Competency frameworks are increasingly integrated into organizational performance management to measure not only what employees do but also how they do it. This same data can be integral in creating a culture of management and quality assurance, by better defining what success looks like – so that managers have the tools to shift focus away from procedure and tradition and towards efficiency and meeting quality standards.
While this requires a certain level of competency from leaders, it also allows you to take steps to measure and verify the quality of work being completed using information already at your disposal.
Using Competency Frameworks for Monitoring
An organization’s competency framework is developed around both the skills and knowledge needed to complete tasks for a role and the behavior and attitudes required to perform well in the role. Actual monitoring is typically achieved using a 3-part process of watching and observing, benchmarking and actively using data, and offering feedback.
- Assign managers to consistently monitor worker behavior over time
- Benchmark data to establish performance norms, both for individuals and for roles (you can use this to identify high performers, when performance goes up/down, and to target those who are struggling inside the organization)
- Make monitoring about both noting behaviors shown in key situations, such as when decision-making, learning, or meeting deadlines and offering real-time feedback and goal-oriented motivation.
Good Behavior Means Quality Work
The core of any competency framework is to either improve productivity or improve the quality of productivity. While some organizations lose sight of tying competencies to direct output such as organizational goals, production, or performance, your definition of good behavior should be those traits and behaviors which directly contribute to organizational goals, including quality.
- Ensure that competencies are tied to performance (if you don’t have competencies tying into performance and direct organizational benefit, they will not help the company).
- Establish competencies which directly tie into quality control (Asking for help, focuses on creating quality work, technically skilled, seeks out feedback and constructive criticism, flexibility, establishes clear work processes, etc.)
- Monitor performance output with competencies to verify that the competencies in place line up with actual quality of work produced
Focusing Learning and Development on Competencies
While competency frameworks are valuable in assessing and identifying good work and behavior, they are also valuable for identifying competency gaps. Many organizations using competency models also offer competency training to help bridge gaps to allow employees to work to improve problem areas so that they can contribute more to the organization.
While competency frameworks are valuable at performance review, a well-integrated model offers those same benefits throughout the year, tying into ongoing employee monitoring and quality assurance