Competence is generally defined as – a combination of awareness, skills, knowledge and attitude that enables an individual to perform a job to the standards required for successful job performance.
Essentially, “Competence” is what enables people to be better at what they do. It is not just skills picked up to enhance one’s knowledge. e.g. – A salesperson who learns to play the guitar is picking up a skill, but a salesperson who learns to play the guitar, so she can converse knowledgeably with her clients while trying to sell them a guitar, is picking up a competency. The difference between a skill and a competency lies in the purpose.
Competency based training is a methodology which involves mapping the current competency levels against desired competency levels, identifying the resulting gaps, and creating a training plan to bridge those gaps. This is an extremely powerful tool if used correctly. Which is one of the primary reasons that most organisations across the globe, including Fortune 500 companies, are investing in setting up competence based training for their workforce.
Before deciding to invest in competence based training though, one needs to have the following in place:
- Process to determine correct competencies (with required skill levels) for each role
- Process to measure and benchmark skill levels for any given competency
- Training programs to improve or develop competencies
- Follow up programs to monitor progress
Word of Caution – Do not let the HR department handle it all by themselves.
The entire exercise is a huge task for Human Resources alone, even for a small size company of say 200 employees. The best way to go about this is to create a task force with representation from senior executives, line managers, HR personnel, and the employees themselves.
Competence based training approach helps with the learning & development of employees, and can also be used as the spine of performance appraisal and career progression processes.e.g. if an assistant manager has to be promoted to be the manager, then the competencies and skill levels of the individual (assistant manager) should match at least the minimum competencies and skill levels of the desired position (manager).
Not only does this help create a transparent environment in the workplace, but also motivates employees by giving them adequate support to achieve their aspirations. A win-win for everyone.
If you do not have a tool to utilize the advantages of competence based training in your organisation as yet, then you might want to take a look at Deskera eTraining. It is a comprehensive, award winning corporate learning solution.
To know more about us, please visit Deskera.