Competency Mapping: A strategic Approach in Human Resource Management
Organizations in the present days are undergoing heavy conversion in the stir of industrialization and globalization. Here, Human Resource Management practices are receiving wider recognition in the developmental and transformational procedure. Organization management is giving more force in understanding and developing the competency of employees and makes use of the tool competency mapping, for the improvement of productivity and maintaining a positive work civilization. This application of the competence approach covers the operational areas of human resource management in the organization viz., selection, remuneration, vocational training, evaluation and promotion. The competency mapping works at the enterprise level rather than the outside realms. The objective behind this effort is to identify the best, better and good and average effort on the part of the individual workers and support the best effort, encourage the better effort, empower the good effort and train the average effort of the workers towards the best performance. Competency mapping is gaining much more importance and organizations are aware of having good human resources or putting the right people on right job.
Competence is a standardized requirement for an individual to properly perform a specific job. It encompasses a combination of knowledge, skills and behavior to be utilized to improve performance. More generally, competence is the state or quality of being adequately or well qualified, having the ability to perform a specific role perfectly.
For instance, management competency includes the traits of systems ´ thinking and emotional intelligence, and skills in influence and negotiation. A person possesses a competence as long as the skills, abilities, and knowledge that constitute the competence enabling the person to perform effectively within a certain workplace environment. Therefore, one might not lose knowledge, a skill, or an ability, but still lose a competence if what is needed to do a job changes.
MEANING OF COMPETENCE
Competence refers to the characteristics required by an individual to perform a given role, task or an activity successfully. In simple terms, it refers to a person’s fitness to his or her job.
The competencies have five characteristics, namely: Knowledge: information accumulated in a particular area of expertise (e.g., accounting, selling, servicing, and management) Skills: the demonstration of expertise (e.g., the ability to make effective presentations, or to negotiate successfully) Motive: recurrent thoughts driving behaviors (e.g., drive for achievement, affiliation) Attitude: self−concept, values and self−image Traits: a general disposition to behave in certain ways (e.g., flexibility)
IDENTIFICATION OF COMPETENCIES
The competencies are identified using competency mapping methods such as Interviews Questionnaire Group work Task analysis workshop Use of Job descriptions Performance Appraisal Format etc.
These competencies are identified by Experts, Psychologists, HR Specialists, Job Analysts, Supervisors, Industrial Engineers, Reporting and Reviewing officers and others. After the identification of the core competencies there should be a core competency acquisition agenda. Continuous learning should be provided for building core competency and later it should be deployed to attain and maximize competitive advantage. Finally, there should be a proactive business plan through which core competency skills are protected and defended.
In this new economy, every organization should perform consistently to remain successful; this can be achieved by multi− skilled, possessing high self−esteem work−force, who is highly competent. The absence of these competencies would lead to increased premiums and undesirable results.
A competency is something that describes what, where, how and when a job is to be done as per the requirement of the organisational objectives. Competency mapping is a process of identifying key competencies for a particular position in an organisation, and then using it for job−evaluation, recruitment, training and development, performance management, succession planning, etc. Competency mapping process is designed to consistently measure and assess individual and group performance to accomplish the objectives of the organization and it further helps to fulfill the expectations of customers.
It is used to identify key attributes (knowledge, skills, and behavior attributes) that are required to perform effectively in a job classification or an identified process. Competency mapping involves two sets of activities. One is related to the work activities and work process and the other is related to the individual and group performance. It is about identifying preferred behaviors and personal skills, which distinguish excellent and outstanding performance from the average.
STEPS IN COMPETENCY MAPPING
The following steps may be followed in competency Mapping:
1. Decide the positions for which the competencies need to be mapped. 2. Identify the location of the positions in the organizational structure. This needs the clarity of organizational structure, defining the position relationships (reporting authority, subordinates, peers etc.). 3. Identify the objectives of the function or the department or the unit or section where the position is located. 4. Identify the objectives of the role. Why does the position exist? What are the main purposes of the role etc. 5. Collect the Key Performance Areas (or KPAs, Tasks, etc.) of the position holder for the last two to three years from the performance appraisal records. Alternately, collect the job descriptions of any of the position to make a list of all tasks and activities to be performed by that position holder. 6. Interview the position holder to list the Tasks and activities expected to be performed by the Individual. Group them into a set of tasks. The tasks in the list may be as many as 15 to 20 for some positions as Competency mapping a few and five to six for other positions. There is no rigid rule about the number of tasks. It depends on how complex the position is. It is useful to start with as many tasks as possible. 7. Interview the position holder to list the actual knowledge, attitude, skills, and other competencies required for performing the task effectively. The position holder should be asked questions like: "If you are to recruit some one to perform this task what qualities or competencies would you look for in him/ her? What competencies do you think are required to perform this well? 8. Repeat the process with all the position set members. 9. Consolidate the list of competencies from all the position holders’ by each task. 10. Edit and finalize. Present it to the supervisors of the position holder for approval and finalization.
APPROACHES IN COMPETENCY MAPPING IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Recruitment & Selection Performance Management System Training Development Compensation Management
1. Recruitment & Selection:
Competency−based recruitment is a process based on the ability of candidates to produce anecdotes about their professional experience which can be used as evidence that the candidate has a given competency. Candidates demonstrate competencies on the application form, and then in the interview, which in this case is known as a competency−based interview.
