Competencies are a feature of Cascade that allow you to assign ‘Critical’ and ‘Desired’ skills to Roles. For example, you may create a Role Description called ‘Head of Marketing’ and assign a critical competency to that Role of ‘Analytic Capability’. Once you’ve assigned competencies to Roles, you can perform a number of actions with the feature including:
  • Competency Self Assessments – Where individuals can rate their own skills against those required for their Role.
  • Competency Manager Assessments – Where managers can rate their the skills of their team members against those required for their Roles.
  • Organization Wide Competency Analysis – Gain an understanding of what skills your organization posses in abundance vs where you have gaps.

Users with the ‘Performance’ privilege can manage competencies by going to Admin>Performance>Competencies and also Admin>Organization>Competencies.

competencies workflow

Note that you will need to enable the Competencies feature under Admin>System>Features before you can use this functionality.

Creating your Competency Database

Cascade comes pre-configured with an off-the-shelf database of competencies that are generic and can be applied to most organizations. You can however add, delete and edit competencies in the database as required. To do so, visit Admin – Organization – Competencies and you will see a list of the pre-loaded competencies.

Competencies should be ‘grouped’ – for example you may have a group called ‘Leadership Skills’ – and underneath that, several competencies including ‘Inspiring’, ‘Presenting’, etc. The groups are at ‘Level 1’ in the list whereas the competencies themselves are at ‘Level 2’.

You can add a new competency (or group) by clicking the ‘Add Competency’ button in the top right. When you do so, the Competency Editor will appear:

adding competencies

You can assign an (optional) ID to the competency, give it a name, select if it’s a group or an actual competency (if it’s an actual competency, simply set the ‘Parent’ to the correct group name), and write a rich text description of what that competency actually means.

Assigning Competencies to Roles

Once you’ve created your competency database (or if you choose to use our off-the-shelf one) you’ll want to start assigning competencies to Roles. Strictly speaking, competencies are attached to Role Descriptions rather than Roles – we suggest reading up about Role Descriptions first before going any further.

Switch to the Role Descriptions tab under Admin – Organization – Role Descriptions. Edit the Role Description that you want to start assigning competencies to. Inside the edit window, switch to the Competencies tab. Select the Competency that you wish to assign from the drop down list – then toggle whether this is a ‘Critical’ or ‘Desirable’ competency and click ‘Insert’. Build up the list of Critical and Desirable competencies that you want to add to the Role and click Apply.

Running a Competency Assessment

When you’re ready to do an organization wide competency assessment, you’ll need to navigate to Admin – Performance – Competencies. This will allow you to toggle between the different stages of a Competency Assessment. Running this process will give you a detailed overview of how well your people and your managers rate against the various Competencies ascribed to their Roles. The process takes places in three stages:

Self Assessment – When you enter the Self Assessment stage, a notification will be sent to all users in the system asking them to ‘Self Assess’ against the competencies that have been assigned to their Role.

Manager Assessment – This stage will lock off the Self Assessment stage and now allow managers to both review and then assess the competencies for each of their team members.

Release Results – This will close off the current cycle and will save the results of the Self Assessments and Manager Assessments. You can then repeat the process at any time in the future to compare how your people are progressing against their competencies.

NOTE: Emails will be sent to users whenever you change the stage of the current Competency Assessment cycle.

Completing Competency Assessments

There are two elements to a competency assessment, a Self Assessment and a Manager Assessment. This section shows you how this will look to your users.

Self Assessment

Users will be prompted via an email and a notification to go in and rate their own competencies using a scale of Not Meeting / Meeting / Exceeding. They will also be invited to add a commentary of how well they think they are faring in this area.

self competencey assesment

Manager Assessment

Managers will be prompted via an email and a notification to go in and rate their team’s competencies using a scale of Not Meeting / Meeting / Exceeding. They will also be invited to add a commentary of how well they think they are faring in this area.

self competency assessment

Managers can trigger the assessments for their team members from the My Team page:

my team competencies

Returning Self Assessments

If a manager is not happy with the Self Assessment performed by one of their team, they can return the assessment for the team member to have another go:

competencies manager view

Analyzing competency assessments

Once you’ve completed a full Competency Assessment cycle, you’re ready to start analysing the results. Navigate to Reports – Competencies. You will see two tabs: Status allows you to see who has completed which stage of the self assessment. Analysis allows you to see the actual results, role by role, of the competency assessments. You can use the filters at the top of each column to get a better handle on the data. For example, you could set up a column filter to show everyone who is currently ‘Not Meeting’ the standard for the ‘Leadership Skills’ competencies. This type of data can help guide and inform your decision making on what training is required and for whom:

competencies analysis


Can I use Competencies without Using Role Descriptions?

No, you must assign Competencies to Role Descriptions, so use of that feature is mandated for Competencies.