurant for dinner. After you had your dinner, the waitress handles you a card to rate their services. That card contains multiple questions relating to the ambience of the restaurant, services provided by the waitress, taste of the food served, presentation of the food, etc. And each item comes with rating scale from 0 to 5 or 10 where 5 or 10 being the highest. This not only helps the restaurant to re-look at their end product but also review the entire service chain.

Similarly, BARS is commonly used for the front-line staff or for those who are in constant touch with the customers, example – customer care executives at a telecom company.

Strengthscape has multiple behavioral assessments for a variety of need. If you are looking for some behavioral assessment you can reach out to team Strengthscape at +91 9740001600 or email them at contact@strengthscape.com.

 

The Difference Between Skills and Competencies

Skills and competencies are two terms you’ll often come across while looking for a job. It might appear as if these two words are substitutable, but it’s actually not correct to describe competency as just a synonym of skill. Skills tend to be more distinct and more easily described and defined. While, on the other hand, competencies are more extensive as they not only constitute sets of skills, but also knowledge and abilities.

How Do Skills and Competencies Differ?

Skills are the distinct learned abilities that you require to do a given job well. However, hard skills and soft skills do vary. A hard skill is a technical and calculable skill that a professional may illustrate through their distinct qualifications and professional experiences, whereas a soft skill is a non-technical skill that is less firm in specific professions.

On the other hand, competencies are the person’s attitude and observation that helps them to be successful in a job. Competencies explain in an effective way how an individual’s attitude brings about the required results in their behavior. As with skills, there are various types of competencies, including basic competencies, which are those that any successful employee needs to rise through an organization.

The Difference Explained

A major difference between skills and competencies is that of scope. Competencies are more extensive than skills. Skills are particular to a task, while competencies consist of a set of skills with capabilities and knowledge. Skills are just one of three features that make up competency; the other two being knowledge and insight.

Learning a new skill is much quicker than learning a competency. A person develops competencies over time through practice and experience, while a skill can be learned in a relatively short training class. In business, competencies are the effective operation of a blend of skills. Organizations create competencies by translating specific skills into selected behaviors that show the ability to perform the job demands successfully.  Competencies are also used to define the requirements for success on the job in a wider sense than skills do.

Skills and competencies are not mere catchy expressions scattered throughout job descriptions. They give us the means to be successful. So, if we can’t figure out the difference between skills and competencies, we can’t possibly move forward in our career, both now and in the future.

Core Competencies that give an Organization Competitive Advantage

Core competency is a unique skill that creates distinct customer value. As an organization grows, develops and adjusts to the changing business environment, so do its core competencies. Hence, these competencies need to be flexible and develop with time.

The organization cannot grow if its core competencies are rigid and fixed. Core competencies enable an organization to distinguish its products from its rivals as well as to reduce its costs as compared to its competitors to attain a competitive advantage.

Core competencies are the collective learning of an organization which not only involves coordination with large management skills but also integrating multiple channels of technology.

When an organization identifies its core competencies, it becomes capable of creating more value. Individuals in the organization should recognize their competencies and work towards moulding and enhancing them.

It is essential for businesses to enhance and highlight their core competencies to deliver value to their customers. Core competencies should be developed in such a way that it is hard for competitors to imprint on.

One way to ensure development of such core competencies is by identifying key internal strengths and investing in the aspects most valued by their customers. Once individuals clearly understand their core competencies, they acquire the ability to design ways to utilize them within and outside the organization to achieve maximum success.

This in turn gives them and the organization a competitive edge. Four such competencies that give an organization a competitive edge over others is:

  • Innovation – Cutting edge innovations of an organization give it a competitive edge in the market. The customers are always looking for creative and innovative ways to upgrade their lives. Hence, businesses should always keep upgrading their products and keep innovating. For example, Apple’s core competency has been its ability to roll out novel designs that enhance a user’s experience as compared to other businesses in the same arena. Small businesses become more successful than the bigger competitors when they are nimble and constantly innovative.
  • Quality – Quality ensures reliability and performance. Businesses that deploy new concepts such as time-focused manufacturing and total quality management to incorporate quality in their production fair well than their competitors. Consumers look for products in the market they can rely on and thus, providing quality assurance becomes an essential aspect. Businesses with a reputation for a quality are thus able to make higher profits as well as enjoy consumer loyalty.
  • Customer Service – Businesses that provide unprecedented customer service to the consumers enjoy a competitive advantage within the market. The ability to formulate and complete client engagements on time and within budget highlights the organization’s efficiency. Companies that do not invest in providing efficient customer service might risk losing its customers to the competitors.
  • Flexibility – It is essential for organizations to be flexible to stay competitive. Exploring market niches that the competitors are not pursuing, teaming up with other businesses to gain market shares can actively improve the flexibility of the company. However, bigger market players also need strategic flexibility to work in accordance with rapidly changing customer preferences and ever-changing business climate.

What are distinctive competencies and how do they enhance business success?

Essentially, in the world of business, the past dictates the present. One of the first authors to realise that an organization’s internal variables, such as its staff and its past experiences, are vital to its chances of success in implementing a chosen policy was Philips Selgnick in his book, leadership in administration. Selgnick spoke of distinctive competence.

A company’s distinctive competencies are a group of skills that are specific to that company and enable it to outperform rivals in the market. Simply put, distinguishing competencies are the characteristics that set a company apart from rivals. This is a standout trait or attribute that allows a company to stand out from rival companies. According to Slegnick, an organization’s developmental history gives rise to unique restrictions and capacities, a character or emergent institutional pattern that significantly influences its capacity to formulate and carry out derived policies. For example, a shoe manufacturing company’s reliance on independent producers for product supply and production is almost total. To have a more flexible and robust supply chain and experience faster growth, it can either purchase some of them or create some on its own. Additionally, it will help fund investments in other fields like marketing and R&D while lowering production costs. However, the history and culture of the organisation should match with the new task. A distinctive competence in one area may amount to distinctive incompetence in another area. Strategy creation and opportunity monitoring are pointless endeavours unless a firm has the internal capabilities to carry out its decisions, or at the very least has the potential to build the necessary capabilities.

Therefore, competence—both general and specific—plays a critical part in the organization’s success. The company strategy should be connected to the competence mapped. Managers should first build capabilities and then use the opportunity to develop plans or create any corporate strategy. This way the capabilities will be aligned to the task and there will be no discrepancies. Whether it is corporate strategy or internal competencies, competency mapping is most important and has to be related to the corporate strategy. Competencies are an important resource to a company and the management should focus on expanding and building on them.

Why are competencies important?

Competencies aid in assessing business-relevant returns on human and technological investment and measuring crucial success. The performance of the organisation improves when the competences are assessed in terms of their influence on business outcomes. In order to map gaps at the individual, functional, and organisational levels, skills are measured at the individual level by evaluating performance in functional areas.

Competencies support organisational growth. The competencies can be learned when the competency gaps are evaluated at each of the three levels. The organisation decides what behaviours are necessary to achieve success at different levels, and success is enhanced by taking action to improve employee capacities to display competences on the job.

Following are some distinctive competencies which will help you advance and succeed in 2022:

  • Marketing: Having access to a multitude of resources that provides the brand or company the exposure it needs to garner attention. Having an incredible marketing team onboard, can help the company reach out to more people.
  • Technology: Incorporate the latest technological developments. Being ahead in terms of ideas and innovation allows a brand to improve its products & Services
  • Economies of Scale: offering a variety of products & providing the customers with a plethora of options to choose from, and help the company generate more revenue
  • High-end products: Offer your customers high-end products or services. This will help excel your competitors in every possible way.

ROLE OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE COMPETENCIES

We all have different personalities, different wants and needs, and different ways of showing our emotions. Navigating through this all takes thoughtfulness and cleverness –particularly if we tend to hope to achieve overall success in life. This is where emotional intelligence becomes important. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s emotions, understand what they’re conveying, and realize how emotions affect people around you. It also involves one’s perception of others: when one understands how they feel and is able to manage relationships more effectively. No matter what the case, our brains are hardwired to override our rational thought in favor of our emotions. Therefore, understanding one’s own emotions becomes crucial for oneself and for others. Hence, in this article we are going to discuss about Emotional Intelligence Competencies and how they are essential in maintaining overall health and well being.

