High-performance organisations realise that their success depends on their people. Competency is something which is commonplace within high-risk industries and particularly Oil & Gas however the methodology and approach is something which can benefit organisations regardless of sector to develop their people, performance and processes. In high-risk work environments, competency management is of upmost importance for the safety of all.
It also recognises that formal education doesn’t necessarily provide competency or that employees are competent. The solution therefore sits in competency management to meet the specific requirements of the organisation.
Competencies have long been used as a structure to help focus employees' behaviours on the things that matter the most to an organisation. They can provide a common way to create high performance, consistency as well as select and develop talent. The benefits are clear for employees, management and the company.
Competency-based assessment, management and training is developed around the competency standards that have been identified for a specific role. To be assessed as competent, a person must demonstrate the ability to perform a job’s specific tasks.
Competency management is a process that tests, measures, evaluates, and develops employees’ performance at the individual and organisational levels.
In a competency-based system, both the employer and the employee benefit through establishing a transparent model for job expectations, performance and development, including:
Improved Worker Safety and Morale
By validating competency before allowing employees to undertake high-risk activities or activities that have the potential to place people and property at risk, workplace accidents are reduced and people feel more comfortable and safer in the work environment, improving overall morale.
Reduces Company Risk
A competent workforce creates a safer workplace minimising the chances for injury and property damage. It gives employees insight and transparency of their role and the requirements to develop leading to greater engagement and motivation.
Improved Decision Making
When the competencies of all members of a workforce are defined, measured and evaluated, managers and leaders can see the overall strengths and weaknesses of its workforce in terms of skills and capabilities, providing information that can be invaluable for making strategic decisions and influencing the company’s priorities and direction. It sets clear performance expectations for employees, enabling them to make better decisions and work more effectively.
Using As Part Of The Organisations Recruitment, Selection And Retention Strategy
When organisations earn a reputation for setting high standards of excellence via workforce competence, it becomes easier to recruit and retain employees who value and enforce these types of values. Competencies can increase internal employee progression by outlining employee development and promotional paths within the organisation.
Learning, Development and Progression
Competencies ensure that an organisation’s training and professional development activities are people and role focussed. It provides a mechanism for the recognition of an employees’ abilities, skills and knowledge ensuring that professional development and training milestones are recorded and acknowledged by the organisation.
Job Performance and Satisfaction
Employees who are competent work more efficiently and effectively, producing better results. Consequently, quality improves, and so does the potential for job satisfaction.
It also allows an organisation to support succession plans and/or transferring knowledge, skills and responsibilities to other employees.
Competencies can also help to improve communication between employee and management as well as establishing a framework for constructive feedback through training and performance appraisals.
Defining competence and a competent workforce drives organisations to thrive and be better able to cope with constantly changing demands. Thinking about competency in a way that goes beyond just legal and health & safety requirements, can have positive and far-reaching results.