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Using frameworks to help build competency

"Millennials report higher levels of boredom at work because they are the most disengaged generation in the workforce globally," said Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace and author of Promote Yourself. "They require constant feedback, training, mentoring and new career opportunities. If they aren't challenged at work, they immediately start looking at new jobs and will continue to job hop until their needs are satisfied."

Since Gen Y and millennials are early in their careers, they are still trying to identify their strengths and align them to the best fit job. So helping them track what they do best by evidencing competency is an ideal way to keep them motivated and engaged.

Tracking activity also works well for older workers who like assurance that they are still contributing to the output of the organisation. 

So doing competency management well should now be a key part of any organisations talent management strategy. The more accurately the organisation can define the set of skills, the better you can expect to measure performance. Job roles may have the same core competencies but differing levels of proficiency or evidence required. For example, a manager and a sales executive require the same competence in product knowledge but the manager just requires to show evidence of “awareness” where the sales executive needs to demonstrate evidence of “in-depth” knowledge.

Developing a coherent competency framework which supports business priorities helps to get staff in the right post with the right skills to do their job. It can also be used to identify gaps in provision and career progression opportunities.

Whilst each company or organisation may choose to define their own competency statements, we would recommend viewing the externally defined standards, such as those defined by organisations who create National Occupational Standards (NOS). In the UK each occupation has standards developed to support the measurement of competency. For example, here is the standard for health-related job roles.

Each NOS describes best practice and can help to establish clear definitions of the skills, performance, knowledge and understanding required across the industry. Many organisations use occupational standards as a basis to build on and introduce company specific statements and set up their own evidence types and reporting measures to ensure compliance.

eCom works with clients to develop frameworks based on the NOS and compliments this with each company’s own needs. We also develop processes to include the reuse of competency statements in job role families. This approach cuts down the amount of work required to develop frameworks. It also lets the organisation generate a good number of different job roles which apply different levels of mandatory requirements for employees at different stages in their career.

eNetEnterprise is eCom Scotland’s flexible workforce development system for managing learning, development and competency across all levels in your organisation.

Recent eCom case studies with a focus on workforce competency include Scottish Water and a Global Oil and Chemicals Company.

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