How to build a competencies gym

Note published on April 25, 2024 in Human Capital section, by Blanya Correal Sarmiento.



In the development of skills and the training of talent within companies, a technique that has begun to set a trend is that of tailored learning, through practice and with a focus on self-management, which is a simile to way in which physical training is conducted in gyms.

One of the great challenges in the areas of Human Capital is fostering the development of people´s competencies to achieve a better performance of the business plan and, at the same time, a better experience for the collaborator.

From 70/20/10 to simulators, training techniques have evolved, seeking a greater effectiveness. Within this framework, a new trend, called “competencies gym” has appeared, seeking to create tailored learning, concentrating more on practice and with an increased focus on self-management.

1. Tailored learning

The evolution of the way in which companies are organized has led us to the realm of agility. In this context, mass programs, in which people receive general contents that they must then try to apply to their needs, no longer work. There is no time for that any longer! Plus, it is very costly in terms of resources and time.

Therefore, the competencies gym approach seeks to respond to the specific needs of each person, even in mass contexts. That is, it is just like a gym, where the person finds different tools, but his routine and training focus only on the things that he requires, starting from a diagnosis that allows him to adapt his plan and define specific goals.

2. Learning through practice

Just like a gym, competencies training is based on execution, not on conceptualization. That is, when you go to the competencies gym, you will find exercises, tools and challenges that expose the person to the elements that he needs to develop, getting practice on those that will allow him to “develop his muscles” which, additionally, make him ready to apply them in real life.

The practice of tools or skills has specialized guidance by a coach who, just as a trainer in a gym would do, designs the correct routine to ensure that the person truly learns.

3. Learning based on self-development

One of the most difficult elements to achieve is to have people pursue their own development and that they do so out of motivation (and not due to pressure). The competencies gym is designed to make practical training generate a high level of satisfaction and, through this, the person is captivated to continue and make progress.

The type of challenges that he will find in this environment and the tools that he will acquire over time will show him how much practice he needs and, with that, the desire to exceed his own goals will keep him connected. The above, together with the trend of community learning, has the same effect as team exercise, because it maintains the level of discipline as a result of the interaction and motivation of people with one another.

These learning mechanisms can be designed for all types of competencies, both technical and those relating to leadership or management, they can even be designed to promote cultural transformation processes that require changes in personal behaviors.

A very significant element of this methodology lies in the fact that the design of development strategies considers that people learn step by step; that is, each competence has levels, like those of a videogame that allow progress based on objectives being met, with which a person gains mastery and confidence in new behaviors or knowledge.

All of this allows the application of a competencies gym to conduct role certification in any position or area within the company. It is also applied very effectively in accelerated talent programs, people with high potential and even young talents.

Thinking of the possibility of promoting these gyms even further, the use of artificial intelligence allows the creation of a unique and innovative learning experience, because a fully personalized platform can be developed, in a virtual environment with the use of avatars, and it can be combined with other applications that create unexpected dynamics for the participant that generate curiosity and an increased interest,

In truth, this trend can be taken to such varied and fun levels that they make people see their development as an activity that they enjoy and to which they want to devote time to

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