December 12, 2012

Measuring Management Competence

In the first blog Are Managers Born or Made, we drew the conclusion that managers need to be developed to excel in the ever more complex world in which we operate and when we develop managers, we suggested what the twelve core competencies that apply to managers should be.

Measuring management competencies has benefits for individuals, line managers and organisations. The obvious benefit for all parties is the improvement in performance but there are other benefits as well.

Individuals benefit from having a clear measurement of their competency levels which they can use when planning their development, as evidence in managing their performance and benchmarking themselves against the norm groups for other managers at the same level.

Line managers benefit from measuring management competency by having evidence to use to manage an individual’s performance, objective data to use in recruitment and selection, succession planning and talent management.

Equally organisations benefit from developing and managing their management talent which usually results in lower attrition and higher retention rates of their high performing talent. Plus when organisations are being prepared for sale their management and leadership bench strength can either add to, or subtract from, the sale price.

Nearly every organisation which has a competency framework applies measurements to it so they can realize the benefits. So the question is not should we but how do we measure management competency?

Measuring Management Competencies

There are only three methods of measuring management competency.
Types of measurement
1) Individual Rating

Individual ratings are normally an agreed rating between the individual and their line manager using either a forced rating system such as? a scale of one to four where there is no option to ‘sit on the fence’ or a descriptive measurement where it is decided which of the descriptors the individual best fits.

This is the default method of measurement as it is easy to set up and takes no maintenance. However this measurement method is subjective and there is always the possibility of a sub conscious bias being applied by scoring someone higher or lower than they deserve because of how you feel about them.

2) 360o Feedback

This measurement method relies on the individual gaining the feedback from their line manager or other people in more senior positions, peers and team members. It normally mixes a forced rating system with an opportunity to describe the evidence the score is based upon.

360o Feedback ratings are normally more reliable as they are derived from a larger number of people however they still have potential flaws. Once again there is an opportunity to impact scores due to personal bias, for example a team member does not want to ‘upset’ their boss so scores them higher than they deserve. Also the time taken to get a number of people to complete their 360o feedback and so get a full report can be a drawback.

3) Objective quantitative measurement

This method is normally the most reliable as an individual’s competency is measured then compared to a rating scale based on a database of responses of other managers. An example of this is the MAP 2.0 management assessment tool which uses a series of real life video based scenarios which managers watch before answering a series of multiple choice questions and problems based on the video. The managers rating is then calculated against the expected responses and compared to the norm group for their level of management to give the individual percentile score. The advantage of this is that every user sees the same video and answers the same questions and there is no human interpretation to get to the rating so it is one of the most objective tools available.

The drawbacks of objective quantitative measurements is that they can be quite time consuming and expensive to develop unless you use an ‘off the shelf’ tool. Whilst at first you may think this is the most time consuming for the individual, detailed objective quantitative measurements can be completed in under three hours and ratings can be available almost immediately.

Summary

There are clear benefits of getting the most accurate measurement of management competency for individuals, line managers and the organisation as a whole. You can measure management competency through individual ratings, 360o feedback and objective quantitative measurement. The measurement method you choose depends on how much you want to remove subjectivity and maximize objectivity.

Do you currently measure your managers competence?

How do you measure your managers competence?

 

For more information on the MAP 2.0 Competency Framework and other MAP 2.0 products contact us ?0330 660 0220 or email management@dpgplc.co.uk