Create Compliance with Clear-Cut Competency Management

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Earlier this year Hula Partners commissioned research on competency management. Over 100 executives and HR professionals from organizations with over 2,500 employees within the United States took part, with the results highlighting a stark picture of the lack of insight that organizations have into competencies.

What is a competency?

Before we take a look at some of the findings, it is first worth discussing what a competency is. Often people think of competencies in the context of talent management, but operational competencies are critical to compliance, health and safety, and government regulation. These competencies can be qualifications, behaviors, or any other KSAOC (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics). While talent management competencies are important for organizational development, that fades into comparison when looking at competencies that ensure work gets done safely and gets done within the rules and regulations required.

Why use competencies?

Competencies are crucial to ensuring that organizations get the right people in the right roles at the right time. Although this sounds like a buzz phrase, the realities show how important this is. Would you want someone without the right licenses, qualifications, or credentials driving a high speed train or operating drilling equipment? Would you want the lives of ordinary citizens put in jeopardy because someone doesn’t have the right training or hasn’t had the appropriate assessments to work with large, complex machinery? I can’t think of a single person that wouldn’t answer “No” to those type of questions.

So who took part in the survey?

There was a solid mix of organizations ranging from 2,500 employees to over 100,000 employees across industry-based sectors, public sector, and professional services. The breakdowns can be seen below:


Some Alarming Home Truths

The competency management report paints a worrying picture and just goes to show how organizations are struggling because of a lack of sufficient capabilities within existing HR software. It also highlights why we had such demand from our customers for a solution like Kahuna to cater to these needs. The research explored the use of competency management by the respondent’s organization to better manage talent, learning and development, and operational risk. Here are some highlights of the survey.

  • 94% of respondents say better Competency Management would prevent safety and compliance issues
  • 60% of Executives and HR Professionals didn’t know last year’s reported level of compliance and safety-related incidents
  • 51 v 108 is the difference between the number of reported safety and compliance incidents at organizations that do perform competency management versus those that don’t
  • 70% of organizations are doing competency management but are hampered by insufficient tools, inconsistent usage, and low staff buy-in
  • 70% or more of companies are not using competency management for operations, compensation cycle, recruiting or audit
  • 21% or less of organizations don’t include temporary or contract workers in competency assessments, yet…
  • 51% of organizations include temporary or contract workers in audits
    Less than half of companies are using a competency management system at all

Taking a look at the 20% of the survey respondents that exhibited competency management best practices, there was a stark contrast in how these organizations performed versus those that don’t exhibit best practices:

The bottom line is clear: a lack of solid competency management programs and software is a danger to health and safety (read: people’s lives), compliance, and ultimately company finances and ability to trade.

So what can we do about this?

Clearly with so much at stake it is worth investing in a competency management solution that can help your organization manage competencies, perform deep assessments, identify competency and asses gaps, view geographical disparities, and alert you of non-compliance. Hula Partners’ Kahuna competency management solution is the only solution available in the marketplace that actually does this. Leading analyst Holger Mueller described Kahuna as “reinventing competency management.” Why don’t you reinvent competency management and better protect your employees, your company, and your future?

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