Economics/Business

Competency gap/important to identify/How to identify/How to solve

Competence gaps are differences between the ideal talent profile desired for a particular position or function and those that the professional actually has. They can cause damage to the company if they are not identified quickly, hence their importance. Competency gap

In an extremely competitive market, companies need to have functional and capable teams to face challenges with greater ease and creativity.

To achieve this result, it is important to manage employee performance by evaluating their skills and characteristics, as well as potential that can be learned or improved. These are called competency gaps.  

If you still don’t know what it is and especially don’t know how to solve these problems, enjoy this complete content prepared. 

What are competencies?

Competencies are skills or abilities that help a person solve problems or perform some activity. They are related to aptitude, willingness and willingness to find solutions. 

We can say that competencies are based on three pillars: knowledge, skills and attitudes. 

In the corporate environment, competencies refer to the sum of knowledge and skills that can contribute to the professional development in a function or company.  Competency gap

A professional with the appropriate skills can perform tasks and solve problems more easily , since he has the necessary attributions, whether technical, emotional or interpersonal.

Among the main skills desired in the work environment, the most common are related to emotional intelligence , empathy, entrepreneurial spirit, agility in decision-making, proactivity and a sense of urgency. 

What are competency gaps?

Competency gaps are differences between the ideal talent profile desired for a particular position or function and those that the professional actually possesses . 

This is one of the functions of the HR sector of companies, and contributes to the continuous improvement of employees, as well as increasing the company’s results. 

It is very important for the company to identify these competency gaps as quickly as possible to find ways to reduce or eliminate them.

Why is it important to identify competency gaps?

Companies are dependent on the dedication and collaboration of hired professionals, so it is essential to quickly identify what may be hampering productivity and the delivery of results. 

And it is only from the identification of competency gaps that we can define strategies to improve team skills . 

This is the way to strengthen the positive points of employees and improve the negative points, thus valuing the professionals who are already in the company. Competency gap

By identifying this information, the organization is able to add improvements to the individual work of the professional, and also achieves greater results. 

This is called a waterfall feature , when the application benefits the entire enterprise. 

However, this process needs to be guided with constant dialogue and feedback to build a truly modifying experience for the team. 

How to identify competency gaps?

To identify competency gaps, it is necessary to create comparisons between what the company identifies as being necessary to perform a job or function well and what the professional who occupies the position actually has. 

This is a process that requires attention and persistence to be carried out well. See what the steps are. 

Outline the company’s goals

The first step in any strategy is figuring out where the company wants to go.

It is essential to have the organization’s overall goals very clear to build an efficient plan to achieve them. 

When defining objectives, it is important to remember that they must be very specific and detailed, they must have a deadline to reach, and they must be measurable, that is, the company must have the means to monitor and evaluate the results. 

With this information defined, the company can move on to the next step. 

Map the competencies of each position

The next step is to map each of the company’s functions, identifying the attributions involved. 

Each role in the company requires different skills . Some of them are important and necessary for everyone, but there will always be some that are specific to each job. Competency gap

The HR department should have a complete job description, setting out the responsibilities involved as well as the skills needed to perform the job. 

This task must be carried out together with the managers of each sector. 

Conduct performance reviews

Performance appraisals are the way to identify possible problems in the performance of functions. 

People who do not perform their functions well, possibly, do not have all the necessary skills. They still don’t show what’s missing, but they signal that there’s something wrong that needs attention. 

Take competency tests

It is very important for the company to know the behavioral profile of its employees to see if they need to develop other skills or even if they are more apt to perform other functions. 

With the competency tests it is possible to understand what the professional’s strengths and weaknesses are. What talents does he already have and what are his greatest difficulties? 

There are several possible methodologies to perform these competency tests and the company must find the one that makes the most sense. 

The important thing is that the result is a group of competencies that each employee has. 

Compare the results

With all this information in hand, the last step of this process of identifying gaps in competence is to carry out a comparison between the skills needed for the position and the competences that the person who occupies the position actually has . Competency gap

With this comparison, it is possible to easily perceive the employee’s knowledge and skills gaps and start a strategy to develop them. 

This process of identifying gaps in competence must be carried out periodically, from the first stage, as all phases are changeable. 

Whenever the company changes objectives and goals, it is important to review the strategic functions to identify possible changes. 

It is also important to keep internal communication open so that the employees themselves can suggest improvements in the processes of their functions, optimizing the work. 

Each time this happens, it is also necessary to reassess the list of skills required for the position. 

How to solve competency gaps?

There are two ways to resolve competency gaps. The first is to terminate the employee and hire a new employee who already has the necessary skills. 

The second is investing in professional training so that he can develop what is lacking.

Although the first option seems to be easier, it is not the most suitable, as the costs of firing and hiring employees are high. 

Not to mention that this professional, despite having gaps in competence for a certain function, has important talents that can be used by the company, in the same or another position. 

The best thing to do is to assess whether the competence gaps found can be developed through specific training or even if the professional can be better used in another role. Competency gap

How to find professionals with the necessary skills?

After identifying which skills are needed for the role, it is important to review the recruitment and selection processes to identify the most suitable professionals. 

The processes of hiring people can be done through an HR tool that customizes the demands of the position.

Unlike traditional methods, competency-based recruitment is based on a careful analysis of the candidate’s profile and the choice is precisely a comparison between the candidate’s talents and the competencies needed for the position. 