Emotional Intelligence Competencies

According to psychologist Daniel Goleman who popularized the concept of emotional intelligence, there are 5 key emotional intelligence competencies that come under two primary categories- personal competence: skills that focus more on the individual rather than interactions with others and social competence: the ability to understand other’s moods, thoughts and emotions to improve the quality of relationships. The 5 core Emotional Intelligence Competencies are:

  • Self awareness –
    Self awareness is the ability to recognize and understand personal moods and emotions as well as their effects on others. It depends on one’s ability to correctly identify and label each emotion. People who possess high self awareness have a good sense of humor, are confident in their abilities and have a realistic self assessment which is a sure sign of self awareness.
  • Self regulation –
    Self regulation is to the ability to control or redirect disruptive moods or emotions and express them appropriately. It is the skill to monitor and regulate one’s own thoughts, emotions and behavior and altering or expressing them in accordance with the demands of the situation. Those who are high on this ability tend to be flexible and adapt well to change. They are good at managing conflicts, are thoughtful and high on conscientiousness.
  • Motivation –
    Intrinsic motivation plays an important role in emotional intelligence. It is the kind that comes from within and fuels an individual to overcome a challenge and achieve the goal. People who are emotionally intelligent are motivated by things beyond mere external rewards, to fulfill their inner needs and goals. Those who are competent in this area are action oriented, set goals and tend to be very committed and have a high need for achievement.
  • Empathy –
    Empathy or the ability to share someone else’s feelings or experiences as if they were one’s own is critical to emotional intelligence. It is important to be empathetic rather than sympathetic in order to be emotionally intelligent. Goleman suggests that people high on empathy are self disciplined, optimists, competitive, initiative, resourceful and determined.
  • Social Skills –
    Social skills involve proficiency in managing relationships and the ability to interact well with others. It also involves the ability to guide and inspire others and diffuse stressful situations using cooperation and negotiation. People who possess high social skills are effective in leading change, persuasive, active listeners and have good verbal communication skills.

Importance of Emotional Intelligence Competencies

After having a clear explanation of what is emotional intelligence, we must know why it is important. Emotional Intelligence features an effective result within the everyday lives of individuals. The importance of emotional intelligence competencies is:

  • EQ helps become stronger and more motivated. It reduces procrastination and increases self-confidence.
  • It conjointly permits to make higher support systems, overcome obstacles and persevere in life more optimistically.
  • With being empathetic, you can have a better understanding of those around you.
  • Whether professionally or in your personal space, you can communicate your feelings in a constructive manner.
  • You can effectively perceive the emotions, responses, and needs of people you care about, which can lead to having stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
  • Also, whether physically or mentally, with EQ you can handle all the stress life throws at you.
  • You can avoid falling into depression or anxiety, which also affect you physically.
  • EQ also permits you to own a positive mental outlook on life.

Decades of research now point to Emotional Intelligence Competencies as the critical factors that set star performers apart from the rest of the pack. It affects the way we tend to manage behavior, navigate complexities and make personal choices that accomplish positive results. Emotional intelligence is the foundation for a host of critical skills—it impacts almost everything we say and do each day. Hence, emotional intelligence does play an important role in the overall personal as well as social wellness of an individual and can be developed effectively in several ways.

Competency Models

We all use competencies; they are simply the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform our daily activities. A Competency Model organizes the competencies needed to perform successfully in a particular work setting, such as a job, occupation, or industry. Competency Models can be utilized as a resource for building a curriculum and picking training materials, recognizing licenses as well as certification necessities, penning job descriptions, recruiting employees, and assessing employee performance.

A competency model is a collection of competencies that together define successful performance in a particular work setting. Competency models are the foundation for significant HR functions such as training and development, recruitment and hiring, and performance management, to name a few. Competency models can be developed and refined for specific jobs, job groups, businesses, or industries.

Competency Models can be used for shaping the organization in alignment to competency models as the latter take a variety of forms; typically, they include the following elements: Competency names and detailed definitions. For example, a competency model could include a competency called “Teamwork” defined as an amalgamation of establishing constructive and solid interpersonal relationships; treating others with courtesy, tact, and respect; working effectively with others, regardless of organizational level, background, gender, race, or ethnicity; working to resolve disagreements, attempting to persuade others and reach agreements; abiding by and supporting group decisions; and facilitating team interaction and maintaining focus on group goals.

Descriptions of activities or behavior associated with each competency – For example, behaviors associated with the competency “Teamwork” would include handling differences in work styles effectively when working with coworkers, capitalizing on strengths of others on a team to get work done, anticipating potential conflicts and addressing them directly and effectively, motivating others to contribute opinions and suggestions, and demonstrating a personal commitment to group goals.

Headquartered in Bangalore, India, leading business psychology firm Strengthscape opines that a competency model facilitates a strategic approach and a binding method for all HR systems in a global organization. It is essential to place the right people in the right job, promote the high performers and create a climate that ensures people put in their best every day. A competency model acts at various levels and delivers a host of benefits in integrating a company’s processes and measures and propagating a unique culture. Talent Acquisition can be streamlines by juxtaposing the requirements of a job to the competencies of the available pool of candidates (employees or aspiring employees), an organization can hire the best fit people. Improving productivity by concentrating people’s effort and performances that have the utmost impact on business, across all levels. By ensuring that the skill gaps are methodically quantified, they ensure that training budgets are aptly spent. Making the best of feedback process, organizations can conceive development actions in an effective way.

Competency Models articulate the required skills and competencies of the future and by ascertaining the gap between the current level of skills and what is important for the future success of the organization, they contribute towards making the organization future ready; acting as fodder for Competency Models.

Competency Mapping Methods and Tools

In this persistently evolving era, there is immense pressure on individuals, especially in the work arena. It is maybe because of incorrect recruitment and placement. It is examined that in multiple firms’ employees are not assessed according to their talent and competency skills, that’s where you require an effective and efficient Competency Mapping model. Competency mapping may appear like a complicated process at first, however, that is simply not the case. It symbolizes the process through which the requirement of a job is analysed. It evaluates the set of skills and mindset required to perform a job efficiently. A Competency Mapping Model, could be made with several approaches or methods, let’s see some of them:

Methods of Competency Mapping

So, the basic general procedure of competency mapping comprises an identification of the department, preparation of job analysis, acquire employee skill data using any competency tools, now with the analysed data, create a competency calendar and place employees as per their skills and its levels. Now this was the actual procedure, but there was a step where you need to apply competency mapping tools, so here are some tools which you can include while creating a Competency Mapping Model.

  1. Questionnaire: A questionnaire is a set of questions aligned to analyse one’s personality. In reference to competency mapping, there are different types of questionnaires prepared to evaluate the skills and thought process of employees. Some of the questionnaires are- (i) Metric Questionnaire: This questionnaire comprises of questions like background, interaction among peers and public, mental and physical wellbeing, work environment, and decision making. (ii) Functional Job Analysis: In this section, the questions belong to language, mathematics, quantitative and qualitative reasoning, people and work environment. This type of questionnaire helps in evaluating behavioural and reaction qualities.
  2. Critical Incidents Technique: This technique imply analysis through real-life instances on the job only. Here supervisor or the leading authority is required to create a report where he will list down the positive and negative attributes of the employee. Also, he needs to mention the instances where the employee was successful or unsuccessful. This is helpful in analysing the personality of the person along with his behaviour.
  3. Personal Interviews: Personal interview is the best technique to determine a person. A properly structured interview is always helpful in assessing an individuals’ personality. Also, once you can figure out the prospects and inclinations of the employee, you will be able to match it with competency mapping model prepared for the required job and analyse the suitability.
  4. Psychometric Assessment: Psychometric assessment is a tested system which helps complete analysis of an individual based on specific standards. Majorly there are 2 sections of this assessment namely achievement test and aptitude test. The aptitude test signifies the diversion of an individual towards an arena, and achievement test signifies the proficiency of an individual in an area.
  5. Assessment Centres: This method comprises of real-life activities, which are provoking in order to introspect real-life behaviours of aspiring employees. These activities could be group activities and discussions which reflect actual urges of job scenarios.

To sum up, you can note that Competency mapping model is the best choice when it comes to recruitment and training. With competency mapping, you will be able to cut down the excess training cost and, also it will give you an idea of designing the best way of training for your employees. So today only indulge Competency mapping in your organization in order to overcome excess employee training cost.

