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Understanding Competency mapping and its application within the organization

To understand competency mapping and its application within an organization, we first need to understand the meaning of competence.

Competence is the ability of an individual to do a job properly. A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. The term "competence" first appeared in an article authored by R.W. White in 1959 as a concept for performance motivation.

(source Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competence_(human_resources))

It is now easier to define Competency mapping, which is basically identifying key competencies of an organization and incorporating them in various processes that includes Job Analysis, Recruitment, Training, Performance, Rewards and so on. While the objectives of Competency mapping is to make the business more efficient and effective, the process by and large looms over the strategic business goals that the company has set. So, once the company sets the competencies, these then form the basis of employee performance benchmarking and subsequently managers identify training needs that helps increase employee productivity and efficiency, thus helping business as a whole.

How does Competency Mapping take place?

Now, as the management gets started with the Competency mapping process, it included individual employees or focused groups to identify key set of competencies required for each role of the organization. Now, the set of competencies can include both behavioral and functional competencies. While behavioral competencies include the attitude, functional competencies include the knowledge and the skill-set that the employee must possess to be able to be a prolific resource to the organization. The best way to form a Competency Mapping framework is by defining the Core Competency first and then go to the deeper details of the same by forming a Sub- Competency level and then proceed with the technical and behavioral details of every sub-competency, also known as behavioral indicator. So, suppose in the functional competency category, we have the Core competency that included knowledge of “Digital Marketing”. Further, we can break this into Sub-Competencies level that can include social and internet marketing. So, the technical details here can include understanding of social media and internet marketing as a tool to promote organization. This is helpful in making improving the level of objectivity that Competency mapping provides and facilitates better interaction between managers and employees.

Advantages and Benefits

As mentioned before, Competency mapping creates a level of objectivity and encourages better interaction between employees and managers. So, with better and clearer interaction, employees would be able to know the expectations from their role. This not only motivates them to work better in their role, but also helps them get competency-based training in respective domains to perfect their skills and move up the ladder in the organization. As part of the managers, it helps them design the appraisal process on the lines of the Competencies and provide the right suggestion and feedback to the employees for their betterment as well as the company leading to increased effectiveness of the organization.


Not only does Competency mapping help in the Appraisal process, but as mentioned above, it helps in hiring the right talent through better filtering of the core competencies required for the job and eliminating the unqualified candidates. Furthermore, it helps in shortening the recruitment cycle by getting only those candidates who possess the skills as mentioned in the framework and putting them in the right department from day one to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness is maintained. Overall, the necessity of a Competency Framework is a must for every organization, but it is with the support of the management that its effectiveness can be rightly put in place.


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