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#WFH: How Do You Determine Competencies?

Competencies are defined by demarcating and determining base line levels of performance. Performance movement requires measuring that performance against predefined targets, ideally in meaningful ways, and then using that information to assure movement toward reaching them. Learning and development has shifted from a knowing to a doing orientation. Application orientation is based on competencies.

Evidence-based research and/or legal requirements set up competencies to get organizations to comply. This requires education programs and demonstrations of levels of performance. Periodical audits are done to assure compliance is being achieved. These audits usually use performance indicators and can range from individual workers to team or organizations. No matter what, performance indicators always measure against a prior assessment of problems or gaps in performance de-fined in some way. Measuring performance in a virtual environment requires organizations to take a special and realistic look at their onboarding process. Onboarding is a formal and informal series of steps that familiarize the newly hired individual with the organizational culture, processes and procedures. Onboarding is especially important in a virtual workplace because the individual is removed from what is typically used as reinforcement of company values and norms. On-boarding familiarizes the employee with the company and often creates bonds with others in the same position. This bonding is very important to enculturation and integration. Virtual teams need to work especially hard to make the new people feel wanted, accepted and valued. They need to convey clear expectations and provide the necessary support. This includes processes, procedures, directories and ser-vices that support performance success.

A successful way to address performance is through an agreement, written and/or understood, that conveys key objectives, performance indicators and actions to be taken with in a defined period. Feedback from all members of the team is import-ant in measuring performance in the virtual environment. Feedback should not be just top down but come from a variety of channels. Good performance management in the virtual workplace uses process-es and standards as well as indicators to determine success.

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