The Organisational and Staff Benefits of Competency Assessments
The concept of a competency assessment is the kind of thing that can result in some initial anxiety for candidates, employees, and project managers. If it leads to a workplace with unnecessary tensions, the result could be a skewed perspective of the actual competency of the assessment. Because of this, it’s important to make it clear right from the start how beneficial such a process can be for both individual staff members and for the organisation as a whole.
Such assessments are becoming increasingly important to the modern workforce, where technology is levelling the business playing field.
Competency assessments allow a company to identify the skills available for certain tasks and jobs, and to recruit and develop employees who possess those skills where there are gaps. This not only leads to a more efficient team but also puts employees in a better position for capability development so they can further their careers.
There is nothing more frustrating than sitting in an interview with a candidate that clearly does not fit the position of which they’re applying. The awkwardness permeates the room, and the thought likely crosses everyone’s mind that it could all have been avoided. A competency assessment is a good way to do this, through a simple process that helps an organisation determine early on whether a candidate fits a role, or if they may be more suited for a different area in the company, if applicable.
This can produce dramatic results, by making sure people with the right skills are brought on and avoiding churn in staff, where possibly months of investment is lost (i.e. recruitment costs, on-boarding, and knowledge transfer time) with little value gained. Having a stable and appropriately skilled project delivery workforce enables better workforce planning and can lead to greater project throughput with the same size workforce.
Increased results, however, are not the only benefit, as this process also helps to mitigate risks by empowering the right people in positions where their skills are put to the best possible use. Project management will see a marked improvement to project delivery timelines, putting the company in a better position to take on clients who require faster and more accurate delivery.
A competency assessment can also increase the return on investment for companies that have implemented training programs. It continues to be expensive just to train an average employee for a role, and training programs are often run without an understanding the need or value gained. If that training investment is underpinned by scientific knowledge that the employee gains the required skills to fulfil a role, it is far more likely that the investment will pay future dividends.
While the organisation will see obvious benefits from using competency assessments, this process will also give staff a clearer direction as they progress in their careers. The resulting higher employee satisfaction rates will ultimately lead to higher employee retention rates, and the overall positive atmosphere works to create more successful recruitment.
Rather than simply placing each staff member into broad groupings, such assessments allow management to focus on more targeted development plans in the development cycle process, as well as a more efficient perspective on coaching and mentoring individual talent.
Perhaps the most underrated and least-considered benefit for both organisations and staff is the enhanced engagement with staff, including understanding the goals and motivation that drives performance and success. It also gives visibility of the aggregate organisational capabilities based on the combined strengths of its staff, and sometime uncovers unique and unexpected talents that can be leveraged to innovate and maintain competitive advantage.
MetaPM’s Capability Framework and Competency Assessment Services
MetaPM’s Project Community Capability Framework service offering supports organisations who are invested in creating career pathways and professional development for their project professionals. The framework helps organisations build project community capability by incorporating a set of skills, behaviours and knowledge supported by processes and tools based on recognised standards.
We work with Executives, PMO and HR functions within your organisation to develop a project role family assessment and capability development framework based on industry recognised competency frameworks.
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