This summer, we marveled at the Olympians and Paralympians achieving world records and medals in Rio and ultimately their success comes from managing their training and measuring performance. Darren Smith, Founder of Making Business Matter discusses how competency frameworks can improve performance in business.
It Matters What We Call Them
A competency framework, also known as ‘Skills Scorecards’, are a means of measuring a skill. An email exchange with Charles Jennings, the Founder of the 70:20:10 learning model, told me that he preferred the term ‘Capability Frameworks’. His reasoning was that ‘competency’ infers satisfactory, whereas ‘capability’ inferred potential. I agreed with his point. We all would. The only challenge is that ‘competency frameworks’ are searched on google 12 times more than ‘capability frameworks’. Maybe there’s a challenge for our industry to move our clients towards capability frameworks?
The competency frameworks, that are available to download in this article, have been written to support individuals that wish to ‘grow’, HR Managers that want to establish a universal measuring stick, and they are also useful for coaches and training providers. Particularly useful for the latter groups because these frameworks can enable individuals to identify where they are now, where they want to get to, and then the coach/training provider can help them make the required progress.
Understanding These Capability Frameworks
My experience of using these skills scorecards is that the individual has had experience of their type before. An not a good experience. They have found competency frameworks to be complicated. Often struggling to understand them because they were doing pieces from the higher levels, and pieces from the lower levels, leaving the learner confused as to their starting level. These competency frameworks have been designed to avoid this problem. They are simple to use because:
- Each competency framework has 5 levels from 0 to 5.
- Each competency framework is one soft skill, e.g. Influencing Skills.
- Each competency framework has been created on just one page per soft skill.
- Each competency framework is based on 7 essential qualities chosen as the most important for that soft skill.
- Each level of the competency framework is based on being able to demonstrate a number of the essential qualities. For example, at Level 2 the individual is regularly demonstrating 3 of the essential qualities, and at Level 3 they are regularly demonstrating 5 of the essential qualities. This allows flexibility.
The competency frameworks have been written for 16 soft skills. Only 1 is specific to the UK Grocery Industry; Category Management. The others can be used for any individual that wishes to measure their capability on a soft skill, e.g. Networking.
Using These Capability Frameworks
An individual begins with the 16 soft skills and then chooses 3 soft skills that they would like to improve, e.g. Time Management, Negotiation Skills, and Category Management. The next step is to decide which level they are currently achieving on each soft skill. Then which level they want to achieve, and by when. Filling the gaps from ‘where now’ to ‘goal’ is then about choosing internal support, or Executive Coaching, or a training course. If a coach is chosen, then both coach and coachee use the competency framework for that skill as a goal and a measuring stick.
MBM is a training provider to the UK grocery industry. They help suppliers to the big four supermarkets to develop the soft skills that will secure them more profitable wins. Their unique training method, Sticky Learning ® , ensures that their Learners are still using their new skill 5 months later, which enables them to guarantee a measurable return on your training investment.