Friday, 6 April 2012

competency mapping

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Competency mapping

What is Competency Mapping

It is about identifying preferred behaviours and personal skills which distinguish excellent and outstanding performance from the average.

A Competency is something that describes how a job might be done, excellently; a Competence only describes what has to be done, not how. So the Competences might describe the duties of a Sales Manager for example, such as manage the sales office and its staff, prepare quotations and sales order processing, manage Key Accounts and supervise and motivate the field sales force. The Competencies which might determine excellence in this role could include Problem Solving and Judgment; Drive and Determination; Commercial Awareness; Inter-personal skills etc, all of which might be described further by Behavioural Indicators relating specifically to that post in that organisation.

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The broad concept might be said to be based on the frequently quoted adage people get hired for what they know but fired for how they behave!

Competency mapping

When should they be used

The use of Competencies can include assessment during recruitment, through specific work-based exercises and relevant, validated, psychometric tests; assessment during further development; as a profile during assessment to guide future development needs; succession planning and promotion; organisational development analysis.

Techniques used to map Competencies include Critical Incident Analysis and Repertory Grid.

Steps in Competency Mapping

Competency mapping is an approach that has the objective of helping an organization align individual development with the strategic objectives of the company. I recommend the following step-by-step process for competency mapping.

Step 1. Development of Core Competencies

In this step, the leadership of the organization meets to brainstorm which core competencies the organization requires in order to achieve its objectives, goals, and vision. Examples of core competencies that are usually essential in organizations are problem solving, teambuilding, decision making, and communication skills.

Step . Assessing Competency Levels Required Across Positions

After the leadership decides which competencies are essential, it’s necessary to determine the degree to which, and manner in which, these competencies are required in each type of position (i.e., Sales Manager, Receptionist, and CEO). This assessment can be made through interviews with incumbents of sample positions, using a Position Information Questionnaire (PIQ). A sample is attached.

Step . Developing Competency-Based Job Descriptions

Following the interview process, job descriptions can be developed that include not only duties and reporting relationships but the core competency descriptions that are tailored to each position. The same competencies are included in each employee’s performance appraisal instrument so that he/she is evaluated on the same criteria that are specified in the job description.

Step 4. Competency-Based Matrix

For career development purposes, new employees (or potential employees) will be interested in career progression options available once they master different competency levels. As career options become more complex and sophisticated, the core competencies are elevated in terms of sophistication as well.

Step 5. Individual Development Planning

Using the job descriptions and the performance appraisal process as a foundation, Human Resources can provide coaching for individuals based on their unique developmental needs. For example, if a sales representative is interested in a position as Sales Manager, a Human Resources professional can counsel this person about current strengths and areas for improvement and point out the competency levels required for the higher level position. Then the employee and the HR person can jointly map out a plan for the employee’s development (courses, workshops, mentoring, etc.)

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