COMPETENCY MAPPING IN ORGANIZATIONS

Competency mapping identifies an individual’s skills and abilities and strengths and weaknesses. The aim of this process is to enable the individual to better understand himself/herself and to point out where career development efforts need to be directed. For competency mapping in organizations to work successfully, it is very important that each competency is defined properly, making use of the competency definition that makes it very clear what these competencies mean. Also, what behaviors the employee needs to demonstrate (called Behavioral Indicators or BI) would allow the organization to ascertain that the concerned employee possesses these skills in varying degrees (called Proficiency Levels or PI). This standardizes the process and makes it reliable so that anyone looking at the competency framework developed through the competency mapping exercise can interpret it easily. This standardization is extremely important as the process of competency mapping is at the heart of the human resource development of an organization.

The steps involved in competency mapping process are –

  1. Firstly, conduct a job analysis by asking office-bearers to complete a position information questionnaire (PIQ). PIQ can be provided for them to complete, or one-on-one interviews can be conducted using the PIQ as a guide. The primary goal in this step is to gather from incumbents what they feel are the key behaviors necessary to perform their particular jobs. By analyzing the key skills required to perform a job, a simple job evaluation can be prepared. It can help in allocating existing or new resources to the particular job based on the evaluation process.
  2. Using the results obtained from job analysis, one is ready to develop a competency-based job description. This is developed by carefully analyzing the input from the represented group of office-bearers and converting it to standard competencies.
  3. With a competency-based job description, one can begin mapping the competencies throughout the HR processes. The competencies of the job description then become factors for assessment on the performance evaluation. Using competencies help in performing more objective evaluations based on displayed or not displayed behaviors.
  4. Taking competency mapping to the last step, one can use the results of evaluation to identify in what competencies individuals need additional effort or training. This will help focus training needs on the goals of the position and company and help the employees grow toward the ultimate success of the organization.

With global economy spreading fast and the world becoming a global village, organizations have become increasingly aware of the need for having competent and skillful employees and developing distinguished competencies for every organization. Competency mapping in organizations has been proved to be very useful due to the increase in the effectiveness of training and professional development programs because of their link to success criteria. It has also provided a common understanding of the scope and particular requirements of a specific role. It has provided a common, organization wide standard for career levels that enable employees to move across business boundaries and grow towards new heights of success.

Importance of Competency Framework in an Organization

IMPORTANCE OF COMPETENCY FRAMEWORK IN AN ORGANIZATION

A competency framework is a comprehensive structure that provides an elaborate foundation to the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for people within an organization. Competency framework also maps the expected behaviours at various levels throughout the organization. Many successful organizations view competencies as a cornerstone for talent management and have categorized competency framework as an essential step in organizational success.

Several dynamic organizations use competency frameworks to:

  • Facilitate the recruitment and selection process of employees with a strong fit to the role, as well as the organization.
  • Set performance expectations and evaluate employee contributions objectively.
  • Expedite employees to enhance their performance and increase their level of work satisfaction.
  • Map an employee’s professional development and further career planning.
  • Assess ‘competency gaps’ in individuals and teams and provide effective inputs for creating modules for increased development and training resources.

Developing a competency framework can take a lot of effort in order to make it relevant to the organization that will be using it. There are two critical principles at work when designing a competency framework:

  1. Involve the people doing the work -These frameworks should not be entirely developed by the HR department, as they don’t always know what a particular job entails. Hence, to understand the nitty gritty of the role fully, one needs to go to the source directly and involve the people already doing the job, as well as getting an array of inputs from the managers and team leaders about what makes someone successful in that particular job provides a vast overview of the job role.
  2. Use relevant competencies -It is essential to ensure that the competencies included apply to all roles covered by the framework. This is a critical because if irrelevant competencies are included, individuals may face difficulties in relating to the framework in general. For example, if a framework is created keeping the entire organization in mind, several departments within the organization would not be included unless every individual has to demonstrate the particular skill. Instead, a framework developed separately for each department within the organization would yield more promising outcome.

The underlying objectives of Competency Framework include:

  • To decipher relevant competencies and prepare a ‘Competency Dictionary’.
  • Identify individuals with high potential and optimize their efficacy and growth opportunities to increase their productivity.
  • Recommend relevant developmental steps as well as training needs for the employees.
  • Formulate organizational interventions on the basis of the distinct psychometric assessment results to regulate the growth process.

Psychometric testing plays a crucial role in the development of a competency framework. The purpose of psychometric testing for competency framework are:

  • Determine a list of competencies for each level/ department/ division within the organization.
  • Assess competence on the basis of performance and performance criteria established under each element of competency.
  • Propose developmental strategies and training modules for bridging the gaps between acquired and the desired levels of competencies of each individual employee.

A Competency Framework enables Achieving an Organization’s Strategic Goals:

An effective framework consists of competencies which are in tangent with the objectives of the organization. It is essential to define and build the competency dictionary for an organization that consists of a list, definition and indicators of all core, functional and leadership competencies required by all the employees to perform according to their specific job description. When an organization constructs a well-planned competency framework in recruitment, selection, appraisal and rewarding employees, the employees’ competency set remains aligned with the description of the job role and thus, with the organization. This further, facilitates a direction towards common goals.

A Competency Framework improves Recruitment & Selection, Training and Performance Management:

Once an organization develops a well thought competency framework, it becomes easier for it to recruit and select employees who possess the required competency set. The competency framework becomes the guiding criterion for the entire recruitment process. This also saves the organization from investing essential resources on recruiting individuals who do not demonstrate the right skills for the job. A competency framework also assesses an employee’s performance through a performance measurement process which gives a more consistent and reliable results of the employee’s performance. This would also help in identifying the gaps in the competency of the employee. Thus, as a result, the training and development needs could be distinguished more effectively based on the competency gaps identified.

A Competency Framework helps Improve Productivity

As the framework is directed towards improving training and development in a strategic aligned construct, the organizational productivity will be enhanced as the developmental strategy is accurately aligned to the employees’ competencies.

Using Competency Management System to Improve Leadership and Intellectual Horsepower

Personal capabilities that are demonstrated through measurable abilities, knowledge, personal attributes and skills are what competencies are all about. The competencies can contribute towards enhancing the performance of employees and can easily lead to the success of an individual or an organization. Competency management system, therefore, can be defined as the procedural ability to connect various skills or competencies, learning events, and job roles that can help build training plans for employees and measure the learning progress of individuals.

Usually, management systems for measuring competencies tend to have a comprehensive and multidimensional approach that will include tools like skills-gap analysis, competency management, competency analysis and profiling, and succession planning. Also, in addition to including learning resources in software, CMS focuses on creating an environment that is sustainable both in short-term and long-term. It is interesting to note here that CMS need not be computer-based entirely. In fact, they can be manual as well. Remember, the management systems for competencies that are a part of learning management systems are actually as old as learning institutions themselves!

In modern times, methodologies surrounding competency management are employed for developing an organization’s competency architecture. The thing with this architecture is that it involves important competencies into a competency dictionary that will later be used in job descriptions. This system can also be used to discover and measure learning gaps during the course of training of employees.

Competency management system promotes intellectual horsepower

With global and business environments changing rapidly by the nanosecond, it is extremely important for the next generation leaders to rev up their intellectual horsepower as only this way they can remain competitive and be an asset to their organization. As a leader, when your intellectual horsepower is among the best, you’re able to acquire knowledge, improve your skills, and use your talents to confront challenges of today and emerge as a winner! In having this competency, leaders are able to be smart, open-minded, and agile that can also inspire others to achieve greater things.

It is fairly easy for leaders to demonstrate intellectual horsepower at the workplace. For this, they need to learn how to cool down first up. When you’re excessively emotional, your brain power becomes less effective and the emotional systems get the better of the brain. Second, you need to take time out for some positive thinking. Another thing leaders can do is eliminate narrow or rigid beliefs from their brain power. Also, it helps to learn how to separate opinions from the facts.

Intellectual horsepower may be lacking in you as a leader when you’re disorganized or lazy. You may also be lacking in this competency when you’re unable to think through carefully. Also, when you want all things to be simple and easy, you know that intellectual horsepower in you may be lacking. It is time to catch up on this competency when you’re slow to react to various things.

There are some behavioral indicators that can help improve your intellectual horsepower though. You need to make sure to employ these indicators into your competency management system to get the desired results. Some of the indicators that can help leaders improve their intellectual horsepower are as follows:

  • Being intelligent and bright
  • Dealing with complexity and various concepts easily
  • Being agile, capable and sharp

Competency mapping of employees

Competency mapping is the process of finding the core competencies that have the capacity to carry out core competencies needed to carry out a task effectively, meet organisational objectives and contribute to an organisation’s success. Competency mapping allows businesses to build on their capabilities by identifying the competency gaps at individual, functional and organizational levels to enhance organizational success. It helps align area/domain objectives to the relevant skill sets of the employees and ensures engagement from the side of the employee. This also helps in providing detailed and structured feedback.

