Compiled by: Divya Nambiar

In today’s changing world, where roles and responsibilities are continuously evolving, we the L&D group are trying to explore the importance of competency or skill mapping for the job roles in an organization.

Topic for the week: “Is it important to perform competency or skill mapping for each and every job role in an organization? Why most organizations fail to do it well? How can it be done in an effective manner? How can competency mapping be used as a tool to achieve business excellence?”

The discussion began with most of the group agreeing on the importance of competency or skill mapping for supporting in the organizational growth. We explored the reasons for the ineffectiveness of the competency mapping. Few of the reasons highlighted were:

  • Lack of strong competency mapping framework
  • Competency frameworks designed, are not used with the vision of it being created.
  • Competency framework not regularly revisited or revised to suit the changing needs
  • Lack of skilled and experienced professionals in the organization for performing the activity
  • The dynamics and the subjectivity of the roles/jobs are making it difficult for HR professionals to perform competency mapping.
  • There was also a mention of the activity being time-consuming.
  • Large size organizations and small HR departments make it a tedious process

The discussion later moved on the need for improving the current frameworks and having experts in HR for performing this activity than making it an activity to outline a job description. The competencies identified through an effective competency mapping framework will help in ensuring that there is clearer focus in the training and development of employees, it would help in smoother succession planning and also help in identifying the right people for any role. Though it clearly is a tedious task, the organizations which have a sound and  relevant framework, clearly can withstand the dynamism in the roles and responsibilities of the employees in the organization.

For a competency framework to be effective:

  • It’s important that the framework suits the organization culture
  • The framework must be understood by all stakeholders and it needs to have a shared vision
  • Needs to be revisited and re-framed based on the organizational dynamics
  • The approach of framework should begin at a generic level (holistic approach) and then cater to all the roles/jobs in the organization

Conclusion: Competency mapping is both a science and art. It can be an excellent tool if used effectively and  if made relevant to the dynamics of the organization. It can help organizations have a focused approach in performance management, employee training and development; succession planning frameworks; well defined career paths etc. The result of having the right people for the right roles/jobs will be increased efficiency and  direct impact in the organizational growth. As one of the member of the group rightly said: “The companies who don’t adapt a sound competency framework are only surviving, the ones which do adapt, are the ones who are high up the food chain”

(Discussed during the week of the 7th Sep, 2015)