This article on the benefits of implementing a competency-based training system in the workplace was originally published in September of 2019. All relevant statistics and content have been updated as of December 2020.
Traditional learning is a large commitment for employees, and online courses can be hit-or-miss — the curriculum may cover inapplicable abstract theory, basic concepts, or irrelevant content. It can be difficult for employers to find impactful learning programs where employees can bring back knowledge and developed skills that result in recognizable, quantifiable results.
Competency-based learning, however, provides a customized opportunity with a reasonable amount of commitment for employees to continue learning, develop their skill sets, and become more effective in their role.
What Is Competency-Based Learning?
Competency-based learning uses a self-paced model, where learners aren’t restricted to the classroom in which they must meet curriculum deadlines or have long pieces of one-size-fits-all content to digest. It provides a more flexible learning schedule for employees and focuses on improving the current role’s skills. It doesn’t look to cover the depth of a subject, but rather the development of an area or skill.
For employees, they have more control over their learning and can balance their workloads better. Instead of taking university courses (which require an application process and a large sum of tuition) or online classes (which may not be specifically valuable), you can tailor competency-based learning to the employee to develop the skills they need, thereby improving the output of their role.
Employers looking to improve employee skills for a specific role can use competency-based education to save on higher costs that a university would require, implement a specific curriculum for the role that would lead to better outcomes, and allow the employee to better balance learning with work.
Bonus Material: Caliper breaks down the benefits of using a Competency-Based Training Model in your workplace.
How Does It Provide Continual Learning & Professional Development?
Using a competency-based learning model allows employees to continue learning beyond the classroom and improve their skills on their time. Unlike traditional schooling, where employees put a degree on their resume, they instead develop the professional skill sets needed for their specific role.
Competency-based training offers practical soft skills for the workforce in areas such as influence and persuasion, driving results, learning agility, active listening, etc. The employee can enhance their skill in an area and then work on developing it on-the-job. It’s a win-win scenario, with more control over the cost of learning for the company and greater flexibility for the employee.
Bonus Material: Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Emotional Intelligence series to see how you and your employees can develop your soft skills and foster a culture of success in your organization.
Continual Learning with the Caliper Precision Series
When you implement competency-based training, it’s going to be different than other forms of training. When we look for continual learning, we look for the following criteria:
- Practical, specific skills development with coaching-enabled eLearning.
- Self-paced. Usually, it allows employees greater flexibility without multiple hard deadlines.
- Complementary to current roles. The skill does not replace training but makes the employee more effective in their current role.
- An ongoing process so that the skill acquired has more than a single-use case or isolated value.
Companies usually implement their competency-based curriculum in-house, but it can be a substantial amount of work to maintain the curriculum, measure its effectiveness, and add new skills. Furthermore, determining whether it’s effective can be difficult among smaller sample sizes. Many times, companies need to develop the skills of employees that no one in the company has. This is why many companies look for external sources of learning. Nonetheless, finding a credible source of learning can be a hassle.
Tip: When employees have the flexibility and freedom to take ownership of their career development, it creates a culture of self-management. In today’s workforce, 72% of employees say they desire a role that allows for professional development. Utilize this desire to grow to transform your managers into great leaders.
The Caliper Precision Series helps develop employees by providing snackable, microlearning content broken up into modules for skill development. Each module allows managers to coach employees with focus areas. The Precision Series is dynamically configurable, enabling managers to customize the curriculum to the employee’s needs. The series scales learning among employees with nearly unlimited opportunities.
Competency-based learning is a practical option for companies to develop employees’ skills to save costs, provide flexibility, and enable employee growth. Choosing a competency-based training option, such as the Precision Series, is vital to the objective’s success.
Do you want to learn more about competency-based training and how it can transform the productivity of your workforce? Check out our Caliper Precision Series and see how it can move your team’s learning objectives forward. Or, for more information about how Caliper helps develop strong leaders, reach out to one of our experts or sign up for your free demo today.
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