Competence is not easy to measure and this results in a fair amount of subjectivity. This especially in cases where there are no clear criteria of what constitutes competence. Can we define what competence is? And is capability the same thing? A useful way of defining competence or capability is in the following hierarchy:
- Skills, knowledge and attributes to do the job (Technical and Managerial skills)
- Knowing what to do when things go wrong (contingency skill)
- The bigger picture (why the job exists and where it impacts)
- Improvement (knowing how to do it better and the skills to improve
- Innovation (coming up with new and better ways to do the job)
Trying to objectively measure competence along this hierarchy is not an easy task. One of the ways around this is to rather focus on the assessments that have been done. These are the conversations that managers have with employees on the different aspects of the job. What we do to help this engagement is create a set of learning objectives that cover the key knowledge and skills elements of the employee’s job.
These guides are detailed and the average number of objectives per job is around 100. More technical skilled jobs may have more and shop floor jobs may have less. What we then do is link each employee to the relevant job competency guide and add the total number of learning objectives that the organisation or division must sign off.
We use the Aspiration Capability Software module to do this. This technology provides a means for target setting by management. How many assessment conversations can they have over a given time frame.
Drill down reporting is available to see sign off progress from the organisational level right down to the individual. For a more detailed description on how this works click on this link Competency Process