Setting objectives and KPIs is a great way to keep track of what someone has achieved. Have they reached their target number of sales? And did they contact the 50 new prospects they were aiming for?
But surely you also want to know how they achieved what they did?
Well that’s where competencies jump in! This is where you map out the skills and behaviours which someone’s particular job role demands. You then keep track of that individual’s ability, or competency, in each of those areas.
Sounds good, but what exactly are the benefits of competency-based performance management?
1. Supercharge your training programmes
This is the obvious one. By measuring competencies properly, you’ll be in the perfect position to pinpoint areas for improvement. At a glance, you can see exactly where an individual’s strengths and weaknesses lie, so that you can target all of their development efforts in the areas they need to improve on.
And this doesn’t only work on an individual level! When looking over your workforce as a whole, you might notice that particular competencies are generally sub-standard on the whole. This will highlight the issues your company-wide training programmes need to address, and will make them much more effective!
2. Recognise your employees’ strengths
Tracking competencies isn’t just about working out what’s going wrong. It’s also a perfect opportunity to unearth the real diamonds amongst your organisation, and to give them a well-deserved pat on the back for the things they’re doing well!
So when they see that you consider their communication skills to be top-notch, they’ll be absolutely pumped up! It will probably even encourage them to work extra hard on improving their underwhelming decision making skills, so that they can earn recognition across the board!
3. Clarify what you want from the role
Before you can track competencies, you need to decide what they are. You’ll be forced to think carefully about every job role to work out exactly which skills and behaviours it requires. But all of this hard work pays off, because it helps you to make clear exactly what is expected of the role. Every employee will be able to see what their role is expected to consist of, so they can make sure that they’re on the right track.
You can also state the competencies you’re looking for when you post job advertisements, so that only the right people apply. You can even focus the interview process around finding people with the perfect set of competencies and behaviours, ensuring that you only let the perfect person through the door!
4. Clear picture of your workforce’s abilities
There are also other benefits to having a good understanding of exactly where every one of your employee’s strengths and weaknesses lie. For example, it can really help to boost internal mobility within your organisation.
Say, for example, that you have a new project or position which you need someone to take on. You could start the long process of hiring someone, but it might be that the perfect person is already under your nose! Simply look within your own staff for people who possess the perfect set of competencies for the role, and you might be able to move them across without any trouble.
5. Crunch the numbers
This is much easier to do with an online performance management system, but once you start seriously tracking competencies you’ll have a new wealth of data to delve into! You’ll be able to compare your highest performers with their competency scores, to see which competencies generally bring the most gain. Then you can focus on developing them across your workforce, and hiring in people who already possess them.
It’s also the perfect way to check that your idea of necessary competencies actually stacks up with reality. You might find that the competencies you’ve mapped out as being required for a role actually have no bearing on performance. Spotting this will give you the chance to re-think things and find competencies which will actually be useful.
Tracking competencies is just one of the many things our online Performance Centre can do! Why not take a free tour to see its full feature set first-hand?