READ TIME: 4 minutes.

Organizations big and small have the same goal—a competent, high-performing workforce that is efficient and effective. It’s only when your staff are fully trained with the organization’s core competencies in mind that you stay competitive in your industry and positively influence your bottom line.

By understanding what skills gaps exist within your company, you can begin to outline a framework to bring employees up-to-speed. Through planning, introduction of learning tools and skills management software, you can create a competency-based development plan that aligns with your organization’s goals, mission and vision.

With these key elements, your competency-based development plan will be championed by staff and slated for success!

1. Establish Competency Development Needs

Before you can begin any skills development activities, you need to know what skills gaps exist. This means finding out exactly what it is your employees don’t know how to do, or may not do efficiently. With development needs in mind, you can best plan how to properly train staff or make new hires to strengthen your business’s core competencies.

One foundational way to establish development needs is through assessments or surveys. Whether it’s at an individual level, a team level or organization-wide, surveying or administering assessments is a great way to learn more about what is lacking in your workforce.

2. Plan it Out

Making a game plan for your competency development efforts is essential for everyone involved. Whether it’s assigning key roles, making timelines and goal due dates, or communicating tweaks and changes, a solid plan will aid all participants in staying on track and making these efforts as frictionless as possible.

In the planning stages, it’s vital to bring all key staff members on board and educate them on the “why.” This will help leadership understand exactly what’s at stake, why these competency development milestones are so important and how the program is going to positively affect your workforce and the company at large.

Some planning tips include:

  • Communicate clearly. Let everyone in the company know what you’re doing and why.
  • Make it mandatory. Make it clear that skills development is a crucial part of being an employee within your company and no one is exempt.
  • Support your employees. While learning new skills are mutually beneficial, the time and effort involved can be draining. Don’t let your employees feel overwhelmed. To adequately allow for skill development activities, build in extra help or extra time, and, if necessary, even reduce the responsibilities of their regular workload while skills development is underway.

3. Delegate Tasks

As a busy organization, your leadership is already working at maximum capacity. However, making a road map for your competency development plan is only as effective as those in leadership who follow and enforce it. If you think of your competency-based development plan as a tent and your leadership as the stakes, the only way your plan will hold up is if all the stakes are firmly in place.

By taking time to delegate tasks to designated staff people, you can ensure deadlines will get met, benchmarks achieved and skills developed.

A few tips for smooth task delegation include:

  • Appointing reliable staff. With your best people at the helm, competency development milestones are sure to be reached.
  • Posting a public calendar. Following the timelines you’ve created, post task due dates on a public calendar. If all employees can easily access a calendar with deadlines laid out, they’ll be motivated to complete development activities.
  • Meeting regularly. Gather with other key leaders on a regular basis to discuss changes or additions to your plan.

4. Implement Learning Tools

The most effective way to improve skill sets is through continued learning. Whether it’s company-wide workshops, face-to-face training sessions or online courses for individuals, implementing some kind of learning initiative is an essential element of the competency-based development plan.

With everything on their plates, your employees may not have time to head to a conventional classroom—nor may it be necessary. The ability for staff to learn at their own pace, and at times that make sense for them, is what puts web-based learning management tools at the top of the list for an organization’s competency development program.

With Avilar’s online learning tool, WebMentor LMS™,  you can gain access to a wide range of off-the-shelf, up-to-date training courses. The course list is extensive, with more than 1870 courses in 102 topics. Check out our course catalog here.

5. Use Skills Management Software

“What cannot be measured cannot be improved.” This mantra rings particularly true when establishing the best way to report on competency development progress. With skills management software, all of your competency development activity data is organized and easily accessible company-wide. This makes measuring and reporting on that data completely painless.

Our skills management software, WebMentor Skills™, can help you define your plan, assess your employees’ skills, analyze skills gaps, and most importantly, take action.

Want to see how WebMentor Skills™ works? Contact Avilar for a demo today.

An Outline for Success

Top organizations know the positive effect a competent workforce can have on their business. This is why so many companies put a sizable emphasis on cultivating competent  employees. With these five tips in mind, your organization will be sure to make headway with a competency-based development plan that’s right for you.

Still have questions or not sure what you need? Contact us. Avilar is happy to advise the best way for your organization to move forward with an impactful competency development plan.