Competency Evaluation Template
This Competency Evaluation template enables you to keep high-level notes on each team member’s progress in developing their competencies.
One of the core driving factors of any business is the competency level of the various team members throughout the company. An individual manager likely has a team of employees that combine their skills to produce the work necessary to achieve a goal. When the skills of the members of that team improve, the outcomes can be better, faster, and generally more useful for the company as a whole. Any manager would love to have the competencies of his or her team members steadily improve over time with education and experience.
The question at hand, however, is how well a manager does in keeping track of those competency levels as they change over time. If you have a team of people working for you, they all started with your company with a certain set of skills. They were likely hired because those skills were sufficient to start out, but they need to grow in order to become highly valuable members of the team. If you aren’t tracking their development as they gain experience, you might be aware of areas in which certain team members are lagging behind, or areas where other employees are excelling.
The first step in doing a good job of tracking the development of your team member’s competencies is simply identifying which areas you need them to be strong in. By having a specific list of abilities that each person should have within a team, you will have a baseline to compare them to. It is hard to track how an employee is doing if a specific set of guidelines and expectations are not already in place.
With that list in hand, the process of tracking competency can begin on a consistent basis. Some aspects of an employee performance are easily measurable. For instance, if you need a team member to be competent with a specific piece of software, you can easily test them on different functions and ask them to demonstrate their ability. If you complete this test on a regular basis, you will be able to see visual evidence as to whether or not they have improved over time. The employee will also be aware that the software is an important function in their position, and will be motivated to learn the program so as do demonstrate their value to the company.
Unfortunately, not all competencies are so easily measured. There are many different aspects of a team member’s performance that can’t simply be tested and evaluated. Things like personal interaction skills, negotiating, work ethic, and more are not easily quantified. This is where the talent of a manager come in, having to assess the various skills of each team member to then be able to get the most out of their strengths, as well as address their weaknesses.
To start assessing these competencies, it is wise to simply have a conversation with each team member on a regular basis. When asked directly about how they feel they perform in a variety of situations, you might be surprised at the honesty that will come out. If a team member understands they are weak in a specific area, they may open up to you and ask for help in improving that part of their performance.
Interviews with team members regarding the performance of other members of the team can be revealing as well. All comments should be off the record, and not used as a method of punishment, but rather as a means of improvement. If several members of the team all point to a specific person being weak in one area, that employee can be addressed and helped with developing that skill. The tone of these kinds of interviews should always be positive and focused on improving future performance, not dwelling on past mistakes.
Human beings change from year to year, from week to week, and even from day to day. If you are not actively tracking the development of the various competencies of your team members, you will quickly fall out of touch with what they can or can’t do. Putting in place some basic steps to keep an eye on how each team member is evolving within the company will do great things for maximizing production and getting the most out of each employee.