The Connection Between Competencies and Productivity

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Whether you’re in the service industry, construction, education, health, or some other line of work, it’s likely that competency management is (or should be) part of your workforce management arsenal. Studies show organizations that have a competency management program in place benefit from higher productivity as well as advance the company’s bottom line.

Competency management can have a positive impact on every department of an organization from entry-level to the C-suite. A competency management plan helps organizations of all sizes understand skill gaps, track skill development and ongoing training through a learning management system, provide continuous feedback on performance, and manage succession planning and career development. This is essential for organizational growth and stability.

What are Competencies?

No matter what industry you’re in, your workforce can benefit from having a competency management framework in place. But, what exactly are competencies? Competencies are the cumulative fundamental knowledge and abilities or expertise within a specific subject area. They may also include personal characteristics that can establish the level of performance for an individual within a specific position, team or project.

Individual Competencies vs. Organizational Competencies

Competencies can be tracked and measured for each individual as well as company-wide. An example of an individual competency might be that a staff member is an expert at technical writing. An example of an organizational competency might be if a company decides that each employee should become an expert at company policies and procedures.

Understanding and tracking competencies within your workforce, as well as putting a learning management system in place and providing ongoing feedback and performance tracking is considered a competency management system.

How Can Competency Management Spur Productivity?

With a competency management system in place, your company can get organized, allowing leadership to focus on what’s really important–a happy, productive, and efficient workforce. A competency management system boosts productivity at every level of your organization. Here’s how:

Effective Skills Development

If you don’t have a competency management system in place, it’s very likely that skill gaps exist within your organization that are inhibiting efficiency and productivity. A great way to sharpen existing skills and encourage employees to gain new ones is by establishing a learning management system.

According to the Harvard Business Review, a mere 20% of today’s workforce has the skills needed for 60% of the jobs. This low competence rate is partly a result of advances in technology. For example, unless staff have engaged in further education, it’s not likely that someone who graduated in the 90’s would be proficient in up-and-coming coding languages.

One example of effective skills development is AT&T’s recent staff overhaul. AT&T recognized the skills gaps within its workforce and, instead of hiring new people, decided to spend $250 million on employee education and professional development programs. The article notes that, “It’s too soon to measure the full results, but one encouraging sign has been an increase in speed and efficiency.”

Successful organizations like AT&T understand that a learning management system is an essential piece of effective competency management. Learn more about why an LMS is so crucial to the development of your workforce on our blog.

Clear Job Descriptions

A competency management system not only provides a way for staff to gain or sharpen skills, it’s also a gold mine of data. From the inception of your competency management system, your organization begins creating a profile of information for each employee and each position within your company. As time goes on and leadership details the tasks required for each job and which competencies are essential, each job description becomes clearer.

Clear job descriptions make it easy for managers to understand what it is each employee does from day-to-day and how they can fit in on each team or project. This valuable data takes the otherwise time consuming burden of defining job types and makes it an almost effortless activity.

Efficient Recruiting

With a competency management system in place, your human resources team will have access to the data they need to do their job more cost-effectively and with higher quality. Finding top talent for each position is a breeze when job descriptions and requirements are clear.

Clarity of job descriptions means less face-to-face time with leadership – resulting in a higher rate of productivity in the HR department.

Career and Succession Planning

When employees have a clear vision for their future within your organization, it’s easier for them to have ownership over their position and the projects that they’re assigned to. Employees who feel that they’re working toward something meaningful tend to be more productive.

Better Leaders, Better Products, Better Services

You’ve probably heard the mantra before but it still rings true – your workforce is your most valuable asset. Through a competency management system, you can lay the groundwork to take new recruits from entry-level to the leadership level. Through professional development programs, your staff can gain the leadership skills and motivation needed to drive higher productivity company-wide.

Competencies for Sustainability and Growth

Without a framework in place and the data at hand to understand where your workforce is currently and how to get to the next step, it can be difficult for your company to maintain your current rate of productivity, let alone increase it.

A competency management plan can provide you with the tools you need to help your organization not just survive within your industry, but thrive. Learn more about Avilar’s comprehensive employee performance management software and e-learning tools or contact us today.

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