Time to Competency: Why It Matters

Time to Competency

Time to CompetencyCompetence: The ability of an individual to perform a specific role or do a job properly.

Competence. Understanding it is not complicated, but providing your employees the right set of tools to achieve it is. According to Bersin, from the perspective of the Learning & Development (L&D) function itself, 98% believe that their primary mandate is to improve employee knowledge and competencies. Why? Because time to employee competency has a direct impact on employee engagement and satisfaction.

New employee satisfaction

Bersin Days to Productivity ChartAs you can see from the chart, It takes a long time learn a new role or job skill.

According to research by the Wynhurst Group, 22% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of onboarding, with the cost of losing an employee during their first year of employment equal to three times his or her salary. While there is more than one factor at play here, frustration with not being able to effectively ramp up is unarguably a huge factor. So it behooves organizations to make reducing time-to-competence for new employees a priority.

Ongoing employee engagement

During the tenure of an employee, job roles change, technology evolves, and new skills are continuously required. Few would argue that a critical part of keeping employees engaged is providing learning approaches that allow them to quickly develop new skills and to build a set of competencies that provide a springboard for a successful career.

How important is employee engagement? As you can see from the graph below by Gallup, after the six-month mark. and throughout their tenure, over 50% of employees are either not engaged, or actively disengaged.

Engagement Levels by Tenure

Gallup calculates that this has a direct and significant impact on earnings.:

  • To illustrate Orgs with an average of 9.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experience 147% higher earnings per share (EPS) compared with their competition
  • In contrast, those with an average of 2.6 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee experienced 2% lower EPS compared with their competition

The need to change “course”

It’s unanimously agreed upon that in today’s environment, formal instructor-led training and online courses alone are not enough to drive successful performance outcomes. In fact, further research by Bersin tells us that 72% of companies believe that their most valuable learning approaches are informal, yet only 30% of resources are focused here.

Which Learning Approaches Drive the Greatest Value

So this begs the question: why aren’t we creating more tools to improve and facilitate on the job experience?

Companies are recognizing that how they’re going to continue to win in the marketplace is not necessarily a war for talent; it’s instead, a war for developing talent. This means that we have to get better at accelerating experience and accelerating expertise building. In other words, accelerating time to employee competency.

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