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Measurement of Competency Based Outcomes

By Diana Esparza on September, 26 2016
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Diana Esparza

We all know how difficult it is to effectively manage something you cannot measure. Measuring CBM outcomes can be challenging.


How often do I see HR or line managers not even consider results measurement or are half way through their CBM project before they even think of it.

Sometimes if they are too far along the project it is often too late as you need a baseline for comparison. It should really start at the moment you identify a business need for a CBM application i.e. improving hiring effectiveness or improving learning efficiencies.

You need to start thinking about the desired results and changes you are looking for with competency based management. It does not always have to be complex it can be as simple as qualitative feedback or more complex organizational performance measures.

Measuring the results of competency-based HR applications is the only way to be able to prove success to top management.

This requires measurement of current performance at the time the project is started, followed by a second measurement after the application is implemented and has had time to affect the workforce.

By building measurements into the project from the start, the application can be designed to facilitate the collection of performance data.

Here are a few examples of measurement approaches an organization can use:


Project Execution

 A simple measure would be to review the project plan. Regardless of effectiveness, did the CBM project team do what it said it would do? This establishes what and how much was done.


Qualitative Data Sampling: 

Conducting interviews with different functional groups of employees and managers on a specific HR application (training, career development, etc.)  

Their anecdotal feedback on its use (competency model, process, tools, etc.) can be summarized and reported back to the CBM project team and top management.



Showing performance improvements by comparing it to a baseline is a  more objective measure.

For example, the performance impact of selecting employees for their competencies versus using traditional methods by looking at: output per person or per group; reduction in employee turnover within an organization; reduction in errors or client complaints.


Business Results

A CBM application needs to support business goals such as profitability, competitiveness, market share growth, efficiency, quick turnaround times, and increasing customer satisfaction among others. Reduction in turnover lowers costs, which contributes to profitability.

Lowering production errors increases efficiency and speeds time to market. All of these outcomes can and should be measured.  

For information on Planning a Successful Competency Initiative with KPIs, please see: Webinar Archive: Panel Q&A Session – Planning a Successful Competency Initiative

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