Don’t underestimate the importance of skills management. Just like managing your inventory, sales and budget, skills management allows businesses to identify and evaluate the current supply of skills and gaps, and build talent strategies to support company goals.
A skilled workforce can help your business pivot or disrupt in ways that will allow you to stay relevant and competitive in the marketplace. Having a detailed understanding of the skills possessed by your workforce also helps with hiring and planning as well as development. Managing these skills effectively allows you to remain on top of skills that are relevant and consistently manage the gaps to through training and development, internally or externally.
Let’s review some of the key steps to take in managing skills in your workforce to future-proof your business.
Be ready to pivot or disrupt the industry
With proper skills management, you will be prepared for when your business needs to make a big change. Nothing has shown us the importance of this more than the recent Covid-19 pandemic. A skilled workforce is essential in order for your company to make a successful pivot when normal conditions no longer apply or when your business becomes irrelevant, perhaps due to rapidly changing technologies. Having a ready, diverse workforce is akin to having a well-planned army when you are seeking to disrupt the industry with any first-to-market idea. You’ll end up with the people who can help take your business in new and innovative directions. It’s important to note that you need your workforce to be ready and skilled to embark on your transformation plans, so be sure to assess your capabilities before making any changes.
Constantly review team skillsets
When it comes to managing skills, one of the most important things you need to understand is whether or not your team is skilled to do their jobs effectively. It is also important to manage skill obsolescence as some skills may become obsolete or become less important over time. As mentioned above, if you are planning to pivot or disrupt the market, you need to make sure you are ready to do so, and that lies in understanding the skills you have to work with in the first place. This can be done through comprehensive skill assessments that look at everything from soft skills to hard skills. Once you have this information, you can make better decisions when it comes to hiring, planning and development.
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Manage skills gaps through training and development
Once you’ve identified the skills you need to move forward with future plans, the next task at hand is to plug the identified skills gaps through effective training and development initiatives. You might want to consider targeted training for specific roles or teams or develop a curriculum that covers essential business skills. You can also offer external training programmes that will help employees stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies, further strengthening your company’s capabilities.
Nurture future leaders within your organisation
While having a skilled workforce is important, nurturing future leaders through a well-planned skills management strategy is just as crucial. The key here is identifying potential leaders early on and then providing them with the necessary training and development they need to grow into their roles. It’s never too early to start developing the skillsets necessary for leadership positions. Some things you can do include promoting cross-training and job rotations, providing mentorship opportunities and offering leadership development programmes.
In short, managing skills is essential for any company looking to grow and compete in today’s rapidly changing market. By following the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to create a workforce that is skilled, adaptable and ready to take on whatever challenges your company will face, effectively future-proofing your business.
Learn how Lithium, an AI-powered skills intelligence platform can help manage skills effectively and empower business leaders with skills intelligence so they can make better decisions about their workforce.