You can never truly replace the insights of a good manager working closely with their team, identifying weaknesses and coaching employees to improve. But in a large federal agency, it becomes increasingly difficult to rely solely on these one-to-one interactions. Without a plan to identify key positions and assess employees based on their proficiency in clearly defined skills they need to perform their job, gaps can start to appear that influence not only immediate performance but long-term needs.
With the tools in place to identify competency gaps, HR specialists and managers are better able to provide targeted training that will close them, meeting organizational goals within a one-to-one interaction.
The Need for More Targeted Training
Having this standardized system against which all employees are measured offers short term benefits in the form of targeted training. Most agencies have limited amount of time and money for training. Federal agencies can go further with limited training resources by intelligently identifying training needs, both immediate as well as in the future, and systematically addressing them. Not every employee will need to take every training, as some employees may not need to develop that competency.
>>> Download the eBook on Building and Executing Competency Models for Federal HR.
Through assessments performed regularly at the individual level, strategic positions can be identified and the staff that are deemed deficient in a specific skill can receive training. So, if a new manager is having difficulty with an aspect of leadership, the assessment should catch this and the agency can support her by offering training that will improve her. If the assessment does not reveal a deficiency, she can continue without this additional training. The agency saves training resources, and the new manager can continue without being retrained.
Building a Smarter, Better Trained Workforce
Targeted training has a number of benefits. It ensures staff get the assistance they need without oversaturating employees with unnecessary training. It also keeps the focus on strategic positions that are more crucial to success, while reducing the risk of turnover among these vital positions.
Competency assessment helps create a standardized system for identifying and offering training opportunities within an agency, which means agencies can make more judicious, targeted decisions about allocating limited training resources. Equally important, agencies can strategically report on training opportunities and future competency progression. Analytics can be used to identify which training is effective, which training that is ineffective, and optimize the successes and apply lessons learned. This means agencies can gauge the impact training has on employee behavior as well as organizational results.
To learn more about how EconSys supports and consults on the development of competency models within federal agencies, download our eBook, Building and Executing a Competency Model for Federal HR. You can also read more about SkillsNavigator, designed to support competency model development in the Federal Government.