Competency is defined as an individual’s set of skills and abilities that are measurable and observable. These are categorized into three: functional, managerial, and behavioral. It could be a cumulative effect of characteristics, knowledge, skills, and capabilities that, when utilized, would result to an effectual performance. It is a means by which businesses and organizations can work towards their goals. In addition, as a rule of thumb, they should be able to identify the various competencies of their employees, from upper management to the front liners.
A competency matrix is a tool by which a person’s competencies are assessed. It is used as a means to define the required competencies for a particular position, as well as a tool to help identify the most suitable individuals for the job. As mentioned, it is categorized into three, which are: functional, managerial, and behavioral.
Functional: This refers to the technical competencies or the hard skills that a professional would need in order for him to perform his job. This varies of course, depending on the job. For example, an IT professional should be skilled at Java Development and PHP programming; a management accountant should be good at economics, corporate finance, and financial management.
Managerial: This refers to one’s ability to work productively with other people. This can be classified into: organizational, people-related, and role-related. This includes several aspects such as, time management, staff developing, decision-making, delegation, communication, and resource management.
Behavioral: This refers to the interpersonal and “people” skills of an individual. This is where a person’s soft skills are categorized. Such skills include leadership, teamwork, motivation, adaptability, communication, service-oriented, initiative, and dynamism, among others.
A competency matrix may be customized depending on the kind of organization or business you are in. But these are the general guidelines:
1. Develop a list of all the required competences you need in order for your organization to run successfully. Of course, these have to be aligned with your organization’s objectives, vision, mission, as well as strategies.
2. Based on your list of competencies, classify them as to the following: functional, managerial, and technical. Once you have done this, identify the level of proficiency. This can be in the following format:
Define these proficiency levels based on your organization’s requirements.
3. Then, as soon as you have the categories and levels of proficiency identified, determine the proficiency level of each competency required for a particular job position. This should be done for all positions in your organization, and this process is otherwise referred to as competency mapping.
Competency mapping is a process that is used alongside the competency matrix. In essence, the matrix is the tool and the mapping is the process. Once you are able to identify the level of competencies of each individual, you can then pinpoint which of these competencies are required to perform successfully a job or a role.
To do this, you need to “dissect” the job or role into categories (functional, managerial, and behavioral), and determine which aspects of these categories are most needed to attain superior performance.
Through this assessment strategy, you will be able to:
1. Understand clearly your career path because you know where your strength lies and which areas have room for improvement.
2. Identify the areas which you need further training and enhancement on, because these are clearly identified in the competency matrix.
3. Know which tasks you should be working on, and know which tasks need assistance from others because you will be able to identify the areas that you are not skilled at.
4. Pinpoint which soft skills you possess and do not possess at the moment, because these can be identified in the behavioral aspects of the competency matrix.
5. Know the objectives you need to work towards, as well as a set of expectations that you need to meet.
6. Identify who is best qualified for a particular role.
With a competency matrix, you can best identify which areas you are highly effective at, and which areas you need to improve on, including your soft skills.