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Employee Competency-Based Development For Organizational Growth!

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For organizations to succeed in today’s competitive setting, employees at all levels need to develop and demonstrate a set of behavior showcasing his or her capabilities, characteristics, knowledge, talent as well as personal qualities for effective performance at work.

All businesses are based on some key competencies. If any business neglects employee competency and its development, all growth and productivity of an employee, company and profits will be affected. The main reason for an organization to create a competency-based system that focuses on having the right people with right skills at the right time is that it helps in accomplishing business targets. Competencies are the need of the hour and designing appropriate competency development models is a necessity.

A few examples of competency development are managerial competencies for middle managers and leadership capabilities for succession planning. The important stratagem is evaluation of the present skills, communicating the gap with the individual and assisting him or her by way of an action plan and appropriate counseling.

Competency development models can be found across each aspect of the organizations, i.e. from HR, performance management, training & development to succession planning and capability mapping and assessments.

HR competency models work toward identification of employees for specific job functions. The model helps in laying down job specifications and a recruitment process to attract the right candidate. It also assists in an assessment and selection process based on the candidate’s capabilities.

The performance management competency model integrates capabilities with existing or new processes. It also helps in capturing behavioral measures against job specifications.

The capability mapping competency model helps build processes that focus on and deliver skills that an organization needs for its current and future roles. It aids organizations to map effectively capabilities across teams, functions, departments and countries.

The assessment competency based model is structured around building assessments processes in all forms. It maps behaviors against competency-based profiles in various scenarios through the appropriate use of psychometrics and other techniques.

The training and development model of competency development identifies the training needs across key behavioral and technical competencies. It identifies the gaps between the individual’s capacity and requirement of the current and future roles. It identifies training and development needs of each aspect across organizations and creates comprehensive training plans.

Benefits of competency based models:

  • Reduction in staff turnover, recruitment costs, training costs, etc
  • Improvement in productivity, performance, training and development
  • Reliable and consistence performance data across cultures and geographic borders
  • Delivery of comprehensive training & development plans
  • Creation of training & development processes that identify and deliver the most effective sessions
  • Identify employee’s capabilities for an organization’s future needs
  • Analyzing capability gaps

And, competence development is a lifelong process.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

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  • Lorraine

    You have very eloquently stated the need for competency based training and I agree that this is critical to the longevity and success of companies and employee careers. However, I believe that it is important to step further back in the process to role definition and hiring.

    Many large companies neglect to clarify the skill sets for a given role and this leads to a flawed hiring process and little chance for competency based development.

    For example, some companies hire a “Business Analyst” that in reality is a “Domain Expert”. If the role is Business Analyst for a software product, then hire the person as a Domain Expert with advancement to Business Analyst as the proper skills are aquired. This protects the hiree from a frustrating and ego deflating work experience, sets up proper expectations from others, and illuminates the need for appropriate training as opposed to “picking it up as one goes”.

    The other area is the interview process. Many companies are not skilled at this process and/or treat this highly critical effort without the critical thinking and definitions of success that they apply to other areas of their jobs. Because execs and managers are often not software engineers, they assume the software engineers on the team will take care of it, but this leaves the hiring process to chance. It seems it would be best to approach the interviewing process as a small SCRUM project where:
    1) Roles will be clearly defined
    2) The needed/desired skill(s) and person types are defined for the role.
    3) Interviewing process will be defined. What are the questions that will prove the candidate is capable of the role? What online tools might we use to test abilities and personality? What exactly are we looing for in their history? Which areas is the company willing to let the candidate learn on the job and/or provide training for?
    4) Create the story board, plan the iteration, present the plan and results to stake holders, assess what worked and what did not.

    This will increase the likelihood greatly that the hiree would be a good fit.
    Those two efforts, the role definition and skilled hiring process would provide a great foundation for the competency based development.

  • Lorraine Fox

    The process I described above could be applied to internal hirees. Additionally, if management agrees to this process, the detremental nepotism factor might be eliminated as all candidates should be part of this process.

  • Lorraine Fox

    A project approach may seem time consuming, but as you all know, hiring people without the needed abilities is a tremendous expense in time, productivity, and team moral. Additionally, a project approach allows for increasing accuracy in estimating time for the hiring process. The time to participate in the hiring process can then be accounted for in other projects that the team members participate in.

  • Hey Asma,

    I really enjoyed reading this posting. It provides a very through understanding of the need for competency models.

    Would you have any recommendations of specific competency models to use? I probably differ from company to company, but maybe there are some general or default models.

    Greg

  • Philbert Suresh

    Dear Ayesha Omar Ph.D, Student

    I have always taken the stance that credentials in the professional world of T & D must be applied rather builing a portforlio of credential without use of knowledge. On the other hand, there is excuse for nonperformance when you have the requisite competency and skill.

  • Donna Schaffer

    As an instructor in a Technical College it is important to keep my students motivated and engaged in the class and coursework. In order to do this I come up with sometimes silly awards, (1st person complete a Computer tear down, perfect attendance, etc.). In addition, during lecture that can sometimes seem never ending, come up with exciting ways to spice up the lecture, or make the students laugh after a period of time, which in turn gets them to pay attention that much longer, or re-focus on the lecture. It boils down to, the more engaged the student is, the more movtivated they are.

  • In the USA we tend to manage time rather than manage results. We also tend to micro manage instead of giving our employees the freedom and trust to make decisions. We all engage in work that is meaning full, where we can make a difference, when we are appreciated for our knowledge and rewarded for our efforts. If you want your employees to dis-engage from their work try this: – – Push them to get things done quicker and more efficiently so that you can give REWARD them with more work when they finish. We think it is more profitable to manage time rather than managing results.

  • When asked in our group forum, what is the one thing you need to do to keep employees motivated and engaged?

    Only one process seems relevant and ultimately effective:

    –>Ask,
    –>Shut-up & Listen,
    –>Entrust,
    –>Acknowledge & Appreciate,
    –>Reward,

    EVERYDAY.

  • Prior to developing employees with competency-based training, I believe it is crucial to conduct a training program that assists them in establishing a Trust based atmosphere among their team members, along with conflict management skills and accountability.

  • I really enjoyed reading your blog entry, Asma. I have designed and built some large competency-based training systems for the Defence and aviation industries. My first point about competency-based training (CBT) is that they it is a good servant but a poor master! A recent example I can cite is the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF)network-centric warfare Human Dimension strategy. The ADF has procured extensive capability, but they have overlooked the human in the loop!. I was invited to write their strategy last year in attempt to address this. Essentially, what had happened, was that there was CBT for the technical components of the newtorked systems but no articulation between the systems, and no comprehension of the skills or knowledge the humans needed to link the systems or even to speak to each other! So, my point is that by all means, build CBT, but remember to design the human into the loop.

    My second point about CBT is that one of the most frequent errors I see when working with clients is that they have not truly considered what the workplace requirements actually are. This translates itself to a fuzzy training needs analysis (TNA) and so on. By the time the training hits the workplace, it is no longer within the left and right of arc – it misses the mark and wastes time and money. For CBT to function the way it is intended, it absolutely must begin with a really clear workplace task list. After that, everything’s easy! The majority of time, effort, analytic expertise and money MUST be put into the workplace task analysis to inform the TNA.

  • I think having the right people with right skills at the right time is the main key for Organizational Growth!