Managing People

How to Best Implement a Competency-Based Training Program

Read this article to understand best practices for implementing a competency-based training program.

To stay on top of the competition, organizations need to keep evolving. They need to keep unlearning and relearning. Their employees in turn need to be in a constant cycle of improvement. Competency-based evaluation and training are the need of the hour. Simply buying a solution, however, will not get you far. Organizations need to figure out how to best Implement a Competency-Based Training Program. Only then can we efficiently and effectively utilize the tools at our disposal.

Planning phase

Organizations need to figure out a few foundational issues first. We need to answer the question: How to best implement a competency-based training program? What core competencies will a job role have?

How To Create A Competency Definition For Your Organization?

What is the desired competency level for various job roles?

How to effectively communicate the various competency levels and their expectations?

How will we evaluate employees on these core competencies? What to expect out of the employees?

HR needs to deliberate with various team leaders and managers to finalize these details. This will avoid changes post-implementation. As a result, it will lead to more uniform and efficient implementation across the organization. It is ideal to have a clear outline of expectations and goals. For a more detailed article on the planning phase, read this article

Evaluation/Assessment phase

Employees need to engage in self-assessment of skills/competencies outlined in their job roles. Further, Managers have to take up the role of supervisory assessment to confirm employee assessments. It can sometimes be a challenge to positively express the need for evaluation/assessment. Hence, organizations need to educate employees and managers about the need and importance of accurate evaluation. They need to outline the benefits and their effect on competency management and career growth.

Gap Assessment and mitigation phase

Post assessments, we need to identify and highlight skill gaps. With desired skill levels and core skills identified in the planning phase, Organizations need to design and implement learnings. These learnings are basically courses, trainings, certifications, etc. which will improve skill levels.

Implementation phase

It is probable that employees will have multiple skill gaps when assessments are done for the first time. Maybe the organization wants a higher skill level from its employees. Maybe the employees and managers are too conservative in their assessments. In any case, organizations should assign learnings based on their needs. 

Different skills need different types of training. Employees can undertake some Competency-Based Training Programs via classroom sessions. However, individual employees will have to do most of the trainings alone. The plus side is that employees have the flexibility to complete them at their own pace and comfort.

Further, some employees have better knowledge about a subject than others. While some have different ways to learn. Some employees need more time than others to finish the same learning. All this is completely fine and organizations need to be flexible in approaching employees. 

Training phase

Post assessments, the next challenge will be handling skill gaps. What to do now that the skill level is lower than desired?

Organizations need to design and develop a training phase that will cater to bridging these gaps. Luckily, the solution can be as simple as using an existing LMS or subscribing to one available. If an organization already has an LMS in-house, that works too. Skills DB gives you the flexibility to incorporate any of these LMS into our competency management system.

While designing these systems, organizations do need to focus on a few things beyond the scope of courses/trainings on offer. Firstl, the LMS has to be easy to use. If the employee has to spend a lot of time just to learn how to learn, it’s a simple waste of time. 

Organizations need to motivate their employees to take these courses/training. Employees have to be sensitive to skill development and its need in their career development. They also have to be convinced of the organization’s needs and their role in fulfilling them. 

Organizations also need to ensure employee work-life balance while implementing these trainings. Employees generally take time out of their personal time to work on self-development. Organizations need to create a balance here. It is not just the employee who is going to benefit from these programs.

Post completion of learning, employees need to be evaluated once again to see if the learnings have been of any help. Managers have to make sure that the learnings assigned to employees are helping them and not just wasting everyone’s time.

Review and repeat

Organizations need to take feedback from their employees/managers, once they have used the system. Feedback on how the LMS has helped and how it can improve. This feedback loop helps by customizing the system for a more efficient competency management system. Further, this ensures that our competency-based training program is effective in achieving our goals. For a customized demo of our competency-based management software, head to Get a Demo.

Also Read: Skills & Competencies, Similar but Different

Also Read: Good people will leave you! How can a good succession plan help?

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