Winter, July 2014

Sustainable capability assessments 

It’s no surprise that running a successful capability assessment requires a substantial investment in time and resources, not to mention ongoing development activities.  With the days of employees working towards their gold watches now well and truly over, is there still value in investing in long-term capability measurement and skill development? 

“The process of running a capability assessment can be costly so it is imperative to ensure this kind of investment ‘sticks’ and adds real value to your team or organisation,” says Hannah Jacques-Jones, Faculty consultant. 

Responsible for managing a recent survey of procurement leaders on the value of capability assessments, Hannah explains that the with the workforce increasingly mobile, achieving sustainable outcomes is more challenging than ever when people aren’t guaranteed to be around in 12 – 18 months time.

“Measuring capability is pivotal for developing high performing teams,” says Hannah Jacques-Jones, consultant at The Faculty.  She explains:  “A well thought-out and executed capability assessment will not only enhance your ability to identify and retain talent within the procurement function, it will improve your reputation in the market as an ‘employer of choice’, increasing your ability to attract and retain the best talent.”

 “What’s more, development planning for individuals and for the procurement function will support identification and prioritisation of development needs, and highlight skills gaps before they frustrate the execution of your strategy.”

So how to ensure the benefits of your capability assessment are more ‘sticky’?

Hannah offers some key tips/pointers that came out of The Faculty’s Capability Assessment survey earlier this year:

  1. Positioning and communication; understand what your objective for the assessment and deliver a consistent message. Not only will having an end goal in mind ensure you get there, but it will provide reassurance to those being “assessed”.
  2. Coaching and mentoring; have training solutions agreed to and the budget approved before the capability assessment gets underway. If you want to collect honest and intelligent data, people need a reason to participate openly – provide them the “what’s in it for me” factor and they’ll be committed to the journey. Also, you don’t always need a big budget, focus on the 70:20:10 rule with training, coaching and mentoring is free, encourages collaboration and provides development opportunities for the mentor as well as the mentee.
  3. Online assessment; keep it simple and user friendly. Don’t over complicate things, it will make it difficult to complete, results won’t be accurate and it will take far too long to analyse. If you have an online tool which automatic reporting, it will make things easier for all parties involved.

According to Hannah, the key to sustainable outcomes is:  “Investing your time upfront getting the set up and communications piece right, and you’ll kill far more than two birds with one assessment.”

To learn more about The Faculty’s online capability assessment tool, contact Hannah Jacques-Jones here.