Core competences are the distinctive goods, services, abilities, and knowledge that provide a company an edge over competitors. In other words, a company’s core capabilities are advantages over competitors that they cannot realistically match or offer. An important business technique for demonstrating company’s value to both new and devoted customers is identifying the company’s core competencies, which include its core goods and most appealing competitive advantages. Knowing the company’s core capabilities will help in promoting the company more effectively and expand it by bringing in new clients.

A list of qualities known as distinctive competency distinguishes one company from another. It might cover a variety of topics, such as marketing, technology, manufacturing, and so forth. A company has an advantage over others because of its distinctive competencies, thus it makes sense to establish some traits that competitors will find challenging to use.

Core competencies versus distinctive competencies:

Basically, a core competence is anything that a company excels at and is generally regarded as essential to the success of the company as a whole. A core strength can be a marketing agency’s capacity to produce data-driven campaign concepts. A distinctive competency, on the other hand, is different and offers a competitive edge. Therefore, the distinction between distinctive and core skills is made by the presence of a distinctive characteristic in the case of a distinctive competence.

What is a competency model?

A competence model, which is used as an HR tool for selection, training, development, appraisal, and succession planning, represents the combination of knowledge, abilities, and attributes required to successfully carry out a function in an organisation. It can be difficult to identify and map these competencies. The ability to operate a certain machine or to write an article are examples of extremely concrete skills.

The key components of competency framework/model:

Identification of competencies such as core competencies, distinctive competencies, behavioural competencies etc have to be identified by the organization. The competency framework must not only outline the competencies required for outstanding job performance, but also those that are distinctive to each job. A competency model communicates what is expected of the employees and it serves as a yardstick to make sure that people have the abilities required for success. The type of skill and the objective determines the form of a competency model. For each set of capabilities, there should be a competence model or framework. The model should be able to assess their job performance based on the objectives of the given competency. Methods like 360-degree feedback, potential appraisals are ways of measuring competencies so that the competency model/ framework can be put to use. Competency development is an ongoing process and this helps standardize competencies for better evaluation. This competency framework is intended to be communicated to staff members so they are aware of what is expected of them in their responsibilities and how these competencies benefit the organisation as a whole.

Job specific competencies that can help manage diversity

There are plenty of job specific competencies that can help you in managing diversity effectively. But before you find out more about these competencies, you need to understand that graduate recruiters are always looking for specific job competencies in people they interview for certain job positions. Typically, these competencies are what the candidates are judged by to get the job in their organization and work in them. Interestingly, there are quite a few of these competencies that may seem obvious or straightforward to you. However, they’re not. Some of these competencies are –  problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.

If you’re a manager who is responsible for leading a team of people with a diverse background, for example, then among different competencies you’re required to have, is managing diversity. When you don’t have this competency, it becomes extremely difficult to handle people and extract the best output from them. Also, in such situations, problems, as and when they crop up become extremely difficult to handle.

Managing diversity is a key competency young managers need to watch out for:

There are many reasons why managers need to have a competency like managing diversity in their portfolio. For example, in having this competency, managers are able to drive innovation better. Remember, when everybody in the workforce has a background that is similar, the processes that surround problem-solving and innovation become somewhat similar. Therefore, when there is diversity in the group and a manager that is capable of handling it better, innovation can get kick-started efficiently and easily.

Also, it has been seen in the recent years that customers like to buy services and goods from companies that are diverse as it assures them of value for money in return for their faith. Therefore, when companies hire managers that are able to handle diversity in workforce better, it does a world of good to them, both in short and long-term.

There are different strategies available for managers to effectively deal with diversity in the workplace. First, they need to acknowledge that people may have differences, be it cultural, generational, or physical. As a manager, you need to encourage your employees to bring out their individuality.

Next, you need to act fairly and uniformly with all. In other words, you need to respect diversity. Also, it is important that you focus on yourself. Sometimes, you need to manage your behavior and attitude before you get on with managing people with different backgrounds.

As a manager, you may find yourself struggling to cope with diversity at your workplace when you’re assigned a team that is really different from you.  Also, you’ll struggle a lot when you try to avoid conflict and try to stay away from differing agendas and views. Difficulties could also arise when, as a manager, you’re ethnocentric and narrow.

There are some behavioral indicators managers can pay heed to improve their ability to manage diversity. You may have come across some of these as job specific competencies examples. As a manager, when you’re able to manage all classes and kinds of people, deal effectively with people belonging to different nationalities, cultures, and races, and when you hire diversity and variety irrespective of their class – then you become effective in managing diversity.

Cultural Competency Tools

Cultural competence has become the most sought-after competency in clinical, training and organizational settings. Being culturally competent means being able to interact effectively and work efficiently with people from different cultures and fit into the culture of different organizations. Individuals high on cultural competence are aware of the nuances of their culture, have the knowledge about other cultural practices and are curious to know more about other cultures. Most importantly, a culturally competent individual is able to understand how other cultures are different from theirs, maintain a tolerant attitude and are not biased towards other ethnicities.

With organizations and the entire ecosystem becoming global, onboarding employees from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, it has become essential to assess cultural competency among existing employees and future candidates.

Let us further elucidate the importance of assessing cultural competence using cultural competency tools. Having a culturally competent workforce helps to:

  • Increase mutual respect among employees and team members and understand that their responses are influenced by their cultural backgrounds
  • Increase participation, trust and cooperation among team members by making teams inclusive
  • Eliminate prejudice and biases in policies and practices
  • Meet the needs of diverse client/customer population and improve service delivery
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders within and outside the organization
  • Demonstrate that the organization values diversity and create a brand for the organization making it more attractive to diverse populations

Building a culturally competent workforce has many more benefits. In order to achieve a workforce that is culturally competent, organizations need to make use of cultural competency tools. Such assessment tools are mostly available in the form of self-assessments.

According to the National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC), cultural competency is a developmental process which evolves over time. At a given point of time, individuals and organizations are at various levels of awareness and knowledge which over an extended period may increase or change. Therefore, self-assessment based cultural competency tools can help to set both short-term and long-term goals, measurable objectives and design a strategic plan in which progress can be measured from time to time.

An individual can take up a self-assessment, determine his or her cultural competency score, create a strategic plan to increase cultural competence, and then take another self-assessment to measure progress. Therefore, self-assessment gives the scope of an ongoing process like every changing cultural competence.

Assessments other than self-assessments can be used for the process of competency mapping of cultural competence. Using cultural competency tools for the purpose of competency mapping gives scope to organizations to organize for sensitivity trainings and initiate cross-cultural communication in order to make the workforce more culturally competent.

Cultural competency tools usually assess the competence by using statements like:

  • I have a clear sense of my own ethnic, cultural and racial identity
  • I know that in order to learn more about others I need to first understand and be prepared to share my own culture
  • I am aware that I do not hold any assumptions against people of different cultures
  • I reflect on how my cultural opinions influence my judgment
  • I take opportunities to learn about other cultures

Several such statements coupled with Likert scale for rating can create a good tool to assess cultural competence.

There are several cultural competency tools freely available in the counselling, health care and academic sector which can be used by various professionals as well. However, there is a need to develop empirically researched assessment tools for cultural competencies for corporates and private sector organizations. Most of these tools should be customized for organizations so that cultural competence expected in that level can be assessed.

How Competency based Programs help with Innovation Management

Among the latest trends to have caught everybody’s attention in the corporate world are competency based programs. However, there are still many managers out there that are unaware of these programs or are unsure about how to implement them. But the fact is that it is fairly easy to understand these programs and, in following a few steps, employees of your company can be armed with necessary knowledge to carry out their job easily and efficiently.

Competency refers to a set of knowledge, abilities, or skills that an employee needs to have while on the job. It is important that employees use their abilities to the fullest to contribute to the growth of the organization in which they are working. The programs that are based on various competencies are designed and executed in such a way that employees will receive ‘need to know’ information and resources instead of receiving information and resources that are ‘nice to know’. To go ahead with the programs that revolve around competencies, it is important that leaders of the organization work closely with the HR department to ensure the job descriptions include correct skills, abilities, and knowledge. This is the foundation on which the program has to be completed.

One such critical competency that can contribute tremendously to own and organizational success is Innovation Management.

