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5 Ways to Tap Into the Power of Skills and Competency Management

November 18, 2001
Related Topics: Behavioral Training, Basic Skills Training, Featured Article
How to get a handle on the knowledge and skills of your employees:

  • Identify key skills and competencies through surveys, interviews, focus groups,and analysis. Every organization has unique needs, and identifying the skillsand competencies that drive success can boost performance and profits. The processof identifying the traits that lead to success falls somewhere between art andscience. However, certain methods, such as interviews, surveys, and focus groups,can help turn attention in the right direction.

  • Build a management system that can track employee performance. Using achecklist, spreadsheet, or specialized software application, an organizationcan track where employees are and where they ought to be. It's also possibleto share this information with employees, so that they can prepare for newassignments or better positions within the organization.

  • Integrate skills and competency inventories with other HR systems, includingrecruiting, training, and succession planning. A list of key skills candefine the questions that a recruiter asks an applicant in a job interviewor the types of courses an organization introduces through its trainingand development program. A desktop portal can provide an employee with alist of skills needed for a particular position, note the skills that heor she currently possesses, and serve as an easy way to sign up for a course.

  • Keep in mind that skills or competency tracking isn't a one-time solution;it's an ongoing process. It's essential to tweak systems and update thelist of required skills periodically. This can also lead to changes in thetypes of courses an organization offers and the kinds of individuals anenterprise recruits.

  • Don't expect immediate miracles. Filling skill and competency gaps takestime, effort, and cultural adjustment. It's up to HR to not only devisethe systems but also educate employees about the benefits of using themfor self-appraisal, career development, and other processes.

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