QUICK START GUIDE - Competencies

  • Checklists are aids that help you review configuration settings and follow best practices prior to testing. Be sure to test the functionality fully in your Pilot portal before releasing to end users.
  • This guide includes workflows and best practices for creating Competencies, Competency Models, Competency Assessment Tasks (e.g., 360 assessments), Performance Review Competency Assessment Form Sections, and Performance Review Competency Form Sections. This guide does not include descriptions of ALL functionality to be configured in each area but instead highlights best practices considerations.



Click the Permissions icon on each of these pages in Online Help:


Competency Bank

Creating Competencies in the Bank

[Admin > Tools > Performance Management > Competency Bank]

  1. Name
  • A Name is required for all competencies. Competency names should be clear and concise. Avoid “HR Speak” where possible.
  1. Description
  • Managers and employees are most likely to adopt and use competencies if you provide a practical description of what is expected.
  • This will display to the end-user on the Performance Review Task when using a Competency Form Section so that the user knows what to rate. If you leave this blank, then only the title of the competency will appear in the Performance Review Task.
  1. Assessment Type
  • Competency Item: Use this option when you want to rate the individual items within the competency on a rating scale.
  • This option must be selected when the competency will be used in Observation Checklists.
  • Behavior: Use this option when you want the rater to select the behavior description that most accurately describes the user in lieu of a rating scale. (e.g., for an “Accountability” competency, the desired behaviors might be: “Consistently completes assignments ahead of schedule; incorporates additional resources when needed; is always on time or early for work”)
  1. Suggested Feedback
  • Consider adding options that the rater can select for Feedback/Commentary during a task instead of them having to type in feedback every time they give a rating.
  1. Development Actions
  • Adding Development Actions to competencies allows you to suggest training(s) for the system to recommend as a result of a user’s competency rating.
  • Most organizations set Development Actions to display only when a competency rating falls below a minimum standard. I.e., system recommends a “Communication Fundamentals” course when a user scores a 1 or 2 on a 5 point scale.
  1. Adding Items / Behaviors
  • If using a Competency Item, at least 1 item is required.
  • You can just copy your description into the item if you do not plan to rate items to get an average score.
  • If using a Behavior, at least 1 behavior descriptor is required.
  • Create at least a minimum of a “Meets” descriptor and “Does Not Meet” descriptor.

Competency Model

Creating a Competency Model

[Admin > Tools > Performance Management > Competency Assessment Models > click to "Create New Competency"]

  1. Name / Description
  • Name is a required field and should be descriptive for easy searching. For example, if you use Core competencies, consider names such as “Manager” or “Individual Contributor”. If you use Position based competencies, consider naming models to match position titles.
  1. Admin Visibility
  • Admin Visibility is used to limit which Admins can view and edit Competency Models. This is an administrator permission and does not impact which users can be assigned a competency model as part of an assessment or review. Most organizations leave this setting blank.
  1. Availability
  • Availability is controlled by OU. It is possible to assign availability to multiple OUs and multiple OU Types (i.e., Division and Position).
  • No user can have 2 competency models. If they are in the availability of more than 1 competency model, the system will give them the competency model associated with the Organizational Unit to which they were MOST RECENTLY added.
  1. Rating Scale
  • The rating scale will be used for Competency Assessment Tasks and Competency Assessment Form Sections in Performance Review Tasks.
  • The Default Rating Scale that populates can be changed for all new Competency Models on the main Competency Models page.

Competency Assessment Task (e.g., 360 assessment)

Creating a Competency Assessment Task

[Admin > Tools > Performance Management > Competency Assessment Tasks > click to "Add Task"]

