Turning self-assessments into powerful engagement tools

July 16, 2015 Sarah Beckett

With the competition for talent heating up, organizations who look for new ways to engage employees should take a closer look at the role self-assessments can play in empowering and inspiring employees within their organization.

In Deloitte’s recent Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, workplace culture and engagement were identified as the most important talent issue by more than 3,300 business and HR leaders across 106 countries. At a time when the mobility of talent continues to rise and career opportunities can be found a screen tap away, engaging and retaining high-potential requires a creative approach to talent management.

But not all self-assessments are capable of engaging the workforce. If they don’t provide a clear path to development and success within the organization, their value as a practical and inspirational tool is limited.

At HRSG, we use a competency-based approach to talent management. Using competencies to identify the key cultural elements that drive organizational success, we can help HR professionals translate that vision into employees’ day-to-day activities and help them understand how their skill-sets fit within the bigger picture. This ability to map individual competencies to a broader organizational goal is critical, given that employees—particularly Millennials—are increasingly driven by a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

A competency-based self-assessment is an employee-driven activity that allows individuals reflect on how their competencies–knowledge, skills and abilities–match up with the requirements of a specific job or a core set of organizational competencies. Self-assessments can be used effectively to engage and empower those employees who want to understand their unique skill profile better and undertake development opportunities that help them excel in their current job or reach the next stage in their career. For organizations that have developed core competencies (key competitive strengths shared by the organization and each of its employees), self-assessments can also help employees understand their value to the organization, see their role in the bigger picture, and feel connected to its success.

Competency-based self-assessments are particularly effective in helping organizations support the development of “soft” skills. While gaps in technical skills are generally easier to identify, soft skills—such as analytical skills, customer focus, planning and organizing, etc.—are harder to quantify. Because competencies articulate soft skills in concrete, behavioral terms, employees get a clear sense of progression from basic to advanced proficiency, and can take the initiative in developing plans to address deficiencies.

When selecting a competency-based self-assessment tool, it is important to look for a purpose-built system, rather than attempting to retrofit a generic system to accommodate competency content. If your organization has invested in competencies, using management systems and software tools designed to support a competency framework will protect the value of that investment. Make sure your assessment tool can take the behavioral indicators from those profiles and quickly turn them into assessments available for your employees. Being able to connect competencies to learning resources at the proficiency level is also a great way to support employees in developing their skills and planning their next career move within the organization.

Putting in place the tools and systems that can provide your employees with a 360 view of competency requirements within the organization is a great way to encourage employees to seek career opportunities within your own organization, rather than at your competitors.

Learn more about HRSG’s assessment tools

To see how HRSG’s competency assessment tools can enhance your talent management programs, sign up for a personal demo of HRSG’s CompetencyCore Assessment module, or read more about our tools.

Book a personal demo

About the Author

Sarah Beckett

Sarah is an experienced marketer with over 10 years experience. She drives HRSG brand marketing strategy and the implementation of all related programs.

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