ART AND SCIENCE OF COMPETENCY MAPPING

By T. V. Rao
Chairman, TVRLS

A lot is going on in recent times on the issue of competency mapping. A lot of resources spent and consultants invited to do competency mapping. It is largely based on ignorance and lack of experience. It is a very simple matter and there have not been any new developments in the technology of competency mapping. The only difference is that corporations have become more aware of the need for competency mapping. This need arose due to the following reasons:

  • Increased costs of manpower
  • Need for ensuring that competent people are available for performing various critical roles
  • Down sizing ad the consequent need to get a lot of things done with fewer people and thus reduce manpower costs and pass on the advantage to the customer
  • Recognition that technology, finances, customers and markets, systems and processes can all be set right or managed effectively if we have the right kind of human resources
  • The need for focus in performing roles- need for time management, nurturing of competence Increased emphasis on performance management systems
  • And recognition of the strategic advantage given by employee competencies in building the core competencies of he organization

In good organisations competency mapping existed already. Traditionally HR Directors and their top management have always paid attention to competencies and incorporated them mostly in their appraisal systems. For example when L&T introduced their open appraisal system in mid seventies they have debated and identified a few competencies needed to be exhibited by every one and incorporated in their appraisal form. When L&T ECC have revisited this format they felt that competencies need to be defined for every role separately and even every year jointly by the appraiser and appraisee and incorporated it in their Performance Analysis and Development System (PADS). They have treated the tasks with the same weightage as the competencies. They assigned 50% points to task accomplishments and 50% points to competencies demonstrated and focussed the annual coaching around both the competencies and task accomplishments. When LIC or NDDB, NOCIL, HLL, Bharat Petroleum etc. revised their Performance appraisal systems they focussed on the assessment of competencies after a lot of debate. Role analysis was done and role directories prepared by the Indian Oil Corporation in mid eighties a comprehensive competency mapping was also done along with it under the guidance of Dr Athreya.

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