Competency based programs help with innovation management

Innovation management is one competency every leader and organization needs to possess in abundance. After all, there are plenty of benefits to look forward to in having this competency. Innovation management is extremely important because it helps in driving performance and productivity of businesses forward. Also, in having this competency, leaders are able to save money and time and can also ensure customer satisfaction. Besides these, it also leads to competitive advantage and supports and encourages diversity.

There are a few ways available for leaders to demonstrate their innovation management skills. First, they need to understand the markets in which they operate. For example, it is important to understand how customers have behaved in the past, what current customers are looking for, which products have succeeded and failed? And so on. Next, leaders need to manage the creative process as this way innovation can be handled better. Leaders of the organization also need to know how to manage creative people and extract the best creativity out of the group.

As a leader, you may find yourself lacking in innovation management skills when you are not a good judge of what’s creative or how to get innovative. You fail to understand the marketplace or the process of innovation. You may also fail to succeed as a leader if you are not receptive to creative suggestions offered by others.

On the contrary, there are a few behavioral indicators that may help improve your innovation management skills. However, you need to make sure these indicators are included in competency based programs that your organization plans to implement. Some of these include, but are not limited to:

  • Using creative ideas of others
  • Facilitating effective brainstorming
  • Having excellent judging skills about which creative suggestions and ideas will work, etc.

Developing Innovation Management skills can help take the organization to the next level.

ADAPTING TECHNOLOGY TO FASTRACK COMPETENCY MAPPING

The vision and mission of the organisation must first be understood before being translated into clear, quantifiable, and time-bound goals. After that, a clear organisational structure is described, along with different levels and positions and the reporting relationships that may be found there.

Process of Competency Mapping

The process of competency mapping comprises of 5 steps:

  • Development of core competencies: In this the required core competency which aligns with the objective, goal and purpose of the organisation are listed down. Examples of such core competencies could be problem -solving, decision making, etc
  • Assessing competency level across positions: Upon deciding the core competencies, the competencies required for each position or domain in an organisation is decided. This assessment is done through various interviews, assessments etc
  • Developing competency-based job description: The competency description is then customised for each position. Each employee’s performance appraisal tool includes the same competencies so that they are assessed according to the same standards that are detailed in the job description.
  • Competency based matrix: We may map the desired and necessary talents for a team or project using this tool. A grid that displays the desired, available, and unavailable skills is typically used to depict the matrix. Having this information on hand is quite helpful when developing procedures or building new teams because the matrix shows it in a visual manner that is simple to follow.
  • Individual development planning: A person’s career goals are described in an individual development plan (IDP) in the context of corporate goals. It is a “action” plan for employee development that aims to get them from where they are to where they need to be or want to be. It offers methodical measures to boost performance, capitalise on relevant strengths for one’s current position, and achieve one’s career goals. An IDP’s objectives are created by the individual with supervisor input. The IDP makes a connection between a person’s professional needs and interests and organisational priorities.

However, it is quite difficult to evaluate a worker’s talents independently. In addition to evaluating some specific technical skills (such as using job-related software) and observing how well an employee works with his or her co-workers, line managers can also analyse some general competencies (such as active listening skills or stress tolerance). Even the most competent and seasoned managers occasionally overlook important skills or make erroneous assumptions about the actions of their team members.

By utilising the competency assessment solution’s data processing capabilities, HR staff can save time and reduce expenses for the company. Numerous regular tasks, including the creation and processing of custom assessment forms based on job profiles and include pertinent abilities and mastery levels, can be handled by the programme.

All pertinent information, such as employee performance dynamics and competency development based on test results, can be combined in specialised dashboards for each employee and, if necessary, tracked in order to increase transparency in the evaluation process. Employees can more easily see the assessment results when they are in one location, which makes competency-related conversations between subordinates and their superiors easier.

Competency Tools to Evaluate Competencies

Since competency mapping is becoming a buzzword and HR systems are becoming more competency-based, there are many questions about what competency tools can be used to evaluate competencies of the employees. There is no one fixed tool to evaluate competencies. The type of tools used, differ based on requirement, the overall outcome, at level at which the tool will be applied and the individual on whom the tool will be used. Often, a combination of competency tools are used to get an accurate evaluation. It also depends on the discretion of the assessment centers and the organizations.

The following are some common competency tools used to evaluate competencies of employees in an organization.

  • Observation: This is the most basic and cost-effective competency tool. The assessor simply observes the employee at his or her work, in a natural setting. Observation in a natural environment helps to document accurate results because the employee displays his or her competencies without any anxiety and pretentious efforts. Often, the employees may not even know that they are being observed. Assessors also get good examples of behaviors that need to be assessed and promoted to be effective.
  • Interviews: Either structured or unstructured, interviews can be a very useful tool to help explore the competencies of an employee. Interviewers make use of open-ended questions that will allow employees to speak and share their experiences and opinions. The assessor tries to extract the competencies of the person from the experiences shared or may further ask specific questions about the competency. Interviews are often used in adjunct to observation. Often, assessors may use open-ended questions to explore further on the competency or behavior they have observed at work.
  • Simulations: It is a popular competency tool to evaluate competencies, especially when observing employees in their natural work environment is not feasible. Simulations represent situations from the work life of the employees which they can relate to. Since simulations are replicas of real work situations, employees tend to exhibit behaviors that they generally would on the job.

Various types of simulation exercises may be used, some are explained below:

    • Role Play: Similar to a short play, where a group of employees are assigned roles and given a situation. Only difference, role plays are not scripted. The assessors may ask leading questions to help elicit behaviors that needs to be observed and noted. If convenient, role plays should be video recorded so that it can be played later to identify specific behaviors.
    • In-basket: This competency tool makes use of a daily scenario at work – sending or receiving mails, memos and other information – on which the employee is expected to act, by prioritizing and making decisions. This is followed by a discussion with the employees who highlights the rationale behind their decision.
    • Case study: As part of administering this tool, detailed information about a case, situation or aspect of the organization is provided to the participants. The candidate is required to analyze the case study and reach a conclusion with some logical reason to support his or her decision. Based on the conclusion reached and the logic provided, the competencies of the participants can be determined. Most of the time, case studies are created using real scenarios in the organization so that the real potential of the candidate can be gauged.
    • Psychometric assessments: As a competency tool to evaluate competencies, psychometric assessments are also popularly called aptitude tests. However, aptitude is just one aspect that psychometric assessments measure. The list of behavioral traits and competencies that can be assessed using psychometric tools is lengthy. Psychometric assessments can be used to assess reasoning skills, personality traits, intelligence, cultural competence, teamwork, sales orientation, emotional intelligence, problem solving, and so on. Such psychometric assessments give an objective basis to measuring competencies.

Using psychometric assessments, one can map the scores obtained on one competency to an acceptable benchmark for a particular job role. Such a tool simplifies the process of competency mapping. Objectivity and high reliability make psychometric assessments the most sought-after method for evaluating competencies.

To sum up, when you are selecting competency tools for evaluating competencies, watch out for the following four characteristics:

  • The tool should be able to assess the strengths and challenges of the workforce
  • The tool should be highly reliable and valid and free from subjective-bias. If the tool is subjective, collect information from a panel of people rather than just one individual. This will help to cancel out biased responses
  • The tool should be able to assess performance and competencies against future job prospects
  • The tool should be flexible enough to assess employees against ad-hoc requirements with ever-changing business dynamics

When evaluating competencies, always prefer using a combination of tools whenever feasible to obtain accurate competency measurement.

Online Competency Assessment Tools

What is an online competency assessment tool? These are tools can help in measuring the performance of existing and prospective employees against the required competencies to identify gaps and take vital decisions.  Online competency assessments can be used for a variety of purposes, such as Administering certification tests, conducting training needs analysis, Conducting performance reviews and Self-assessment tools for employees.

Irrespective of the purpose of the online competency tool assessments, the process commences with a competency analysis of a function or job. Using the competency analysis as the foundation, the online competency assessment is developed. A homogeneous approach does not make sense. Every company has separate culture and standards, a complex past and a unique approach to running business. A learning and development program is only as robust as the basis of its skill- assessment aptitudes. Throughout the training process the trainee’s mastery of subject matter needs to be assessed.

Online competency assessment tools ensure an impartial and objective assessment of competencies.  Online competency assessments tools, being objective tools, can eliminate biases from the recruitment and performance appraisal exercise. This greatly contributes to an environment of fairness in any organization and also leads to a highly driven workforce. For leaders, there are abundant other ways to demonstrate fairness to direct reports at the workplace on a daily basis. To cite an instance, while in a meeting, leaders can make sure they make it an inclusive one. The mistake of passing remarks specifically to one individual or exclude others should not be made. Everyone needs a chance to be heard. You can also consider putting in place, objective standards to guarantee there is fairness in treatment to everyone in the organization.

