According to Pattys Davis of Development Dimensions International (DDI), Jennifer Naughton of ATD (previously ASTD) and Bill Rothwell of Rothwell & Associates, “competencies encompass clusters of skills, knowledge, abilities, and behaviors required for people to succeed. In this case, it refers to success across jobs in workplace learning and performance.”

Roadmap for Workplace Success

What is Competency Mapping?

Competency Mapping is a process that identifies key competencies for an organization and/or a job and incorporating those competencies throughout various processes (i.e., job evaluation, training, recruitment) within the organization. Job evaluations, training and recruitment are areas which Competency Mapping can be applied. Ask our corporate development experts.  Competency describes the work-related skills and behavior needed to effectively perform in a role. While core competencies are required for all role profiles or types, specific competencies are required for some role profiles. For example, core competencies can be soft skills or behaviors such as honesty and integrity while specific competencies can include problem-solving skills, commercial awareness, and drive and determination. A Sales Manager has duties such as managing the sales office, supervising and motivating staff, preparing quotations, and developing sales projections. For these duties, our Sales Manager will need commercial awareness skills, problem-solving, and drive and determination.

How do I Conduct Competency Mapping?

1. Conduct Job Analysis (Job Description)

Interview your best team members to ascertain how they achieve the levels of excellence. Learn from them what knowledge, skills, and behaviors they need to perform in their various capacities. By learning and documenting the necessary skills, knowledge, and behavior of your top performers, one can begin creating a list of the relevant core competencies needed for the particular job titles. Remember the core competencies of a sales manager will be different from the core competencies of your production manager.

2. Values and Competencies

Values represent the deeply held beliefs (principles, standards, and institutions) within the organization that are demonstrated through the daily behaviors of all employees. Based on its values, an organization declares how everyone from the CEO to the Janitor should behave. An organization’s values should stand the best of time. Values should endure over the long term and provide a constant source of strength for an organization. Don’t confuse your organization’s values and its core competencies. As we described above, competencies can be learned and taught. Values, on the other hand, are more “soft” and inherent. Values are more integrated into the fabric of your organization. They are your reason for being. “Trust, integrity, honesty, and ethics” can form the bedrock of your organization. Your customers deal with you because of these values. Of course, your customer service skills can nicely complement these values – hence the synergistic relationship between your values and your competencies.

3. Competencies and Job Titles

As we described earlier, each job title can be unique in its own way. This means a particular job title or position will require a different or even unique set of competencies. It is prudent to assign different competencies to the different job titles. Susie in HR requires a different set of competencies than Steve in IT. Always consider which job titles apply to which jobs. As jobs change and mature, there might be a need to reconsider the core competencies originally assigned. When DOS phased out to replace the Windows Operating System, your IT people needed a new or upgraded set of core competencies to operate efficiently in a Windows environment. With the advent of the Internet, many software tools are shifting to a Software-as-a-Service or Web-based option, and it is important that employees and team members get acquainted and proficient in working in Salesforce, or Slack or even eLeaP.

3. Does Past Behavior Describe Present Competencies?

This simply means identifying the specific individual behaviors that have manifested in past performance or previous accomplishments. In order words, what kinds of examples can be gleaned from the employee’s previous behaviors or characteristics that fit into the current competency model?  While there are some skill-sets that are ‘evergreen’, most jobs or positions require continuing education or refresher courses to allow staff members to continue to be abreast with the latest in system requirements. A successful organization is one in which a learning culture has taken root, and team members are excited to continue to add to their body or knowledge.

4. Create Training/Competency Matrix

Having performed your job analysis and identified the required competencies and values that you want to promulgate, it is now time to create a training/competency matrix. A training and/or competency matrix enables an organization to create tools that can be used to prepare a comparison sheet that will match the required skill sets for a given position in the company. A training/competency matrix can be a powerful tool to enable you to get the right training to the right users at the right time. A new salesperson should be put into a sales training track, and a customer service rep who is upgrading to a managerial role should have a manager training path created and assigned to them. Using a learning management system that has some smart rules to allow you to map your training matrix to the training tool will provide some much-needed automation for you. Be sure to ask eLeaP for assistance to get up and running with creating your competency mapping and of course, your training/competency matrix.