Developing Targeted Employee Training with a Competency Framework

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Developing Targeted Employee Training with a Competency Framework

Training employees can deliver value by building internal resources and capabilities, increasing the value and productivity of the workforce while improving employee loyalty to reduce turnover. Training programs can also work to cover gaps, prepare existing employees for changing roles, and ready candidates for succession.

Competency frameworks refine this process by identifying goal and target behavior– as well as which learnable behaviors and skills actually impact roles. This process is known as capability building, where you manage and learn employee development as part of workforce planning.

Changing Focus from Activity to Effectiveness

Traditional employee training and retraining modes rely on activity. These models often fail to evaluate learning and development, simply because they lack performance targets and data.

A competency framework identifies the behaviors and actions that contribute to success in a role. By identifying skill and behavior competencies, and tracking them to direct success, you know not only what to work on teaching but also how to see when training has succeeded and when training is contributing to positive business outcomes.

Targeting Learning Where It Matters

Competency frameworks also allow you to target learning, by meeting specific learning and development needs, rather than introducing a single broad course. For example, you can target specific employee roles to deliver valuable training while leaving others to study something more valuable to their role. Common competency framework-based training includes:

  • Employee development
  • Skills development with systematic exposure to work experiences
  • Orientation activities and training
  • Continuous learning for employees to ensure skills remain relevant
  • Using experienced workers in the role of mentor or coach
  • Offering lifestyle management and development such as stress and time management to improve productivity and behavior
  • Aligning new initiatives with organizational planning to ensure employees are ready for changes
  • Breaking down cultural barriers to improve cross-organizational communication
  • Building training around business applications rather than the classroom

Targeting individual training based on the competencies desired in that role now and in the future, such as training an IT team in a new software the company is integrating before it is integrated, or training customer service in customer relationship management, benefits both the organization and the employee. Their skills become more relevant and they are therefore more valued and more employable, and the organization improves total output and productivity.

Creating an Environment in Which Employees are Encouraged to Learn

A competency framework creates a system which you can use to accurately gauge what employees have to learn and why. It also creates a framework which you can use to measure the success of training and learning, not with employees passing tests, but with changes in measurable behavior that actively contributes to the organization.

This means that learning should encompass not just hard skills, but also leadership (personal and leading others), values, attitudes, behaviors, being in the workforce, hard skills, and internal systems and processes.

Basing training on a competency framework makes it possible to target goals and specific desired outcomes for individual roles – enabling you to bring individual groups of people where they most need to be to meet the company’s needs, including to deliver specific skills in a short period of time and to slowly develop candidates for larger roles over longer periods of time.


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