If you are a leader you understand equity to direct reports isn’t working as desired when you’re not equitable with them or when you lack the patience to lend your ears to their needs and concerns. Some behavioral pointers that can benefit managers address their direct reports in fairness would include treating direct reports justifiably, lose all hidden agendas, having open deliberations and eradicating red-tapism or any kind of preferential treatment.

Online competency assessment tools also come with the convenience of administration. The link of the assessment is sent to the participant mail ID and on completion the reports are generated immediately. The lag in report generation is completely overcome using these tools. Also, for employees placed in geographically distant locations, these assessments are convenient.

There are numerous competency assessment tools online available to leaders that they can use to comprehend their teams in an impartial manner. However, the key is to understand these tools and learn how to utilize them well. Some of the things you need to be focusing on while picking an assessment tool for various competencies include assessing the weaknesses and strengths of your employees, boosting employee empowerment and growth and examining performance of an individual vis-a-vis job prospects in the future, to mention a few.

Competency Based Training Solutions: Path to Productivity

Competency Based Training has been a widely accepted concept since decades, but it has been gained mainstream attention recently because of its effectiveness. Top performing organization realized that their efficiency depends totally on the competency of the employee, and they are much aware that formal education doesn’t contribute much when it comes to making individuals skilled for the workplace.  Hence competency-based training solutions it the necessity in order to meet the specific requirements of the organization. It is developed around the competency standard that have been identified for the job. Many organizations have claimed to take up the competency approach but because of the significant time and resources required to develop and maintain a fully functioning competency-based training the reality is that only very few have really taken it forward.

According to the National Skills Centre of Australia, “competency-based training is a structured approach to training and assessment that is directed toward achieving specific outcomes. It is about assisting individuals to acquire skills and knowledge so they are able to perform a task to a specified standard under certain conditions”.  Hence for the competency-based training solutions, the trainer should be well aware about the areas which has to be focused in order to uplift the standard of working and it should be clearly stated so that the learners know exactly what is expected from them. Hence it gives clarity to both the employer and the employee. As once the learner is clear about the competencies assigned to learn, the trainer will also know the precise training and learning that is required for a desired level of competency.

Competency-based training program benefits both the employer and the employee, by minimizing the personal judgement and subjectivity creating the workplace eco-system more cohesive and positive. Hence it gives a clarity on workforce planning, performance standards, performance assessments and succession plans. Organizations should be ready to invest on their employees to attain the maximum result. Usually, they don’t invest because of reasons like it being too costly, being ineffective or too time consuming. But competency-based training solutions align training program with professional competency assessments to ensure the resources and time doesn’t go in vain and the training are tailor made focusing on the areas where the organizations want to work.

The competency-based training should be motivational, empowering and most importantly it should be fun to achieve the attention of the employees, rather making them feel more burdened by the training. It should be focused towards the needs of the organization and employees by making a tailor-made program specifically for the organization. Competency based training solutions ensure not just the training to be cost effective but also be productive, goal-oriented and customised for the target audience. It further has advantages for the employers s it improves the communication between them and employees, develops and promotes the agenda of the organization, reduces cost overruns caused by poor performance or miscommunication of job expectations and minimizes the job mis-fit. It works as a mechanism to understand or recognise ones’ abilities and gives a clear direction for leaning.

Benefits of Competency-based Performance Management

As we know competencies are the skills required to perform a job/task. Performance Management is a process to evaluate the performance of skills used to do a job. Aren’t they both intersecting? Let’s see. Both focus upon skills. One identifies and the other measures.  We commonly hear “Should we eye the new upcoming business, are my people ready” and also “I am not evaluated or rated as per my worth”.  For such scenarios the answer is Performance Management through Competency Mapping when the competencies of an organizations are identified and mapped, list of skills that are required to perform a job are identified. As well as organization gets a list of prominent competencies available within.  Therefore, competency-based performance management is both organization centric and employee centric.

  1. Organization Centric: Competency mapping is not restricted just for the performance of the employees it also evaluates the performance of the organization. When the competencies are identified and mapped the company gets a clear picture about its performance in quantifiable terms; what is their core strength or what are the skills available within. This will give an ongoing input towards the available strengths in the organization. Organizations will be able map themselves with the market needs and their strengths.Competency mapping also gives insights into where they stand against their competitors.  Organizations can forecast the market and prepare their employees for the upcoming ventures.

    On the other hand, there are inputs towards financial planning. Budgeting can be managed with the inputs on the expenses to be occurred to hire new resources, to train the current resources, to procure latest software/hardware etc.

  2. Employee Centric: With competency-based performance management organizations can also be ready with the skills available at different levels with different proficiency This provides a healthy environment. A great sense of ownership is developed within the employees to upgrade and upskill themselves to achieve the desired proficiency. Performance management through competency mapping generates a healthy competition in the organization. Competency provides list of measurable skill for every role, therefore each and every employee is aware about how they should perform to get the desired proficiency.  It is a transparent and objective tool for evaluating the performance.

When organizations decide to move towards Competency based performance management, they need to be prepared that it is a time-consuming project. It can’t be done in a hurry. But once the current competencies are mapped with the current employees, it will be an easy and quick tool. It is also important to hire external experts to prepare the competency dictionary. Before the program is launched on the floor, organizations have to ensure that a change management training is carried out and the purpose is communicated clearly to the employees. This sensitizes people about the exercise and helps them in accepting changes that come with a competency-based performance management system. It depends on organization to organization whether to use Performance Management as an input to performance appraisals or only for training need analysis.

Competency Mapping: Way to Excellence with Limitations

McClelland (1973) stated that a “competence” in tradition, is “a personal trait or set of habits that leads to more effective or superior job performance”, in other words, an “ability that adds clear economic value to the efforts of a person on the job”. It is a process which has proved to be of great value in personnel selection, training and appraisals.  But when it comes to the disadvantages of the competency mapping, as a process it might not, but how it has been identified, implement and utilize can have a lot of challenges. Various interviews and focused group analysis with executives and other business and HR leader we have shortlisted few challenges which are often been faced, which can also be disadvantages of competency mapping.

  • Prioritizing Specific Competencies over Core Competencies. Often when the competencies are made without the Job Description and the Key Result Areas (KRA’s) well defined and are put in alignment with the goals of the company leads to discrepancy, which instead leads to a setback for the organization itself, as by neglecting the identification of critical talent segments and key job roles. Hence a comprehensive study about the job roles is must along keeping in mind the core competencies of an organization and thereafter coming up with the specific competencies.
  • Investment in competency management is deprioritized. In most organization the human resources and training process is given more importance when it comes to the expenses allotted for it by the company’s budget, but major emphasis should be given on selecting the right individual for the job in the organization rather than selecting a mis-fit and spending on the training, after which even the training is also not much effective. Hence Return of Investment (ROI) becomes a big challenge as expenditure of the resources is huge when an incompetent individual is hired.
  • Lack of Competent people. Often in organizations competency framework is expected from the HR department which are not skilled in the Competency Mapping. Hence coming up with wrong ones is even a bigger issue then not having any. It could waste a lot of resources of the company in hiring the wrong person, which could further lead to job dissatisfaction and low efficiency level.
  • People being resistant and not opening up. In any organization before forming the competency framework, Job Descriptions are populated by interviewing the HR’s and the employees of the respective job throughout departments, to get a better understanding on the Job Role. But often these interviews have an adverse effect on the employees they either restraint themselves from speaking or they exaggerate it as they think it to be an interview for appraisal.
  • Subjectivity of the individual defining competencies. There is no one way of doing it as it varies from one company’s policies to the other and so with the varied job roles and description. When it comes to describing competencies, the major role played is by the HR of the company, who finalizes the report, which again creates a bias, hence to eradicate such biasness a panel should be consulted before and after defining the competencies to be most objective.

Disadvantages of the competency mapping or to be specific the challenges faced in competency mapping can be eradicated if kept the pointers in mind and can further help us to come up with the most objective competency map keep the vision and mission of the organization in mind.

Improving the Business Management Competencies Through Better Directing

Management of the direct reports is an important business management competency. No empire is strong without a distinguished and strong emperor; similarly, no group in your organization could succeed without a competent leader. Although a standard list of business management competency skills is set by the organization, personal style and techniques of directing could help in the efficient and effective working of the team. However, meeting all the requirements set by the organization is mandatory.