  1. General
  • Select a task name which is clear and concise for the user.
  • Task name appears to the user in the ‘my tasks’ widget on the welcome page (if enabled), scheduled tasks link beneath Home as well as a tag in the body of related email triggers so it’s important to name the assessment something your population will recognize to ensure completion.
  • Task period refers to the period of time the assessment will be available for reviewers to complete.
  • Task closes at 11:59pm based on the set portal time zone and after such time, reviewers will not be able to complete the assessment.
  • When selecting a component type, the competency assessment option will prompt the administrator to determine reviewers versus the user-defined option, which allows the reviewee to select their own reviewers.
  • Select “Competency Assessment Task” from the Component type dropdown in order to create a standalone task that will go to users to rate the competencies (this is typically used in creating a 360 assessment task).
  • Select a “Review Based Competency Assessment” if you want to embed a competency assessment into a review process.
  1. Competency Model
  • Select either a static (specific competency model) or dynamic (model based on OU availability) for inclusion in the task.
  • Including models based on OU availability reduces administrative burden by allowing the administrator to deploy 1 task that supports multiple roles.
  • The rating scale configured in the competency model will also be used in this assessment and can only be modified in the model prior to the launch of the task. Once the task is launched, the rating scale cannot be changed.
  1. Competency Preferences
  • Assessment Recipients determines who will receive the assessment task. If peer groups will be selected as recipients in the assessment, it is very important to have these groups established in advance of the task deployment. A separate, offline communication would likely be needed to reviewees prior to launching the assessment. Reviewees (users) can identify those in their peer group from performance > my peers option menu in the portal. Approval on the peer group by the manager can also be configured.
  • Show Assessee/Manager results from fields determine the minimum number of respondents required for each relationship to show the assesse the results.
  • Comments can be anonymous in Competency Assessment Tasks. You can set the minimum number of respondents required in order to show the comments entered for that relationship. You also have the ability to set comments to be visible upon at specific time (anonymous are not allowed with this setting).
  • Target Scores for each competency are determined in the Competency Bank.
  • Setting a target score helps reviewees to evaluate their ratings. I.e., if they above, at, or below the desired development level for the competency.
  • You can add Freeform Questions to the end of a Competency Assessment Task, but no other question types can be used.
  • A Development Plan can be created from the assessment based on the user’s scores on the competencies.
  • You determine which Development Actions / Training you recommend for each competency, based on score, in the Competency Bank.
  1. Assessment Result
  • We strongly recommend activation of assessment results report as it provides the reviewee and his/her manager with a document they can reference later for developmental purposes. Consider adding options that the rater can select for Feedback/Commentary during a task instead of them having to type in feedback every time they give a rating.
  • Determine if assessment results will be available upon completion of the assessment or upon completion of a specified training activity.
  • Organizations typically use the training option when they want employees to complete a course on interpreting results from their 360 assessment.
  • Many organizations also provide an internal ‘coach’ or mentor for those being assessed to help interpret results.
  • Checking Assessment Reports allows you to generate a customizable report that supplements the overall results.
  1. Availability
  • Availability defines the population of reviewees for the assessment (the individuals who will be rated).
  1. Confirm
  • Review your settings and click Save.
  • Edits to the task can only be made up until the task status moves to in progress (at least one user has begun completing assessments).
  • After reviewers begin completing the assessments, the view details icon in the options menu becomes very helpful showing a pie chart with the details of assessment assignment and the status of completion.

Performance Review: Competency Assessment Form Section

(*Rating the individual items inside of each competency for an average competency score)

Build a Competency Task (Review Based Competency Assessment)

[Admin > Tools > Performance Management > Competency Assessment Tasks > click to "Add Task"]

  1. General
  • Component: Change this dropdown 1st to read “Review Based Competency Assessment.” This will decrease the number of steps required to build you task to 3 (General, Competency Model, and Confirm)
  1. Competency Model
  • Competency Model: This is where you decide which Competency Model(s) you want to pull into your Competency Assessment Form Section in your Performance Review Task. If you set the availability of your Competency Models to various OUs, you can select “Include all competency models with the selected availability” and the system will dynamically give the user their correct Competency Model in their Performance Review Task based on the OU they are in.
  • Assessment order: Most clients choose to “Display competencies in order and not grouped by the category type,” but select the option that best meets your needs (leverage Online Help).
  1. Confirm
  • This is simply a confirmation page. Once you “Save,” this task can only be used when you build a Competency Assessment Form Section for use in a Performance Review Task.