The meaning of competency assessment is fairly self-explanatory—it’s a way of objectively measuring the skills and knowledge of your employees. We’ve all experienced some kind of assessment during our professional lives and it can take many forms. Often, they aren’t as impactful as they can be.
Regardless of your industry of operation, it’s not a straightforward task to make sure your workforce is up to the desired levels of proficiency. Particularly if your organization is already large or rapidly growing, even and consistent performance is impossible. In such cases, it can’t be left up to individual managers to find out whether team members are performing optimally. Managers too are human and can fail to see the gaps in knowledge, or simply don’t have the time or skills themselves to train everyone. For a well-balanced and truly inclusive team, an objective measure of competence—and the relevant upskilling measures that follow—can bring immense value.
In some industries, upskilling through study and certification is a regular part of the job. But if it isn’t–which is true in most cases–an internal process of evaluation can be introduced. A competency-based assessment can take several forms depending on the needs of your organization.
Why You Need Competency Assessment
If you’re thinking of introducing a competency-based evaluation to your organization for the first time, you should start by identifying why you need one. Are you looking to fill a position internally and are you trying to choose between candidates? Or would you like to check for a skills gap in your existing workforce? Competency analysis can help with both scenarios. In fact, it can improve the level of performance of the entire organization across job functions.
How To Introduce A Competency Evaluation
After you have assessed the need, there are several steps to implement before a competency evaluation is rolled out at the organizational level.
Introduce a standard method for assessment that eliminates the possibility of bias
Get consent for the competency-based assessment if your contracts don’t already include such a clause
Communicate the purpose of the assessment clearly, and how the organization plans to use the data
Assessing the skill level of your workforce should not be an activity that alienates the team. By following these best practices, you can make sure they meet the competency assessment with enthusiasm and not worry. Not all your employees will ace the assessment. In this case, the next steps should be mapped out before you even begin.
How will you give these employees an opportunity to improve their skills? For instance, if an employee on the management track performs poorly in communication, will they be offered an adult learning program to help them master the desired skill set?
Your assessment should also be objective and data-driven where possible. If there are performance indicators that can be charted as part of the assessment, these should be included in the assessment. These could be sales figures, customer satisfaction ratings or test results. But where it isn’t possible, every effort should be made to ensure subjective data can be codified for further analysis.
How To Conduct a Competency Analysis
You can design a competency-based evaluation depending on the objectives and needs of the team. Some forms to consider:
An employee self-assessment
An administered test that provides certification
On-the-job monitoring along well-defined parameters
Each of these assessment forms and styles will yield different results and are appropriate for different applications. For instance, a recruitment drive could start with a written test and end with an interview. An annual appraisal could include a self-assessment and a checklist.
Your assessment must be conducted in a timely and fair manner to ensure no one feels singled out. It’s simply an organizational health check.
How To Fill the Skill Gap
A competency assessment is a means to an end. The actual work begins only once you have completed the process, in keeping with the purpose you defined at the beginning.
If you have conducted a competency-based assessment with the aim of bridging the gaps in employee knowledge, you can introduce upskilling courses, mentorship programs and other forms of training. Once you have established a baseline level of skill, you can then measure performance and competency periodically to ensure continued progress.
One option to help you achieve this goal is the Harappa 10 on 10 program. Your organization can get the most out of its employees by refining those innate skills and workplace behaviors to help them perform to the best of their abilities. The program drives behavior change in the workplace and has been designed to meet the needs of employees and companies today. It starts with learning needs analysis and skills benchmarking. Learning is self-paced through online masterclasses with drills and activities with a multi-disciplinary faculty. Our program will teach you how to meet your next workplace competency assessment with assurance!
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