Scope Yourself

The first thing to do in the process of improvement, along with setting up your mind to improve, is to find out one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Sit down in a quiet environment and pen down what you think your strengths and weaknesses are. Sometimes, we are not the best judge for ourselves. Ask your direct reports what you are doing right and wrong as their leader. Since you have a complete and authentic list of your strengths and weaknesses, talk to the human resource department and get a list of the business management competencies and core directing skill sets that is standardized by your organization. Compare your list to your organization’s list. Prepare a hierarchal chart of the most important weaknesses you need to improve on and work on it every day.

Learn Techniques

If you are a first time manager, there is no way for you to be completely prepared to tackle all situations. Sometimes, the business management competency requirements that you fulfill are just not enough. Management techniques although are unique to the situation, some trade secrets could help you manage unforeseen situations. Get a list of techniques followed by your successors and compare it to your own business management competencies and see what you can pull off with ease and what you cannot. Work on improving competencies that could help in pulling off techniques you currently find difficult.

The Art of Communication

Everybody can communicate one way or another, one language or another and one technology or another. However, communication is a core business management competency skill for effective direction from the chair as a leader. If you think you are a great communicator, ask your higher ups if that’s true and pat yourself on your back because you will be able to talk your way through anything. However, if you are not, then understand the importance of being a greater communicator. Join a public speaking group like the toastmasters, listen more than you speak in times of a conflict and take communication classes. Talk to your higher ups and take valuable advice to improve your communication skills.

Delegate

An important role of a leader is to look after the development of the business management competencies of their direct report. However, as a leading pillar of your organization, you might have a lot on your plate. Performing all the tasks yourself is a catch 22 situation. You are going to be stressed, you wouldn’t have any time on your hands to be of any help to your direct reports and they stand to gain nothing either. Instead delegate your tasks to your direct reports, that way, you can get the task done and assess their competencies and mentor them.

Turn on the Appeal

Sometimes we fail to recognize our behaviors that make people uncomfortable. You may lack core business management competency attributes like patience, tolerance and impartiality which are not convincing for your appeal as a leader. Your business management competencies depend on the level of acceptance from your direct reports which is highly dependent on your appeal.

More than just Direct

When it comes to directing a group of people, there is no one way to do it. Certain direct reports may need more detailed instructions than the others, some may need more help than the others and some may not be able to do certain kinds of tasks. You must design and plan tasks keeping the strengths and weakness of your direct reports in mind. Along with meticulous planning, you must also give out clear instructions, budget for the task, deadlines, milestones and the goals and objectives of the tasks. The development of their business management competencies is impossible if they are not able to practically learn various skills. Your skill of good direction will help them in the process of practical learning at a quicker pace.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Your higher management knows that the tasks you have completed is not a one man show.  Claiming it to be your own will not only get your higher management to question your business management competencies, but is also bad for the morale of your direct reports. When you succeed, give credit to the people who shared responsibilities in the success. If one person had more to do than the others for the success, make sure to acknowledge them. This will not only motivate them, but also the other. The higher management will also recognize your leadership competencies when you are a team player and a hooter for team success.

Problems while directing

As a person giving authoritative directions to a team of people you become responsible for them. When a problem or a conflict arises in the task or among the people in your team, it is your responsibility to jump in and manage it. Waiting around, hoping and trusting that your team would handle it themselves is not the right way to go about it. Conflict resolution is an important attribute to your business management competencies and how, when, what, how long- are factors that help in measuring your conflict management competency.

Learn from others

Good direction is not a genetic skill and therefore, learning the skill is vital in the development of your business management competencies. Find a few leaders who you and others consider as role models with strong directing skills. Compare their overall qualities, strengths and business management competencies to your own. Deduce the major attributes that they have, and you lack. Read up and talk to your higher ups about it and ask for help in the development of those core competencies for directing.

Great leaders are great directors. Focus on your organizations needs of vision, empowerment, engagement, innovation and transformation. If your directions of these major components for a strong organization are clear, the art of good direction would be a cake walk. The job of a leader or a manager doesn’t come easy but when it comes, it comes with a great deal of responsibilities and the above tips are some ways to live up to those responsibilities.

A Framework to Success

Competency Frameworks are integral to any functioning organization. A competency framework is a framework that is inclusive of the knowledge, skills, attributes that are required of the people working within an organization. Competency frameworks can be generic for the smooth functioning of the organization or can be specifically formed for certain tasks or projects. Generally, a competency framework is followed by all the departments working within an organization.

Competency Framework foremost includes a defined set of traits and abilities for each role in the organization. Such a clear framework aids the organization in overlooking its staff and also helps the workers to understand the needs and wants of the organization; thus, a competency framework is a two-way functioning framework.

To design such an intricate and complex framework is not an easy task. Thorough research and strategy are required to form a framework that can be implemented in all the levels of the organization and that can be extended to all the individuals irrespective of their individual differences. If the purpose of the competency framework is well defined, then it is easier to design it and also easier for the employers in implementing a competency framework.

Implementing a competency framework is also a tricky task; the implementation of the framework must be very natural and should not come out as a burden or restriction. One of the ways for implementing a competency framework is to associate the individual competencies with the overall goals of the organization. This will create an informal link between the individual and the organization. A personal connection often leads to intrinsic motivation and improves performance.

The most common way of implementing a competency framework is to reward the desired competencies. Appreciation works as positive reinforcement and thus leads to a proper implementation of a competency framework. The framework should be simply defined, and an open communication channel should be formed to tackle any queries regarding the framework.

There are many ways that can be used for implementing a competency framework. The most basic way is to use the noticeboards and the mail of the employees to convey the framework. Many organizations conduct workshops and training sessions in order to verify the competencies of the individuals and further refine their talents.

There are many benefits to properly implementing a competency framework. Most of the advantages of implementing a competency framework are accrued by the Human Resources Department. A competency framework clearly provides them with the staffing requirements, changes needed in recruitment drives and aid in the selection process.

A competency framework can also help in formulating future training programs and up-skilling workshops. Thus, such frameworks are indeed a pathway to success and organizations must follow such pathways for their own growth and development.

Competency Mapping Certification

What is Competency Mapping?

Competency Mapping is a process to identify key competencies for an organization or a job and incorporating these competencies in various processes of the organization. A competency is defined as a behaviour (i.e., communication, leadership) rather than a skill or ability.

By conceiving the required competencies, defining a competency framework, mapping existing skills and competencies of the employees, identifying gaps and then developing the competencies can provide a systematic and measurable method for developing organizational capability.

According to Boyatzis (1982) “Competency Mapping is a capacity that exists in a person that leads to behaviour that meets the job demands within parameters of organizational environment, and that, in turn brings about desired results.”

The process of competency mapping enables us to articulate what every employee brings to the table and the process greatly contributes towards job-evaluation, recruitment, training and development, performance management, internal mobility and succession planning.

Competency Mapping can help you with:

  • A competency-based approach allows an organization to understand its capabilities and the gaps it is exposed to. A competency-based approach allows it to fine tune all HR related downstream activities.
  • Recruitment becomes more focused and the specific competencies required become clear.
  • Talent Management becomes easier with the skills being defined clearly and the behaviours employees are to be assessed on.
  • Learning and Development and Organizational Development become easier.
  • A competency framework makes it easier for organizations to plan, strategize and implement to optimize overall organizational capabilities.

Why Competency Mapping?

In short, Competency Mapping is a fundamental activity which drives capability development in an organization and helps it to be more strategic than its competitors.

How are we different?

  • Experienced facilitators

Strengthscape has an experienced team consisting of organizational developmental analysts, instructional designers and eLearning developers who provide practical insights in the process.

  • Blended Delivery approach

Strengthscape conducts both online training, eLearning modules and live case studies to enhance convenience and make the program cost-effective.

  • Spaced-learning approach

Strengthscape® takes a spaced learning approach giving enough time to absorb the concepts and practice, leading to better retention and more concrete learning.

 

  • Our Own Methodology

Strengthscape provides a tried and tested, comprehensive methodology to map the behavioural competencies of employees. Our internal methodology of competency mapping is called StrengthMapping. StrengthMapping methodology works around the behavioural competencies of the employee.

  • Individual handholding

Strengthscape provides continuous support through individual handholding for higher learning effectiveness.

