What does it take to be an organisation that is truly living in the digital age? It is a balance of many things, but one aspect that cannot be overlooked is skills intelligence. Let us explore the benefits of having sound skills intelligence and how leveraging this will positively impact your business.
Skills intelligence refers to the ability for an organisation to use data and analytics to make strategic decisions about how it develops its talent and business strategies and drive intelligent decision-making around talent development and workforce transformation. Data, in this case, refers not just to internal data but big data from global labour market intelligence, which you can then overlay on top of existing HR information. The important point is that skills intelligence allows you to take an objective view into your company’s skills inventory, where skills exist across teams and functions.
Investing in skills intelligence will improve not only internal processes but also allow management to assess employees’ skills readiness, map current skills versus current job expectations and identify emerging skills that need to be acquired in alignment with the company’s goals.
To utilise skills intelligence, it is imperative for companies to embark on a structured approach to gather the insights.
There is no point implementing any changes in your talent development practices until you have a good lay of the land. You need to start with understanding where you are now before you can develop a roadmap to get to where you want to be.
Oftentimes, companies have their employee data in hardcopy or spreadsheet format residing in different locations. These data can contribute valuable insights into how employees are performing based on skill sets and if there are any job misfits. The data can also shed light on whether staff feel empowered enough to take self-directed learning to chart their personal and career growth. Organisations need to manage this information carefully to decrease turnover rates and increase morale inside the company.
If you’re not already taking advantage of any existing forms of data collection within your business, this is the first step to take. The earlier in the game you do so, the better positioned you’ll be to make data-driven decisions about your people and business.
It is important to have an understanding of the capabilities that will enable teams to deliver on goals before they begin work on projects. Having a skills inventory in place can help to map out all current and future roles across the entire company so everyone knows where gaps exist, who should fill those gaps and how to do it.
List the required competencies and measure them against performance goals.
Having an understanding of the skills that employees need to have to be successful is critical across all departments so that all teams understand what are expected and how best to address any gaps that exist within their skill set. This will help drive better performance across all areas of your organisation.
Some companies have not even started to build competency frameworks. Many that have attempted the task usually do so with a very manually process, which can be time-consuming and laborious. Explore using technologies and tools to help you develop your framework more efficiently.
Make sure it is easy to operationalise and maintain, again using tech tools designed for the process, so that the framework can be used effectively to derive value and ensure alignment of the skills needed to perform each role effectively.
Have your employees assess and rate their level of skills proficiency and get this validated by their supervisors. This allows employees to take stock on what they feel about their strength and weakness and for supervisors to validate their beliefs.
It’s not enough to know where the skills gaps are. You also need to have a workable strategy to fill them. Determine how to pivot your internal resources and training needs to help you meet hiring forecasts while also ensuring employees feel engaged, challenged, and supported at every level. For example, if one department within your business has been seeing high attrition rates for junior-level hires over the past year due to lack of perceived growth opportunity, it would not make sense, from an HR perspective or company point of view, to add additional senior managers who might have trouble developing their teams if they don’t have enough people below them with experience. Instead, this insight will allow you to fix the issue through the skill development plan for junior hires.
With the skills rated and validated against company benchmarks, supervisors can hold a meaningful and objective conversation with their team members so that expectations from both parties are aligned. Supervisors can then identify the areas that need to be worked on or strengths that can be leveraged to realise full potential.
With skills intelligence, this provides a win-win solution for both parties. As an organisation, you benefit from a higher skilled workforce and increased staff morale and your staff benefit from enhanced personal development and a greater sense of being valued and belonging to the organisation, strengthening corporate culture. An added bonus? With better developed leaders across the business, your company will be more likely to attract top talent moving forward.
Investing in skills intelligence will help you attain better outcomes, build sustainable workforce, and create a more resilient organisation. It’s not just about “keeping up with trends” or doing what everyone else does. It needs careful planning, assessment of skills profiles across your business units (and functions) and understanding how these capabilities fit into your strategy for future success.
This can now be done within a single SaaS platform with embedded analytics tools that allow you to analyse, monitor, and track key metrics about your talent in real time with interactive dashboards, understand the current supply of skills, gaps and proficiency and undertake initiatives to address the gaps or plan for skill development.