How Do You Increase Your Chances of Retaining Employees by Assessing Competencies?

Employees are leaving their companies in record numbers. What can you do to be one of the few who can answer the question: “How do I retain my most valuable talent?”

Companies worldwide are grappling with the challenge of finding new talent and retaining existing employees. By now we are all familiar with “The Great Resignation,” recently dubbed “The Great Reappraisal,” with up to 4.5 million Americans leaving their companies each month, and similar numbers being reported by companies in Europe and Asia.

In the 2022 Global Talent Trends Report published by LinkedIn, they found that 41% of the global workforce said they were likely to consider leaving their jobs in the next 12 months—if they haven’t already.

Employee retention is more important than ever. Companies are trying to find more effective ways to ensure that employees stay with the company AND are engaged and productive. You need an objective construct that provides you with the possibility of personalizing your career development and the possibility of monitoring it over time.

Competencies play a key role here. When companies look for an objective reason why top talent is leaving, they usually rush to implement solutions to retain them, but the previous step is skipped. Why not do a quality assessment first? We need to see if, based on natural strengths and potential, the person belongs in that workplace.

How does measuring competencies affect your retention rate?

1. Personal development opportunities

Employees often rank learning opportunities in their roles as among the top drivers for staying with the company. In order to hire and retain key talent, they want you to know their individual development path.

The fact that focusing only on top talent and constant improvement often set unrealistic demands is overlooked. Not everyone needs a promotion to feel like they are progressing and growing, but there has to be some kind of development.

Employees need to be made aware of what needs to be developed. Common mistake companies make is to launch development programs that are very generic and not focused on the individual, or they start programs without a clear insight into where there is room for competence development. You can make it easier for yourself by having both you and the employee have shared insight into natural strengths and areas for development through an adequate competency assessment.

With a clear picture of how each employee fits into core competencies and their current and future roles, the organization is then able to identify and fill gaps with focused competency development initiatives, mentoring, training, and job rotation or exposure opportunities.

2. Career path

Career paths have become increasingly fragmented and less clear for organizations and employees in recent years. Employees want more flexibility, transparency, and control over their careers and want to be able to see and understand what their next opportunities are within the organization.

Understanding employee alignment with core competencies is a great opportunity for a company to tap into the natural potential of its people. LinkedIn research found that where companies have high levels of internal talent mobility opportunities, employees stay with those companies twice as long.

Without a clear vision of what your employees’ aspirations and competencies are, which is increasingly difficult to visualize with remote work, organizations are unable to adequately engage with each employee.

3. Performance and engagement

Placing people in the right role within the company is critical for employees to ultimately perform their jobs. Many organizations are pretty good at matching people to role competencies when recruiting new employees, but they often don’t have a good and objective view of what their current employees look like in terms of competencies that match either the individual or group level.

Poor fit and role fit usually leads to lower overall engagement, motivation, and commitment. Competencies help employees in that role understand what successful performance is and provide clear standards of excellence for what they need to achieve and perform. This clarity can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation.

Tips for implementing competencies in regards to talent retention

Make sure your organization uses valid and objective ways to measure employee performance against their competencies.

Be among the first to apply innovative technology to visualize the fit of competencies in your company. Now is the time to act proactively.

Proactivity is reflected here on the basis of insights gained through focused initiatives for the development of individual and group competencies in order to plan the development of employees.

Use approaches to understand that competencies fit across the entire talent lifecycle. From recruitment and onboarding, and performance management to succession planning.

Communicate with employees! Employees increasingly want to manage their development, and a lack of transparency and communication about plans and initiatives will lead to less engagement and unwanted turnover.

Where can you start? As we said in this text, everything starts with a valid and objective assessment of competencies. You can find more information about certification training for competency assessment here.

Strahinja Krstić – Marketing Communications Specialist at PsyConsulting an SHL Reseller Partner