Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Discuss the concept of competency mapping.

Discuss the concept of competency mapping. Briefly explain the methods of competency mapping citing suitable examples.

Answer. Competency mapping is a process of identifying key competencies for a particular position in an organization, and then using it for training and development, performance management, and succession planning. Large organizations frequently employ some form of competency mapping to understand how to most effectively employ the competencies of strengths of workers. They may also use competency mapping to analyze the combination of strengths in different workers to produce the most effective teams and the highest quality work.

Competency mapping can also be done for contract or freelance workers, or for those seeking employment to emphasize the specific skills which would make them valuable to a potential employer. These kinds of skills can be determined, when one is ready to do the work.

Competency mapping also requires some thought, time, and analysis, and some people simply may not want to do the work involved to sufficiently map competencies. Competency mapping alone may not produce accurate results unless one is able to detach from the results in analyzing past successes and failures. Many studies find that people often overestimate their abilities, making self-competency mapping results dubious.

The value of competency mapping and identifying emotional strengths is that many employers now purposefully screen employees to hire people with specific competencies. They may need to hire someone who can be an effective time leader or who has demonstrated great active listening skills. Alternately, they may need someone who enjoys taking initiative or someone who is very good at taking direction. When individuals must seek new jobs, knowing one’s competencies can give one a competitive edge in the job market.

Usually, a person will find themselves with strengths in about five to six areas. Sometimes an area where strengths are not present is worth developing. In other cases, competency mapping can indicate finding work that is suited to one’s strengths, or finding a department at one’s current work where one's strengths or needs as a worker can be exercised.

A problem with competency mapping, especially when conducted by an organization is that there may be no room for an individual to work in a field that would best make use of his or her competencies. If the company does not respond to competency mapping by reorganizing its employees, then it can be of little short-term benefit and may actually result in greater unhappiness on the part of individual employees. A person identified as needing to learn new things in order to remain happy might find himself or herself in a position where no new training is ever required. If the employer cannot provide a position for an employee that fits him or her better, competency mapping may be of little use.

However, competency mapping can ultimately serve the individual who decides to seek employment in an environment where he or she perhaps can learn new things and be more intellectually challenged. Being able to list competencies on resumes and address this area with potential employers may help secure more satisfying work. This may not resolve issues for the company that initially employed competency mapping, without making suggested changes. It may find competency mapping has produced dissatisfied workers or led to a high worker turnover rate.
First: A job analysis is carried out by asking employees to fill in a questionnaire that asks them to describe what they are doing, and what skills, attitudes and abilities they need to have to perform it well. There would be a bit that requests them to list down attributes needed to make it up to the next level, thus making it behavioural as well as skill-based.

Second: Having discovered the similarities in the questionnaires, a competency-based job description is crafted and presented to the personnel department for their agreement and additions if any.

Third: Having agreed on the job requirements and the skills and attitudes needed to progress within it and become more productive, one starts mapping the capability of the employees to the benchmarks. There are several index points within the responsibility level. An almost (but not quite) arbitrary level of attainment is noted against each benchmark indicating the areas where the assessee is in terms of personal development and achievement.

These give an adept HR manager a fairly good picture of the employee to see whether he (or she) needs to perform better or to move up a notch on the scale. Once the employee `tops' every indicator at his level, he moves on to the next and begins there at the bottom - in short, he is promoted.

This reasonably simple though initially (the first year only) tedious method helps everybody to know what the real state of preparedness of an organization to handle new business (or its old one) because it has a clear picture of every incumbent in the organization.

It helps in determining the training and development needs and importantly it helps to encourage the best and develop the rest. A win-win situation for everyone.

Introduction: Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited (L&T Infotech), a 100% subsidiary of the US$ 3.5 billion Forbes Global 2000 and BusinessWeek Asia Top 50 technology-driven engineering and construction major, Larsen & Toubro Limited, offers comprehensive, end-to-end software solutions and services. Leveraging the heritage and domain expertise of the parent company, its services encompass a broad technology spectrum, catering to leading international companies across the globe.

L&T Infotech, a PCMM Level 5 company, has a successful competency-based HR system. Recruitment, training, job rotation, succession planning and promotions-all are defined by competency mapping. Nearly all HR interventions are linked to competency. Competencies are enhanced through training and job rotation. All people who have gone through job rotation undergo a transformation and get a broader perspective of the company. For instance, a person lacking in negotiation skills might be put in the sales or purchase department for a year to hone his skills in the area.
When the company started competency mapping the whole process took eight months for six roles and two variations. Eventually, 16-18 profiles were worked out. The company uses PeopleSoft for competency mapping. Behavioural competencies do not change every month. Two appraisals are done subsequently… every project-end for skills, and annual for behavioural competencies. There was resistance from the line people, but when the numbers started flowing they sat up. Every quarter, an SBU-based skills portfolio is published. As far as training and development is concerned, instead of asking people to attend classes, they themselves get pulled to the classes. Introduction of competency mapping has also involved introducing skill appraisals in performance appraisals. This has also led to training people on how to assess subordinates on competencies.


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