The ideal professional is the one who has the right characteristics and talents that help transform their knowledge into results. 

The role of HR in avoiding the situation

The HR sector is of fundamental importance to prevent competency gaps from happening in work teams. 

It is HR who must carry out the entire process of mapping and identifying skills for each position and also testing the skills of employees. 

HR is also responsible for hiring people with a profile in line with the requirements of the position and also with the company’s values

And, finally, the search for solutions to the problem of competence gaps in teams is also a duty of the HR sector .

He must organize and offer training to employees, which help them to develop the existing gaps, promoting their personal and professional growth and their valorization. Competency gap

Examples of competency gaps

Competency gaps can be very harmful to the company and are often not readily noticed. See some examples that can happen in companies.  

1. Delivery of results

The competency gaps that affect the company’s results are the most important and the ones that must be resolved more quickly. Some signs of possible problems are:

  • delay in the delivery of reports;
  • difficulty completing tasks on time;
  • carelessness with company equipment and tools.

When business results are affected, it is critical to act quickly to prevent damage from escalating.

2. Resilience to deal with conflicts and difficulties

Conflicts and difficulties happen daily in companies, and professionals who are not prepared to deal with them can compromise the desired results. 

It is the role of HR, together with managers, to prepare those they lead to develop resilience and motivation to overcome difficulties. 

Here are some signs of possible problems in this regard:

  • need to impose ideas that favor only one side, making conflict resolution difficult;
  • difficulty listening to other people and understanding other points of view;
  • lack of empathy.  

Training related to psychological and emotional skills is more suitable to solve these problems, helping to promote a more empathetic environment. Competency gap

3. Sense of urgency

People who cannot understand the sense of urgency can harm the work of other employees and, consequently, compromise the company’s results. 

The habit of leaving everything to the last minute is very dangerous, as it opens the door to several problems, such as missing deadlines and the emergence of errors. 

Encouraging the development of a sense of urgency in employees is important to ensure that activities are carried out efficiently and within the given deadline.

4. Proactivity

Proactivity is the ability to anticipate facts and needs, performing the necessary tasks to obtain the best possible result.

It is yet another very important competency, and a gap related to it can hamper employee performance. See signs of proactivity gaps:

  • lack of technical knowledge and interest in learning;
  • lack of sense of urgency;
  • lack of knowledge about the other sectors of the company.

The importance of training

Most of the gaps found, which cause competency gaps, can be learned or improved. 

And corporate education is the main way to solve these problems.

The training also helps to increase the motivation and engagement of professionals, facilitating the construction of innovative solutions. Competency gap

Another indirect, but also important, benefit is the improvement in the organizational climate .

Check out other benefits of having an in-company training and development program below. 

Create a competitive differentiator

Strengthening the intellectual capital of the company’s employees establishes one of the most difficult competitive differentials to be copied and, therefore, more valuable. 

This investment demonstrates a differentiated vision of the future, which increases the value of the company in the eyes of professionals in the labor market. 

Improve productivity and results

The development of employees’ competences allows them to better perform their functions , improving the aforementioned competence gaps.

Improve the quality of service provided

The improvement of skills offers more clarity to professionals, contributing to the provision of higher quality services, reducing or eliminating errors. 

optimize time

With the right skills, activities become easier and can be carried out more quickly. By managing time properly, the routine is more organized and tasks are performed with excellence.

Facilitate team engagement

The training encourages the exchange of information and guidance among the professionals involved, who strive to develop the work in the best way. Competency gap

Improve the organizational climate

Behavioral training is very useful to convey the company’s values and expected attitudes in the work environment. 

This understanding favors the feeling of appreciation, as the employee realizes his role in the company, and that his knowledge is important for the results achieved. 

Anticipate the reach of results

The more qualified the professional is, the better his performance and the quality of the work provided. This enhances the results expected by the company. 

Reduce employee turnover

The movement of employees, up to a certain level, is considered normal, but it is necessary to keep this number under control. 

The process of hiring, training and onboarding employees generates high costs and can harm the company’s results when they happen in excess. 

And one of the best ways to reduce turnover if this occurs is by valuing the employee, encouraging their growth in the company and offering incentives to keep them in the business. 

How to create a competency gap training program?

The training program must be carefully designed to ensure that all required skills are developed or improved. For this it is important to follow some steps. Competency gap

1. Diagnosis

The first step is to diagnose the type of training required. If you followed the guidelines mentioned above, you should already have this mapping ready. 

In this way, you prevent a professional from carrying out training on a competence he already has, which would be a waste of investment and a demotivating factor for him. 

2. Planning

The planning stage is when the training scope is defined, also considering the ideal format, duration, budget to be allocated, among many other important factors. 

3. Execution

It’s practice time. After everything is planned, the execution phase is when the training is carried out. It is normal to have unforeseen events, but the ideal is to think about every detail. 

4. Evaluation

It’s time to analyze everything that happens and check if the result was positive. 

The performance appraisal phase is critical to learning from mistakes and modifying them so they don’t happen again next time. Competency gap

Some important analyzes are about the level of employee learning, the return on investment , and whether the results were achieved. There are satisfaction indicators that can be used for this analysis. 

It is necessary to remember that the training process must be continuous, either with the improvement of the company’s employees, or with the entry of new employees. 

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