The competence web before EDP provided more substance

Read about how UNICEF got some more substance into their EDP interviews by using the competence web.

Using the competence web before EDP provided UNICEF with more substance in the EDP agreements!

A lot of organisations dream about connecting EDP with strategic needs and objectives of the organisation. And yet it often happens, that the EDP interview is either focused mostly on the personal wants of the employee – or on a few superficial and random requests for competence development.

But it is possible, in a very simple way even, to ensure that there is a guiding principle throughout the annual EDP interviews. We often see that users of begin the EDP process with a competence mapping – which is used to make competence webs, that clearly shows where the employees in individual departments should make an effort to develop in order to meet the strategic requirements of the future. This exact method was used by UNICEF for the EDP process in the spring.

Read here about how Head of administration (CFO) Thomas Reidar Andersen from UNICEF describes the process and the underlying considerations.


What was the reason that you decided to do the competence web before your EDP process?
Our experience is that the competency dialogue during the EDP interview has often been rather poor as the employee and/or the manager had not prepared for the interview. Perhaps they hadn't done any qualified thinking about different subjects, and so the dialogue ended with talks about ”excel, word, photoshop or presentation techniques etc.”. And they may all be fine courses – but often the dialogue have had no overview of or connection with the success criteria and the competences that are necessary for the employee to thrive, develop and improve in the specific job profile.
The mapping of the competence profile, based on the catalogue of competences that are needed to succeed in the job, gives us a far more nuanced basis to the dialogue. Not least at the very first meeting, when the employee does not know the ”desired level” as set by the manager. The ensuing talks about the self-scoring of the employee, the desired level of the manager and the team average - which is shown in a combined graphic web -  is really constructive for the dialogue and for the mapping of any possible "competency gap", and not least in those places where the manager can see where the combined competencies of the team can be put to good use as "learning/competence development between employees”

Therefore, the managers could take the complete competence webs to the EDP interview and based on the scores of the employee, the manager and the team average they could easily identify any "gaps".

Thomas Reidar Andersen
Head of administration (CFO), UNICEF

How did the managers use the competence web in your EDP interviews? And how did it affect the interviews?
The introduction about the competence catalogue and the competence web was sent out in good time before the EDP, and the managers and the employees worked together to develop the competence catalogues that are the foundation of the mapping. Therefore, the managers could bring the complete competence webs to the EDP interviews and based on the score of the employee, the manager and the team average they could easily identify any "gaps".
In this way, the competence web became a catalyst for a good and constructive dialogue about how as well as why they had arrived at those specific scores, but also about which competences should be upgraded and how.


How has the employees reacted to being ”mapped” in this way?
The employees have been very positive about this new approach, and they have seen that the management really tries to take a more serious and structured approach to this theme. Naturally, it also creates a certain level of expectations in the minds of the employees, which we must try to live up to.


How have you been working with this in the managerial group before, during and especially after the process?
Before the process we worked to create support for the method in the managerial group, and during the process we worked to ensure that all employees were part of the process. It will be interesting to see, whether the agreements about competence development, which were the results of the EDP interviews, are also being kept to a higher degree. I think that formerly, a common experience has been that a lot of the agreed competence development was never completed – and this was quite often because of a lack of initiative from the employee following the EDP. Today, keeps track of all these agreements and reminds both parties about the agreements at agreed times.

In UNICEF Danmark we are now concentrating our efforts on ensuring, that the agreed competence development courses are actually being completed, so that they can continue to support our strategies and objectives. Naturally, this is also the responsibility of the individual managers who has done EDP. But it is also something which we need to work on more strategically at the central HR level, Thomas Reidar Andersen concludes.

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