Competency Assessment for Succession Planning

Succession Planning and Role Selection

A major function of competency assessment may be the future proofing of your organisation through internal succession planning and role selection of your people. If your purpose aligns to this, there are multiple factors that you need to consider from a data perspective. The framework you are measuring people against shouldn’t simply be aligned to traditional leadership competencies, but should take into account other competency types, frameworks, and external data points.

Traditional leadership competencies are still very much a core part of a successful and effective competency framework, but as part of succession planning and role selection should be complemented by functional and technical capabilities. These can be used to identity and understand strength and development needs of larger audiences in more role-specific workforce planning projects. Other factors such as audit and compliance requirements for highly regulated industries has also driven the increased use of these types of assessment projects.

Functional frameworks are increasingly using norms or benchmarks to define capability gaps and inform selection opportunities. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to get external meaningful norms that can be used with a tailored framework - and this is also driving the creation of in-house frameworks. If you don’t have a benchmark, an option may be that you create your own internally, by assessing the target audience, and using that data to create norms before releasing reports.

Outside of functional or technical frameworks, the other main growth area has been a framework to measure core capabilities and values. To put it simply, core capabilities are those handful of capabilities at which everyone in the business should demonstrate proficiency, while values are your core underpinning company beliefs.

The assessment of values is a relatively new but has been quickly established as a crucial concept and can be assessed in a number of different ways. The most obvious, but maybe more time consuming, is to create a framework to assess values, and include this in an overall assessment of leadership or core capabilities.

However, with a little more planning, it’s possible to embed behavioural indicators into your leadership or core capabilities framework. These can be aligned to, and discreetly used, to assess certain values, while at the same time assessing the leadership or core capability. Certain aspects of a leadership framework may be highly relatable to values. If behavioural indicators can be designed to map to values, then it is very possible to measure values as well as leadership capabilities in one assessment.

If you adopt this approach, further insights into your data may identify the similarities between your leadership or core capabilities and values. When you develop strong leaders, your alignment to values rise, and conversely you may see the impact of what poor leadership capability has on your company values.

Is there an opportunity to include psychometrics or other data?

In addition to your competency framework, it may be desirable to integrate the results of competency assessment to external 3rd party results on each individual. Linking the likes of psychometric data, engagement scores and indices, and sales metrics may lead to a great insight into correlation and causation of behaviours. Designing an assessment process to capture this information will allow you better to identify key trends.

Being able to identify if highly engaged people demonstrate a higher level of behaviour in levels of leadership competency, and inversely that a lower level of engagement leads to a lower level of behavioural demonstration of competency, is an incredibly valuable insight that can help further shape the culture and behaviour of individuals and the organisation itself.

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