While the concept of competencies has been around for a long time, first appearing in the psychology field in the 1920’s, it has really become a focus within the business community in the past ten years. As companies seek to make the most of their employees and find any competitive edge they can, they have turned to competencies as a way to better evaluate and train workers.
In the business world, competency can best be defined as a set of abilities, skills and talents that allow a person to excel at their job. In order to succeed, a business needs to have employees who can excel. So the questions that come up in this area are how can I best evaluate my employees’ competencies, and how can I then improve their competency level in the areas where they are lacking?
Of course, a whole set of services and lingo have arisen around this field. Now there are available “competency assessments” and training to close the “competency gaps.” With a small amount of research I found companies like workitect, providing competency-based talent management, and successfactors, providing software to measure and address competency gaps.
And of course, there are plenty of business books to be purchased on the subject such as Competency Mapping by Seema Sanghi, Competency-Based Performance Reviews by Robin Kessler, HR Competencies by David Ulrich et al, and Competence At Work by Lyle Spencer, to name a few.
In response to the need for tools that match training and competencies, Soundview’s Corporate Solutions product has recently added a full set of competency filters to their corporate library. Now corporate users can click on one of the competency links and see all of the book summaries, webinars, author interviews and executive videos that cover that particular competency. And at the request of individual companies, they can also match that list of competencies to the key competencies of each company.
I guess this goes back to Soundview’s core competency, which is providing key business information in the quickest and easiest-to-digest forms possible.