How To Evaluate The Skills And Competencies Of Your Workforce
A business can only be successful when it employs people with robust skills and competencies. For this reason, it’s crucial to be aware of your staff’s abilities and potential at all times, even if they have been with your company for a long time. Especially since technology is shifting, which skills are essential and outdated in the blink of an eye. But what is the best way to evaluate your workforce’s skill levels? You will be glad to know that there are multiple. In this article, we will look at the 7 most effective ways to assess core competencies so that you don’t deviate from your path to success.
7 Best Techniques To Assess Core Competencies In The Workplace
1. Online Skills Assessments
When we talk about skill evaluations on a professional level, online assessments are the first thing that comes to mind. And with good reason, as their large variety allows you to evaluate any skill, whether soft or hard. Another benefit of online assessments is that they offer comprehensive outcome reports, thus helping you better understand which core competencies require the most attention. Not to mention that their online nature makes them perfect for employees working remotely or in international branches, ensuring flexibility and consistency.
Although data from online assessments can be very useful, employees must be able to provide their own perspective regarding their learning journey. They can achieve that through self-assessment portals that allow employees to decide which skills they want to improve based on their goals. Apart from introducing them to a path of self-learning, which will be greatly beneficial for their future, self-assessment activities function as a form of immediate feedback that keeps employees engaged and motivated to keep improving. All the while, your company will be collecting valuable insights into your workforce’s competency level and the steps you need to take to reinforce it.
3. KPI Analysis
Most companies set yearly goals and targets, which they measure using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are excellent tools for gauging the progress of a goal over time, as they provide quantifiable information that leaders can easily interpret. Therefore, there is no better way to assess your workforce’s core competencies than by evaluating their work products and how they compare to your projections. A dip in their performance could mean that they are lacking an important skill or they are not putting their knowledge into practice despite having received training. Use these observations to adjust your employee training program accordingly.
4. 1:1 Performance Reviews
Collecting and analyzing data—such as the data discussed in the previous points—is of great importance for effectively assessing skill competencies. However, you shouldn’t forget to discuss it with your employees in one-on-one meetings that take place at least quarterly. During these private and personalized performance reviews, you can examine the data and identify problem areas, make adjustments for the future, and discuss action plans. Offering guidance to your workforce not only helps you stay in touch with their progress but also guarantees higher employee engagement and business success.
5. 360 Reviews
The last step for a comprehensive and well-rounded performance review is to involve peer feedback. 360 reviews, as they are called, collect anonymous feedback from teammates, colleagues from different departments, managers, or direct reports regarding an employee’s performance, behavior, and competency level. Besides, it often makes more sense for those who work closely with someone to know more about their realistic skill level than their supervisors. The constructive criticism that is shared through 360 reviews can highlight on-the-job issues and knowledge gaps on niche subjects, as well as smooth out any hurdles in employee collaboration.
6. On-The-Job Observation
Another way to assess core skills and competencies is to employ workplace observation. This term refers to the process of a manager shadowing an employee as they go about their daily tasks. This assessment technique can give you qualitative information regarding how an employee completes their daily tasks. It can also uncover complex issues that other types of assessments may not be able to pick up. There is no reason to view on-the-job observation as breathing down your staffer’s neck. On the contrary, it can be an excellent opportunity for real-time feedback and guidance that can streamline processes and enhance productivity.
7. Feedback From Customers
If communicating with customers is part of your employee’s responsibilities, then getting their feedback is crucial. Customer reviews can help you understand more about a variety of essential skills, such as communication and problem solving, which may not be exhibited internally as often. When asking clients to assess the performance of their main contact point with your organization, remember to also ask them to share suggestions or any other issues they have encountered. This way, you will not only be gaining a better understanding of your staff’s skill level but also improving customer retention and satisfaction.
As skills gaps grow and the need for employee training and development increases, more businesses are realizing the importance of taking a deep dive into their employees’ knowledge and competency levels. Seeing as this is often easier said than done, we are offering some guidance to leaders who want to embark on skills mapping but don’t know where to start. Hopefully, the foolproof ways to assess core competencies we discussed in this article will pave the way for enhanced employee training and organizational effectiveness.