Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Define competency mapping briefly discus the steps involved in competency mapping and its limitations, if any.

Define competency mapping briefly discus the steps involved in competency mapping and its limitations, if any. Explain the methods of competency mapping being followed in your organization or any organization you are familiar with and its effects.

Ans. Competency Mapping

Competency means the competence to do something. Mapping means to rate and map the competence of employed in any organization on graphs, tables, rating scales etc. Competency mapping is done to rate employees’ efficiency of completing the job. We also call it performance appraisal.

Steps in competency mapping

The main objective of competency mapping is to appraise the efficiency and actual performance. It is associated with specific objectives like training and development, transfer and promotion, increase in pay etc. The steps in competency mapping are : -

(a) Establishing standards of Competence

For effective mapping of competence of employees, it is necessary to establish the standards of competence against which their performance should be compared. An approach that is more preferable is to establish, in writing, definite standards of accomplishment which the employee can reasonably be expected to meet. Competence standards are relative to the group and organization.

(b) Who is to do mapping?

The person doing competence mapping is the immediate superior of the person to be mapped. He is most familiar with the employees. Work and is in contact with him and so he is considered to be able to map his competence well. But there are certain limitations:-
• Personal bias are possible.
• If more rating scales are desired, it may become a complex task for the superior.
• If more persons are doing competence mapping, the other persons may not be contact with the employee.
• A well adjusted person is less subject to projecting himself into others than a poorly adjusted person.

(c) Deciding the frequency of mapping

The frequency of mappings differs from organization to organization and with the nature of duties performed. There are spot mappings, monthly, quarterly, six monthly, yearly or half yearly. There are certain limitations of frequent mappings : -
• They may create a sense of fear amongst rates.
• High frequency may diminish the rate of performance.

(d) Deciding the scales

Next step is to design the scales necessary. These could be rating scales as O to S, graphs etc. It is necessary to decide this in advance.

(e) Designing of forms

This is an important step in competence mapping to design the rating / mapping forms to be utilised in the programme. The forms should be related to job families such as clerical, mechanical, sales, technical and supervisory. The first category of forms is designed to evaluate employees competence for the purpose of making wage adjustments, layoffs, promotions etc and second category of forms is used to improve the competence.

(f) Mapping the competence

After deciding everything, mapping the competence function is performed. Merit of every person is mapped on scales. Actual are compared with standards. Then decisions are taken on this basis. Limitations in this step are:-

• Evaluation and judgement could be wrong.
• Evaluator may have some personal bias.
• Merits may not be judged on few standards only.


Unique funds ltd is a reputed finance company having to branches in different parts of the country. Its staff includes 290 operative employees and to executives. The company has a competence mapping plan under which the staff members are rated at the end of each financial year by the committee of the executives by the means of different methods.

Methods and effects of competence mapping in Unique Funds Ltd are: -

(a) Graphic Rating Scales

Under this method, company establishes scales for a number of factors and qualities. Five degrees are established for each factor and general definitions appear at points along the general scale the later is supplied with a printed form, one for each person to be mapped. The selection of factors to be measured on the graphic rating scale is an important point under this system. These are two types : (i) Characteristics such as initiative and dependability, and contributions such as quantity, quality of work etc.

Graphic scales have imposed heavy burden on managers of the company. He has to report and evaluate the performance of his subordinates on scales involving five degrees in perhaps ten different factors. But often, the managers have biased in this system and they rate high in order to avoid any criticism.

(b) Forced distribution method

This method has been devised to force the rather to fit the employee being mapped into predetermined range of scales. It is based on presumption that employees can be divided into five point’s scale of outstanding, above average, below average and poor.


This method has eliminated the room of subjective judgement on the parts of company superiors in Unique funds Ltd. It has also reduced criticism in the country and has shown feasibility in the company.

(c) Ranking method

It is a simple process of placing employees in a rank according to their job performance. It permits comparison of all employees in any single rating group regardless of the type of work. All workers are judged on the same factors and they are rated on overall basis with the reference to their job performance instead of individual assessment of traits.


Here, the company is able to compare every employee in a company with other employee. This method has given a more reliable rating than the order of ranks.

(d) Management By Objectives

This method is also used in Unique Funds Ltd. Here the steps are : -

• The subordinate discusses his job descriptions with the superior and they agree on the contents of his job and the key result areas.
• The subordinate prepares a list of reasonable objectives for the coming period of 6th to 12 months.
• He sits with his superiors to discuss these targets and plans and a final set is worked out.
• Check points are established for the evaluation of progress and the ways of measuring progress are selected.
• The superior and the subordinate meet at the end of the period to discuss the results of the subordinate’s effort to meet the targets mutually established.


This method has made available the company the setting up of goals. Superiors have trust in the subordinates to establish reasonable goals. There is an emphasis on problem solving rather than criticism of the competence of the employees. It has also played a judgemental role. It has led to greater satisfaction, greater agreement, greater comfort and less tension and hostility between the employees and the management. It has also emphasized on training and development of individuals. This approach has also got a built in device of self rating / mapping as they know their goals.

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