What are the Best Tips for Competency Management?

H. Bliss

The best tips for competency management include setting relevant competencies for a position, making the required competencies clear to employees, and consistently monitoring competency levels. Competency management templates or forms can be helpful in organizing, defining, and evaluating competencies. Overall, the goal of competency management is to improve worker performance by helping employees meet the needs of a position. This is done by making the requirements of the position clear and setting a path for employees to meet them.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

A vital part of effective competency management is establishing an accurate list of competencies necessary in a position. Poorly chosen competency framework lists that contain requirements that do not fit the position can result in under-qualified employees and unnecessary training costs for the extraneous skills. When designing a list of competencies for a position, management must choose competencies for a position carefully, eliminating unnecessary skills, and ensuring that all competencies necessary for the position are listed.

With defined competencies in place, employees need to be evaluated based on how well they fit the needs of their positions. Defined competencies should also be carefully phrased to avoid insulting or upsetting employees whose jobs require that they meet them. Effective competency management requires that employee competencies are evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that position needs are consistently met. Issuing evaluations too infrequently can make it difficult for employees to keep up on their requirements, while evaluating competencies too frequently can waste time and resources.

Setting competencies is like setting improvement goals for workers at a company. Employees who do not understand competencies cannot meet their requirements. Managers must define requirements in a tangible and descriptive way so an employee knows exactly what is required. If a competency is complicated or requires several skills to complete, managers should break it down into smaller, simpler competencies based on the required skills. Simple goals that are easy to understand are less likely to overwhelm workers into giving up in despair when they fail to meet one or more position competencies.

When an employee does not meet the competencies required to function well in a position, a competency manager is responsible for getting the worker up to speed. This includes helping the employee acquire competencies or moving the employee into a position better suited for his characteristics and skills. Helping an employee meet competencies could mean training the employee to help him acquire the skills necessary in a position, or it could mean counseling the employee on personal characteristics like hygiene, appearance, or etiquette. If an employee is perpetually unable to meet required competencies, moving him to a new position may be unavoidable. With defined competency frameworks and evaluations in place, a competency manager can use the employee's known skills to fit him into a better position.

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