Application of Competency Mapping

  • Identifying the performance gaps
  • Applying in HR process like recruitment and selection, job evaluation and performance management
  • Developing balanced performance appraisal system for development results and change management
  • Designing an assessment centre to evaluate and enhance the performance
  • Understanding ways to integrate your performance review system with the training plan of the organization

About Competency Mapping Certification Program

The Program is one of its kind designed and delivered by industry veterans. The program is delivered virtually and includes a blended approach, which consists of e-modules and virtual simulation. This certification will also allow participants to partake in live projects, basis availability of the same.

Competency Mapping Certification Session Plan

S No Session Name Scope Outcome
Module I: Introduction to the Concept of Competency
1. Getting started Brief introduction, expectation setting and describing the outcomes Prepare for the days ahead by gathering expectations, assimilating key questions on Competency Mapping
2. Introduction to Competency Understand the nature of competency and its role in streamlining HR functions. Learn the types of competencies and behaviours. Define competency

Explain the role of competency in HR functions

Identify types of competencies

3. Personality & Behavior The position of behaviours in constituting an individual. Iceberg model – What role do Knowledge, Abilities, Skills, Habits, Values, Attitudes, Traits and Motives play in an individual’s personality. Understand the Iceberg model

Describe the role of various factors in personality

Module II: Understanding Competencies
4. Structure of Competencies The role that proficiency plays in competency. How to score competencies. How to develop a core competency framework. Learn ways to score the competencies

Develop core competency framework

Module III: Conducting a Behavioural Event Interview
5. Behavioural Event Interview (BEI) What is a Behavioural Event Interview (BEI)? The role of BEI in identifying competencies. The technique of identifying key behaviours and listing them. Discover role of BEI in competencies

Recognize how to apply technique of identifying key behaviours

Module IV: Developing a Competency Model
6. Competency Model The History of Competency Models. How do Competency Models help organizations? Outline the history of competency model and its use in organizations

 

7. 7-Step Model Different kinds of approaches to develop Competency Model, job-based approach and the competency-based approach. The 7-Step Model of development of a Competence Model. Discover the different approaches to develop Competency Model

Explain the 7-Step Model

Module V: Assessment Centres
8. Assessment Centre The Origins of Assessment Centres in the screening purposes. The use of the AC in the private sector, with the start of ACs in AT&T. The tools used in an AC and the reason behind using these tools. Discuss the use of Competency Framework in an Assessment Centre.

Compare the tools used in AC

Module VI: Assessment Centre Methods
9. Methods of Designing Assessment Centre Understand the multiple methods used to detect capability in an Assessment Centre. How best to combine various assessment methods? Which method to use and when. Evaluate the different methods of AC and the advantages and disadvantages of the tools

Explain ways to combine different methods effectively

Module VII: Implementation of Assessment Centre
10. Role of Assessors How to Train Assessors for objective assessment. Scheduling and allocation of Assessors in Assessment Centres. How to integrate all scores and generate a final report. How to share the report with the candidates. The art of giving feedback in an Assessment Centre. Understand the role Assessors play

Interpret the reports accurately

Apply the art of giving effective feedback

Module VIII: Individual Development Plan
11. Individual Development Plan Integrating the outcome of Assessment Centres into Individual Development Plans, which address the competency gaps identified in the AC. Understand and implement various strategies for development.

Infer various ways to address gaps – job rotation, learning, etc

Module IX: Organizational Uses of Competencies
12. HR Functions & Role of Competencies The role of competency framework in optimizing the HR functions from Talent Acquisition to Performance Management is discussed. Implement the competency framework to optimize HR functions

 

13. Use of Competency Framework Module also covers the use of competency frameworks in differentiating organizational performance and individual career management. Distinguish organizational performance and individual career management using Competency Framework
Module X: Case Studies and Assessments
14. Referring to case studies Going through case studies that are from Indian organizations, who have implemented and used Competency Frameworks extensively. Discuss various case studies that successfully used Competency Frameworks
15. Key learnings & Takeaways The use of Competency Frameworks in organizations and the key learnings and takeaways from the case studies to be used. Apply the key learnings from case studies
16. Assessment To conclude with an Assessment, which will be based on the learning objectives. Evaluate the self-understanding of the Competency Mapping

Competency Mapping Course Details

  • A blend of virtual sessions and eLearning modules methodologies. The course is enriched with audio, visuals, assessments, case studies as well as follow-up sessions for clarifications.
  • Access to Strengthscape’s Learning Management System (LMS) which has a range of learning materials starting with the course manual, videos, eLearning content, podcasts, case studies and a whole lot of assessments which promotes self-paced learning and help participants become confident of what is being taught.
  • The course manual is divided into 10 modules. Each module has chapters and units.
  • Online Competency Mapping Certification: 24 hours of live virtual Instructor-led sessions conducted every weekend spread over 8 sessions of 3 hours each. This is followed by live project and final assessment.
  • Enterprise Version: The Enterprise Version is best suited for organizations that use or proposes to use Competency Frameworks and would like to train their HR and L&D professionals and trainers. Master facilitators from Strengthscape conduct a two-day in-person certification along with 10 hours of virtual training on exclusively for internal teams of organizations.
  • Participants are expected to go through LMS and read the manual, watch videos and listen to podcasts as well as read any additional reading material that are provided.

Who should get certified?

  • Human Resource professionals
  • Learning & Organization Development Experts
  • Individuals involved in performance management
  • Professionals who have taken on training role within their department
  • Professionals who are involved in hiring process

Material provided

  • Access to Learning Management System (LMS)
  • 1-year complimentary access to the Digital Library
  • Assignments and worksheets on the LMS

The Potential Benefits of Competency Frameworks

A competency framework provides a set of working behaviours, aligned with core values that helps to develop the skills of individuals at all levels and focus on individual contribution, skill and knowledge. The framework facilitates a set of values, standards and beliefs to work towards, setting expectations of performance and allowing for learning and development.

Competency framework fosters a better link between the company’s corporate objectives and personal objectives and allows everyone to work towards shared values. Learning and development is improved since it is directly targeted at the skills gaps in each individual’s competency set which further enhances personal skills and providing better professional opportunities.

The practical use of competencies

An effective competency framework has applications across the whole range of human resource management and development activities. Competency frameworks are now often seen as an essential vehicle for achieving high organizational performance through focusing on each individual’s capability and potential. Further, this framework can also be a key element in any change management process by aligning people to new organizational demands. Employers use competency framework mostly for achieving the following goals:

  • Underpinning of employee reviews
  • Enhanced employee effectiveness
  • Assessing training needs
  • Career progression

Strengths of a well-structured competency framework

The main benefits of a competency based structure include the following:

  • Employees have a well structured and defined set of job roles and behaviour and are clear about what is expected of them at work.
  • The appraisal and recruitment systems are more open and clear.
  • Recruiters are able to assess and identify required behaviour regardless of career background.
  • Recruitment processes are measurable and standardized across organizational and geographical boundaries.

Competencies serve as the indicator for the organization to the individuals of the areas and levels of performance that the organization expects. They provide the individual with an outline of behaviours as well as skills that are of maximum value. Competency frameworks not only provide clarity, direction and support to the organization’s workforce, but are also an important management tool. They can be applied to enhance performance, retain valuable resources and formulate restructuring in an organization that will provide positive outcomes.

The most important benefits are:

  • Developing the workforce in a systematic structure while also focusing on the changes in the styles of working.
  • Mapping the workforce design and succession planning. These include identifying the requirements for a job and aligning the workforce with the growth of the organization.
  • Retaining employees and delineating their career progression.
  • Planning out methods of training and development and encouraging employees to take more responsibilities for their own development.
  • Facilitating a dialogue to bridge the gap between the management and employees, aligning them towards mutual objectives.
  • Formulating a structured performance management criterion -clarity of expectation, accountability and responsibility.
  • By measuring competencies properly, it gets easier to pinpoint areas for improvement. It highlights an individual’s strengths and weaknesses so that developmental efforts in those areas can be targeted.
  • Competency frameworks not only work on an individual level. It can also highlight the issues in the training programs across the organization and provide insight on how to address them.
  • Apart from the recruitment and selection process, tracking competencies also evaluates performance of the employees for performance appraisal.
  • A well-structured competency framework also provides a clear picture of the workforce’s ability. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the employees can also revitalize the internal mobility within the organization.

Many organizations develop a competency framework to manage performance and organizational progression effectively. However, many individuals find it difficult to use these frameworks to achieve their, as well as the organization’s goals. This is because most individuals do not see the benefits of the framework and are not trained accordingly.