By Margot Cook, Learning Strategist, SkillSoft
Fall is one of my favorite seasons: cooler days, longer nights, crisp air, Halloween, Thanksgiving and football. It’s a time of reflection about the past year and excitement for the start of a new year. From a business perspective, it marks the beginning (or end) of performance review season.
As part of the performance review process, we start reflecting on what we’ve accomplished over the year, and what we need to work on for the next year. Sometimes, there’s a gap. We may know what we need to work on, but may be unsure of the resources available.
Critical to any performance review is an understanding of the competencies or skills that are needed to be successful. Competencies are generally created for job roles at various levels within an organization: individual contributor; manager; executive. At the end of the performance review discussion, should leave knowing where they have succeeded and where they need development.
As learning professionals, we can fill the gap between the areas that need development and the tools to aid in that development. Mapping competencies to SkillSoft content provides your employees with a list of the resources they need to be a success. The resulting competency map provides a roadmap of resources your employees can leverage to develop those competencies to be more effective on the job.
The Skillsoft Universal Competency Map, available on the Client Community, identifies learning assets for specific competencies in a number of job families. It targets resources for Individual Contributors, Managers and Executives. If your company doesn’t already have a competency model, this may be a good place to start as not only does it provide the mapping, it also provides a definition of the behaviors for each competency.
If your organization has a competency model, you can work with your Learning Consultant to map content to your competencies. If your company has purchased a third-party competency model, in many cases we can also provide a mapping for that competency map. The mapping will contain a list of courses, Books, Leadership Advantage tracks, Leadership Development Channel videos, and other resources for each competency. The course mapping also identifies the target audience (individual contributor, manager, executive) for each resource.
Talk to your LC about best practices for leveraging the completed competency map. Some best practices include:
- Creating custom curricula folders in your course catalog for each competency.
- Creating custom folders or topic trees in Books24x7
- Creating Learning Programs in SkillPort. Learning Programs can contain a variety of resources, such as courses, books, videos, job aid and SkillBriefs. Learners can be required to take all resources, some of the resources or can be option.
- Posting the competency map on a Performance Management portal that shows the courses required for the competencies needed for a job role. With SkillPort 7.1, you can also create direct links to key courses, books or learning programs.
- Creating Development Plans in SkillPort 7.2, individual contributors and managers will also be able collaborate on Development Plans, leveraging the competency map as the basis of that development plan.
The competency map provides your employees with a targeted set of resources to support performance planning and performance improvement. We recommend that you update your mapping on an annual basis. If you haven’t done so, talk to your Learning Consultant today about the best way to leverage this invaluable resource. One of my clients, who is in the process of rolling out a Performance Management system, recently told me that the competency map will be a key tool their managers will leverage to make development recommendations.