Many companies operate different business units where employees staff the same jobs, for example in a retail store chain. What if no functional or job family operating guidelines exist to help employees do a better job? How can employees in comparable jobs but different business units be trained to display job-specific success behaviors consistently?
HR Business Partners should start by working with job family managers to develop detailed functional job descriptions that define the “what” (job responsibilities) and the “how” (competencies and associated proficiency levels) required for job success in each job. Job descriptions are road maps for job success. They define the performance expectations and competencies each job needs to help execute business strategy.
Next, Training professionals should align the training curriculum with job description content in order to provide employees the job-specific guidance they need to succeed in their jobs.
Job-specific success criteria are vital to train employees in the same job consistently throughout all business units. This information also can be used for employee coaching, professional development, performance evaluation, competency assessment, and career path planning.
Then, as part of the performance planning and evaluation process, assess employees’ competency levels both before and a reasonable time after training. When employee competencies are quantified, the gaps (positive and negative) between an individual employee’s personal competency levels and the competency levels required for job success can be identified. Compile all employees’ competency ratings by business unit, and enterprise-wide, to gain insights into specific workforce strengths and weaknesses. This intelligence is critical for planning training priorities and designing future training content.
Analysis of employee competency gaps also may help to explain why certain business units have lower productivity and performance compared to other business units.
Finally, you can use employee competency ratings to quantify the impact training has had on workforce competency levels. When you measure workforce competency levels both pre- and post-training, the degree of change in workforce competency levels is a measure of the effectiveness and value of training expenditures.