Integrating a competency framework into an organization is one way to improve productivity and create a model with which to measure not just what employees are doing, but how they are doing it. However, before competency frameworks can become valuable, you must have the tools and internal organization to monitor and measure core competencies in employees. This will allow you to determine how employees match up to expectations, rather than simply telling them and checking during end-of-year review.
Top Down Competency Monitoring
Each individual manager must be responsible for monitoring and measuring the competencies of those who work beneath her. Organizing a top-down structure of competency management allows you to put monitoring in the hands of those who work closely with each person on a daily basis.
Managers already do this to some extent, by paying attention to what individuals are producing. Adding competency management simply creates a new level, switching focus from “what” to “What and How”.
Communicating this, as well as what they are looking for in each role, and how to record it, is important for ensuring core competency measurement across the organization.
Measuring Core Competencies
The basis of recording competency data is that managers, their managers, and their managers, must record total behavior and performance during significant incidents, average day-to-day behavior and performance, and total behavior including both positive and negative reactions. Creating role-based competency frameworks then allows managers to map individual behavior to ideal targets.
Identifying Core Competencies
Without a competency framework in place, managers cannot measure employee effectiveness. They must have a framework at an organizational and a role-based level, identifying knowledge, skills, and behaviors that contribute positively to the organization.
Employees must be observed objectively and without bias, so that only their specific actions and behaviors are recorded. Most competency measurement begins by recording average behavior, and then settles on recording behavior during crucial moments such as during large projects, moments of stress, etc., and then any marked changes from standard behavior. Providing managers with a template or program to record this data into is essential.
It is important to measure the significance of incidents and behavior changes. For example, if an employee is performing poorly, but have recently been involved in an accident or lost a loved one, the change could be marked up to trauma and not to a change in personality. The significance of changes in behavior can also be mapped according to the impact that behavior has on output, on other parts of the organization, and on customers.
By identifying the normal behavior for individual employees over time, you can benchmark their data to create standards based on behavior. This will then allow you to identify over and under achievers inside the same role, to identify personal improvement in individual employees, and to mentor and improve others to reach the same standards.
Measuring core competencies allows you to better assess and develop individual performance by defining how successful work is completed. This in turn allows you to recognize, develop, and reward that behavior.