Competency Evaluation : A Case Study

Skill evaluation

Case Study and White Papers, Performance Management


Developing employees holistically entails proper observation of their workplace behaviors by the respective managers. Mapping these observations on the relevant competencies helps in evaluating the current level of employees in each competency. This leads to the creation of a ‘Development Plan’ for each employee. This case study illustrates, with the help of an example, how an Empxtrack client utilized the HR system for effectively deploying their competency framework.

Problem Areas

A company highly focused on employee development had identified a set of competencies which were uniformly applicable to all levels of employees: Junior Executives, Managers and Senior Managers. They needed a process (preferably automated) to evaluate competencies. This was a PCMM requirement from their quality department.

HR Consultancy

Checking ‘observed behaviors’ at work place against one or more of the competencies chosen by the organization, and assigning appropriate weights to each behavior at different employee levels, helped our business analysts create a competency evaluation model. A scale was then evolved to estimate the current ‘proficiency level’ for each employee.

An Example:

‘Focus on Results’ was one of the nine (9) competencies on which each employee was to be evaluated.

(i) Competency Definition:
Ability to manage available resources to produce desired results.
(ii) Positive Observed Behaviors: JEMgrSMOB
*Knowledge of available resources51020 
*Good people manager51515 
*Work-Planning skills102020 
*Fire fighter20105
*Hands on approach25105
*Proactive elimination of bottle-necks51020 
*Domain knowledge/ Functional expertise15105
*Focus on work floor problems15105 
(iii) Negative Observed Behaviors:     
*Lack of knowledge about ground realities201510 
*Too much or too less control51520 
*Too theoretical in approach51515
*Poor relationships102020
*Uses short-cuts to achieve goals 515 
*Physical & mental exhaustion51015
(iv) Recording of Observations
*The manager/supervisor to whom the employee is reporting fills the OB column.
*Any behavior (positive or negative) which the employee has exhibited at the work place will be tick-marked ()
*All other behaviors which were seldom observed are to be left blank.
*Weights allocated in the above table to various attributes (behaviors) were not visible to the manager/supervisor filling in the OB column.
(v) Evaluation Process:
*Refer to the OB column for an employee filled by his Manager.
*System ascertains from the data base that the employee for whom the OB column is completed is a ‘Junior Executive’.
*Exhibited positive & negative behaviors, as per the weights assigned at JE level, were computed as 60 & 20 respectively.
*Current score of the employee in this competency was thus 40 (60-20) , which in terms of ‘Proficiency Level’ was interpreted as under :
ScoreProficiency Level
< 201
> 755

Employee Counseling & Development

Based on the above analysis, the employee receives counselling from his Manager to:

  1. Improve his domain knowledge.
  2. Acquire work planning skills.
  3. Enhance relationship with other team members.

For other eight (8) competencies the observed vital behaviors were captured in the same manner and included in the manager’s notes.

The gap between the desired and current proficiency levels for each competency helps the company identify the training needs for each employee and is then reflected in the ‘Employee Development Plan‘ (for the case in view , the desired proficiency level for ‘Focus on Results’ was 3. The gap being 0, this competency did not feature in this employee’s Development Plan.

However, as per their succession planning logic, which is based on the overall performance & potential profile of an employee, this employee was considered fit for induction into the succession pipeline. And since for succession to the Manager’s position, this competency: ‘Focus on Results’ carried a ‘desired level’ of 4, the employee’s current competency indicated a time frame of 2 – 3 years to enhance the level from 3 to 4.

Lessons Learned

  • Employee development requires detailed evaluation of the competency profiles.
  • Competency management is typically process-oriented. It is a difficult process to be managed manually in either mid-size or large organizations.
  • Performance appraisal, employee counselling, training management plans and succession planning are co-related with competencies evaluation.
  • Automation of the above activities requires an integrated and holistic approach.

Read More Case Studies

Disclaimer: Maintaining security of our client data is our prime responsibility. The name of the company is not disclosed in the case study due to confidentiality agreement signed with our client.

TAGS: Case Study, HR Software, HR Technology, Performance Management

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