Now that you have a competency management plan in place, it’s important to assess and adjust your process frequently. A stagnant competency management process that doesn’t measure progress, incorporate feedback, or make adjustments simply won’t be as impactful as one that is well maintained. Check out these seven tips for optimizing your competency management process.
1. Start Small
Depending on the size of your organization, a comprehensive competency management process might be something that you work up to. If you try to do do too much too quickly, staff may not be able to meet the demands and the framework could fall apart completely.
Don’t try to roll out a high-stakes, organization-wide competency process in one step. Start with one project each quarter that will show all involved a good return on their investment. Clearly define the purpose and develop the appropriate team from all areas of your business. Make sure you have a roll out strategy that isn’t too overwhelming. This will help key stakeholders embrace the initiative.
2. Let Stakeholders Know the Value
Competency management takes time and effort so it’s important to keep all stakeholders motivated to do their part. What better way to motivate stakeholders to participate in competency management activities than to explain the value and what each stakeholder type will gain?
Senior Leadership. Communicate to senior leadership the value of assessing and adjusting your competency management process. A few key components that may be most important to leadership include: How the process will align with company goals, how it will allow the company to grow or progress in the marketplace and how it will affect the company’s bottom line.
Management. Explain to management the importance of carrying out their designated competency management tasks. Whether it’s evaluating employees, giving feedback on the framework, or simply communicating competency management items for their staff to complete, each manager’s competency efforts affect how well their teams(s) adopt the process.
Employees. Help employees understand that participating in competency management processes will teach them what is required for success in their role, and give them information and guidance on planning their career trajectory within the organization.
Talent Managers. Having an optimized competency process means talent managers can optimally align talent management processes with business needs, making their job a whole lot easier and more efficient.
3. Develop a Clear, Easy-to-Use Framework
Having collected data, the next step is to create subgroups that define and categorize behaviors and skillsets. You may categorize your subgroups around supervising and leading, recruiting, staff development, project management and other general management competencies. Once you have a framework in place, that doesn’t mean it can’t be changed for the better. A good competency management framework should be flexible, and improved as time goes on. One of the pain points of keeping key stakeholders involved in competency management activities is poor usability. If the processes laid out are not efficient, don’t make sense or just don’t deliver the results intended, stakeholders won’t be motivated to do their part.
In addition to a usable framework, also consider competency descriptions. Work to clearly identify and describe what skills are needed for each position within the company. This will save precious time and resources down the road.
4. Be Consistent Throughout the Company
For a friction-free competency management plan implementation, do your best to make it as consistent as possible throughout the company. Make sure all senior leadership, management, employees and talent management staff adhere to the same structure. This is why your planning team is so important, and why they should represent many levels of internal stakeholders. Their support in educating their teams about the importance of this process is critical. Be sure to connect the framework back to business and team objectives and provide training or coaching so that staff working toward competencies know they are supported. This will make it easier to deploy adjustments to the competency framework, as well as easier for senior leadership to make decisions.
5. Assess and Measure
Once a competency management process is implemented, you should track what is working and what isn’t. By establishing ongoing accountabilities, for both individuals and teams, you will ensure that the competency management process will progress at all levels of your organization.
To streamline your organization’s competency management process, consider competency management software. With the right software, measuring progress is easy and automated. This saves management time and motivates them to do their part in the process.
6. Use Feedback to Make Adjustments
A competency management process should never be stagnant. With the feedback gained from staff, you can learn more about challenges and brainstorm ways to adjust the framework, motivate staff, and plan for more efficient ways of completing competency management tasks company-wide. Regular check-ins, whether they be monthly or quarterly, will keep the organization informed and promote engagement in the process.
7. Use Competency Management Software
Your competency management process is all set up but what about providing staff an optimal way to track, measure and report on the process? If competency management software isn’t a key component of your competency management process, you are missing out on an essential piece of your overall plan. Good competency management software will save you time, help you track and report, make adjustments much easier and allow the process to be more easily integrated into the business routine. For the most efficient and sustainable competency management process, consider using WebMentor Skills™ from Avilar.