The process is intended to be fairer than other recruitment processes by clearly laying down the required competencies and then testing them in such a way that the recruiter has little discretion to favour one candidate over another; the process assumes high recruiter discretion undesirable. As a result of its perceived fairness, the process is popular in public services. Competency−based recruitment is highly focused on the candidates’ story−telling abilities as an indication of competency, and disfavors other indications of a candidate’s skills and potentials, such as references.
A competency based approach to recruitment and selection of staff can help an organization, to make it an effective and successful investment of time, money and expertise. Such an approach will help ensure that: i. The organization is clear regarding the competencies and skill sets required by the job; ii. Selection processes encourage a good fit between individuals and their jobs, managers and staff have the required skills and competencies; iii. Individual skills and abilities are matched to the requirements of the job and iv. Evaluation of work demands and staffing are accurate.
2. Performance Management System:
Performance management is about achieving results in a manner that is consistent with organizational expectations. Integrating competencies within the performance management process supports the provision of feedback to employees not only on "what" they have accomplished (i.e., performance goals), but also "how" the work was performed, using competencies for providing feedback. Integrating competency with PMS will assist:− i. Employees in understanding performance expectations and enhancing competencies. ii. To integrate capabilities with existing or new processes. iii. To provide a mechanism for providing positive feedback about an employee’s training achievements and on−the−job performance iv. To provide job standards for performance appraisal v. To provide clear direction for learning new job skills
Competency Based Training focuses on what the participant is expected to be able to do in the workplace as opposed to just having theoretical knowledge. An important characteristic of Competency Based Training is that it is focused not only on the actual jobs that are required in the workplace, but also the ability to transfer and apply skills, knowledge and attitudes to new situations and environments. The emphasis in competency based training is on " performing" rather than just "knowing". Competence−based program needs to focus on building the knowledge and skills needed in a particular job. Competence−based programs are also used to increase employees’ current job performance, prepare them for changing job requirements or introduce new tools or technology in the work place. By having a well designed competence− based training and development program the organization will be able to ensure it has the right people, with the right skills, at the right time, to accomplish their business objectives.
The advantages of competency based training (CBT) are:−
i. Participants will achieve competencies required in the performance of their jobs.
ii. Participants build confidence as they succeed in mastering specific competencies.
iii. Participants receive a transcript or list of the competencies they have achieved.
For organizations to succeed in today’s competitive setting, employees at all levels need to develop and demonstrate a set of behavior showcasing his or her capabilities, characteristics, knowledge, talent as well as personal qualities for effective performance at work.
All businesses are based on some key competencies. If any business neglects employee competency and its development, all growth and productivity of an employee, company and profits will be affected. The main reason for an organization to create a competency−based system that focuses on having the right people with right skills at the right time is that it helps in accomplishing business targets. Competencies are the need of the hour and designing appropriate competency development models is a necessity.
Advantages of competency based development:−
i. Improvement in productivity, performance and profitability
ii. Identification of employee’s capabilities for an organization’s future needs
iii. Analyzing capability gaps
Competency−based pay fits this new environment. It provides an ongoing incentive to employees to enhance their ability to perform their jobs. Employees are rewarded with salary increases when they add new knowledge or skills or when they demonstrate higher level competence on existing capabilities.
Advantages of competency based compensation:
i. Provides a basis of deciding on the compensation.
ii. Encourages employees to develop their competencies further.
iii. Leads to a focus on totality of job rather than just what is achieved.
iv. This system fits every job.
BENEFITS OF USING COMPETENCY MODEL
There are some useful benefits of using competency model for the company, managers, and employees as well.
For The Company
Reinforce corporate strategy, culture, and vision. Establish expectations for performance excellence, resulting in a systematic approach to professional development, improved job satisfaction, and better employee retention. Increase the effectiveness of training and professional development programs by linking them to the success criteria (i.e., behavioral standards of excellence). Provide a common framework and language for discussing how to implement and communicate key strategies. Provide a common understanding of the scope and requirements of a specific role. Provide common, organization−wide standards for career levels that enable employees to move across business boundaries.
Identify performance criteria to improve the accuracy and ease of the hiring and selection process. Provide more objective performance standards. Clarify standards of excellence for easier communication of performance expectations to direct reports.
Provide a clear foundation for dialogue to occur between the manager and employee about performance, development, and career−related issues.
Identify the success criteria (i.e., behavioral standards of performance excellence) required to be successful in their role. Support a more specific and objective assessment of their strengths and specify targeted areas for professional development. Provide development tools and methods for enhancing their skills.
Competency−based HR is considered the best HR. In India however competency development and mapping still remains an unexplored process in most organisations despite the growing level of awareness. The underlying principle of competency mapping is not just about finding the right people for the right job. The issue is much more complex than it appears, and most HR departments have been struggling to formulate the right framework for their organisation. Unless managements and HR heads have holistic expectations from their HR departments, the competency movement is unlikely to succeed as it requires lot of time, dedication and money.
Before an organisation embarks on this journey it has to be very clear about the business goals, capability−building imperatives and core competencies of the organisation. The competency mapping process needs to be strongly integrated with these aspects. Experts agree that the competency mapping process does not fit the one−size−fits all formula. It has to be specific to the user organisation.
There is a need to develop models that draw from but are not defined by existing research, using behavioural interview methods so that the organisation creates a model that reflects its own strategy, its own market, its own customers, and the competencies that bring success in that specific context . It is important to focus on one or two key areas of implementation rather than the whole HRD agenda in one scoop. Competency mapping can be rather good at providing organisational pain relief when applied effectively−and so making the case for extending it.
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