Forty percent of U.S. employers are unable to find workers who are skilled enough to fill entry-level positions.¹ This points to a skills, or competency, gap that can cause serious problems within an organization.
And competency gaps exist not just among job candidates, but also individuals who have been employed for years. These competency gaps cause low employee engagement and retention as well as decreased profitability and business performance.² Learning management software (LMS) helps close these gaps.
“A competency gap is simply the difference between the current competency level of your workforce and the competency level needed to achieve a certain outcome.” -- Cognology³
The Benefits of Competency Management
When company leaders make competency management a priority, they will see an increase in workforce performance. Other benefits of competency management, mentioned by the Competency Group4, include:
- Improved communication between workers and managers.
- Faster recognition of employees’ knowledge gains.
- Increased job satisfaction.
“Only 23% of organizations spend 10% or more of their budget on competency management. This small percentage of companies is 68% more likely to rate their competency objectives as effective.” -- HRSG5
3 Ways Learning Management Software Improves Competency Management
Implementing learning management software is a good way to promote competency management. This is because LMS software helps employers:
1. Measure competency gaps -- LMS reporting features enable administrators to monitor employees’ training progress, giving managers the information they need to create training programs that upskill workers. These features also help employers offer feedback to employees about where they can improve.
Only about 50 percent of employees say they are clear about what is expected of them at work, according to a study by Gallup.6 By setting clear expectations for workers and providing constructive feedback on how they can improve, employers help employees increase their skills and decrease the competency gap.
2. Develop individualized training programs -- Once skills deficiencies have been identified and communicated to employees, administrators can use LMS software to create individualized training programs designed to close competency gaps.
LMS learning path features allow administrators to customize training programs to users’ individual needs. “No two (paths) are alike, as every employee has specific strengths, weaknesses and preferences,” stated eLearning expert Christopher Pappas.7 Users are only able to access content that has been assigned to their learning paths. This helps administrators ensure that individual employees focus exclusively on the skills they need most.
3. Provide continuous learning -- Competency gaps are initially closed through training. They remain closed through continuous learning, which means competency training should be ongoing. Dr. John Sullivan of Talent Management Thought Leadership even deemed continuous learning a competency in itself.8
Since training delivered through learning management software is on-demand and continuous, learners can re-access it as many times as needed to acquire new skills. You can also add courses that are open to all employees so they can build new skills at their own pace
An LMS Naturally Promotes Competency Management
Competency management encompasses managing, tracking and developing employees’ skill sets. Because an LMS is designed to deliver and manage training, which is the key factor in developing workers’ skill sets, implementing the right learning management software naturally promotes competency management.
1 McKinsey & Company. Closing the skills gap: Creating workforce-development programs that work for everyone. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/social-sector/our-insights/closing-the-skills-gap-creating-workforce-development-programs-that-work-for-everyone.
2 Success Factors. Skills assessment: measuring and addressing competency gaps. https://www.successfactors.com/en_us/lp/articles/employee-competency.html/.
3Cognology. How to identify and reign in competency gaps. https://www.cognology.com.au/how-to-identify-and-reign-in-competency-gaps/.
4The Competency Group. The benefits of a competency-based approach. http://www.thecompetencygroup.com/competency-services/discover-the-benefits-of-a-competency-based-approach/.
5HRSG. The imperatives of successful competency management. https://resources.hrsg.ca/blog/the-imperatives-of-successful-competency-management.
6Gallup. Many employees don’t know what’s expected of them at work. https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/186164/employees-don-know-expected-work.aspx.
7eLearning Industry. 8 tips to create personalized online training paths. https://elearningindustry.com/tips-create-personalized-online-training-paths.
8Talent Management Thought Leadership. Think piece: the only competency that will matter is continuous learning. https://drjohnsullivan.com/articles/continuous-learning-competency/.