Competency Management Software:
It Could be One of the Most Important Parts of Your Safety Program
Competency management software is a tool used to manage the available skills and expertise in an organization. Its functions include finding skill gaps, and planning the required training or hires to fill them. Just like each employee has a unique combination of skills, competencies can be developed at the organizational level. By continuously improving its competencies, a company can become more productive and profitable. However, competency management is also critical for safety programs in sectors like oil and gas, construction, and mining. In these industries, the consequences of mistakes go beyond lost profits and time – they can also cause fatal accidents. In other words, competency management is also a safety measure, especially in heavy industries.
Here are 4 reasons why a competency management system is important. Companies can use these systems not only to become more productive but also to improve their workplace safety.
1) Employee Learning and Retention
A competency management system can make training programs much more efficient. By using software, a company can analyze all the skills available among its employees, and find gaps that must be filled to improve safety and productivity. These training gaps can be identified for the organization as a whole, and for individual employees. Companies can know exactly what training is needed to develop a specific competency, and which employees should receive it. By relying on software tools such as a Learning Management System, companies can deliver course content to employees more efficiently. Testing skills and competencies is an important training step and ensures that course knowledge is converted into work applications. This is critical in high-risk industries like construction and mining, where a safe workplace is only possible if all employees are properly trained.
2) Workforce Planning
Competency management software can be used to ensure that each job position is filled with an employee who has the right skills. Competency management software provides a detailed competency profile of each employee, and companies can identify the best candidate to fill a recently created position, or choose an employee that has the most relevant experience for a specific task. Competency management is also useful when hiring since companies can view exactly which gaps must be filled. There may be cases in which certain skills are needed for a job or task and current, acceptable employees may already have other responsibilities. For example, if a company acquires new equipment, a competency management system can identify employees with the right skills to operate the machinery. In cases where the necessary skills are missing, the system can be used to identify employees with a suitable profile to be trained on those skills. A competency management system is especially useful in sectors that require a flexible workforce. For example, a construction company can assign its equipment operators to different projects more efficiently when there is a clear picture of individual skills. Not all projects will require the same trucks, and some operators may be capable of driving many types of equipment.
3) Improve Employee Retention
Competency management software can contribute to employee retention. According to a Linkedin study, 94% of employees would stay longer with a company that invests in their career. By using competency management software, a company can offer customized training programs for its employees, focusing on the exact skills they need to develop. Employees who are interested in specific skills may have to look for courses on their own if a company does not provide learning opportunities. When ongoing training is part of the job, employees will appreciate it. A competency management system can analyze the skills and responsibilities of each employee, providing exactly the courses needed to improve at their job. In the case of heavy industries, safety training also gives employees the knowledge to deal with hazards encountered at work. They are more likely to stay with a company that prioritizes their safety, giving them all the training and tools necessary to avoid accidents.
4) Creates a Safer Workplace
Competency management improves employee skills, which contributes to both efficiency and workplace safety. Most mistakes in office environments only affect productivity, but the same cannot be said of a construction site or an oilfield with plenty of heavy equipment in operation. According to several studies, assuming the consequences of an accident can be three times more expensive than investing in prevention, and this includes safety training. By using a competency management system, a company can analyze individual skills before assigning any responsibilities that come with high risks. For example, companies can make sure that only well-trained operators with valid certificates use heavy equipment in a worksite.
A competency management system helps companies build their skills, providing a clear picture of strengths and opportunity areas. Competencies can be managed not only for individual employees but also for the entire organization. Ongoing training makes companies more productive and competitive and encourages employee retention. Competency management software is very useful when companies must make decisions related to their workforces, such as hiring and job assignments. In the case of heavy industries like construction and mining, the software can also be used as a safety check, ensuring that all tasks are assigned to qualified workers. Introducing competency management software into your organization can elevate your employee’s skills and increase safety and productivity.