How to supercharge people development by measuring competencies and skills

Employee Knowledge, Skill Development and Competency Management — Vital components of a thriving workforce

How to supercharge people development by measuring competencies and skills

Employee Knowledge, Skill Development and Competency Management — Vital components of a thriving workforce

Group of people dressed casually sitting in an office facing a presenter with a screen.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

To maintain a healthy and productive workforce, employees need to continually learn new skills and update their knowledge.

This article will explore how you can monitor your employee’s skills and competencies in the workplace, and how training, learning and development can help them to develop their competencies and skills.

Why is it important to monitor employee competencies?

When it comes to employee competencies, it is important for organizations to know what their employees are good at and capable of, and what they need to work on.

By monitoring employee competencies, organizations can identify training and development needs, as well as assess whether or not employees are meeting the standards set for their positions.

Tracking employee competencies can help with succession planning by identifying high-potential employees who may be ready for promotion. And by identifying where competencies may be missing or lacking, managers can organise training interventions before the company and team performance is negatively impacted.

How can companies measure competencies and skills?

There are a variety of ways companies can measure competencies and skills. Many companies use some form of assessment centre, which typically involves designing and administering a series of tests and/or simulations designed to evaluate job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Other companies may use work samples or portfolio reviews as part of the competency-measuring process. In some cases, companies may rely on customer feedback or performance appraisals to help gauge employee competencies and skills.

With improving technology, many companies are beginning to use digital tools and assessments to measure and monitor the competencies of their workforces, allowing the process to be streamlined in many ways.

A persons hand filling in an exam sheet with a pencil
Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu on Unsplash

What are the benefits of tracking competencies?

There are many benefits of tracking employee competencies, including:

  • Improved organizational performance: By tracking employee competencies, organizations can identify areas where employees need additional training or development. This can lead to improved performance at the individual, team, and organizational levels.
  • Increased engagement and motivation: Employees who feel that their skills and abilities are being recognized and valued are more likely to be engaged and motivated.
  • Greater clarity around job roles and expectations: When competencies are tracked, it becomes easier to identify what specific skills and knowledge are required for each job role. This can help to improve communication and clarity around expectations.
  • Enhanced succession planning: With a clear understanding of which employees have which competencies, organizations can better plan for succession by identifying potential successors for key positions.

What are the different ways to measure skills and competencies?

There are a number of different ways that skills and competencies can be measured.

One way is to look at an individual’s educational qualifications and work experience. Determining a baseline level based on their previous achievements and experience.

Another way is to assess an individual’s ability to perform specific tasks or functions. This can be done through tests, simulations or other forms of assessment.

A third way to measure skills and competencies is to look at and monitor an individual’s behavioural patterns. This includes their attitude, motivation and commitment levels. Behavioural assessments can be conducted through interviews, observations or surveys.

Finally, another way to measure skills and competencies is to assess an individual’s potential. This looks at their ability to learn new things and grow in their role. Potential can be assessed through aptitude tests, psychometric tests or career planning tools.

What is the process of measuring employee competencies?

There are a few steps that organizations should take when measuring employee competencies:

1. Firstly, they should develop a clear understanding of what the desired competencies are for the organization as a whole and for specific job roles. This can be done by conducting a needs analysis or reviewing organizational objectives.

2. Once the desired competencies have been identified, organizations should develop assessment tools to measure employees’ current levels of competency. This could include tests, simulations, or other types of assessments.

3. The results of the assessments should be used to identify gaps in employees’ knowledge and skills. Based on these gaps, organizations can develop training and development plans to help employees close the gap and reach the desired level of competency.

4. Finally, organizations should periodically reassess employees to ensure that they are maintaining or improving their levels of competency.

How should an organization identify gaps in an employee's skill set?

Organizations should identify gaps in employee skill sets through a variety of means, including performance reviews, customer feedback, skills assessments, and other data sources.

Gaps can be identified during the normal course of business, during the onboarding process or as competencies are being assessed.

Once gaps are identified, organizations can develop training and development plans to help employees close those gaps. Additionally, managers can provide targeted coaching and mentorship to help employees improve their skills and perform better on the job.

Graphic of a business man jumping across a gap with a briefcase

What are some ways to fill skill gaps?

1. Recognize the skill gap.

The first step to filling a skill gap is recognizing that one exists. This can be done through performance reviews, employee feedback, or simply by observing employees in their day-to-day work. Once you’ve identified a skill gap, you can start to develop a plan to fill it.

2. Train existing employees.

If the skill gap is relatively small, you may be able to train existing employees to fill it. This can be done through on-the-job training, online courses, or even sending employees to outside workshops or conferences. By investing in your existing employees, you’ll not only save money but also build morale and loyalty.

3. Hire new employees.

In some cases, the best way to fill a skill gap is to hire new employees who already have the needed skillset. This can be expensive and time-consuming, but it may be necessary if you can’t train your existing workforce to meet the challenge at hand.

4. Use temporary workers or contractors.

If you need someone with specific skills on a short-term basis, consider using temporary workers or contractors instead of hiring permanent staff members. This can be a cost-effective way to get the help you need without making long-term commitments or taking on additional overhead costs.

What tools can be used to track an employee's progress towards their development goals?

There are a variety of tools that can be used to track an employee’s progress towards their goals.

One tool is a performance management system, which can help to identify gaps in an individual’s skills and knowledge. Additionally, 360-degree feedback surveys can provide valuable insights into an employee’s progress. Finally, regular check-ins with managers and supervisors can help to ensure that employees are on track and making progress.

There are tools and systems that exist, such as Beeline which can support managers and HR teams with monitoring skills development, training and learning in real time. This can simplify and streamline the learning, development and reporting process for all members of the team.

Additionally, by integrating competency tracking and management functionality which are mapped to the same learning and development content they are being trained on, it is remarkably easy to identify where the gaps are, and what needs to be learned in order to develop the competency.

Developing your people is one of the most valuable and important things you can do for your growing business.

It’s a process that has been time-consuming and complex to manage in the past, especially because learning and training have taken place across many different formats and mediums.

Streamline your learning, training and development with Beeline.

Get in touch if you’re interested in how we can support you in measuring the competencies of your teams, and mapping them to the knowledge required to develop them.

All in a single tool.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1 — What methods can organisations use to effectively monitor and measure employee competencies and skills?

Organisations can utilise various methods such as assessment centres, work samples, portfolio reviews, customer feedback, performance appraisals, and digital tools for efficiently measuring competencies and skills. These methods help in evaluating job-related knowledge and abilities.

2 — How can tracking employee competencies and skills benefit an organisation and its workforce?

Tracking competencies enables organisations to identify training needs, improve performance at all levels, increase employee engagement and motivation, clarify job roles, and facilitate better succession planning by pinpointing high-potential employees for advancement.

3 — What strategies can businesses employ to identify and address skill gaps within their teams?

To address skill gaps, businesses can perform regular performance reviews, use skills assessments, and analyze feedback. Identifying gaps allows for the creation of targeted training and development plans, providing employees with the resources they need to enhance their skills and contribute more effectively to the organization.

by James Mallett
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