Unlocking Success: Skills-Based Strategy & People Development
In today's dynamic business landscape, staying competitive requires more than just a solid business plan. To truly thrive, organizations must incorporate skills as part of their strategic business and people development and have an ongoing and systematic process to ensure that needed skills and levels are reached on time. This approach has 2 great outcomes: it empowers employees and fuels growth and innovation. By communicating the needed skills to grow in a visual and concrete way and connecting them to people’s growth and development plans, you’re on the road to success.
This blog will explore and discuss the topic of creating better strategies through skill development to drive success. It will also offer concrete tips on how to start implementing a more systematic skills development approach into your business and people development today.
Identify Your Key Skills
Strategy always requires learning and that means new and advanced skills. You can start the exercise by asking, what skills you need to succeed in your strategic objectives. Try to come up with at least 5 but no more than 15 key skills that are at the center of your future business. Whether it's data analytics, communication, or leadership, pinpointing the skill sets that are the foundation for your strategy is your starting point.
It is important to analyze and incorporate the industry trends and technological advancements that demand certain skills to stay relevant, create acompetitive advantage, and respond to growing customer needs.
Once you’ve assessed and pinpointed the core, key, or critical skills, move on to assessing your current skills.
Assessing Current Skills
An important step on your way in building a skills-based growth culture is understanding your present. What are the skills we currently have? What does our present skill landscape look like? Where are our strengths and areas for growth?
Using skill-based job profiles to evaluate your employees' existing skill sets is a fast and efficient way to start. You don’t need more than 10 critical skills per each profile, to get the job started. Create the profiles and ask your people to self-assess themselves in each skill. Allow them to add skills they feel are essential, to visualize and uncover any hidden skills and talent.
The more visual your data, the better chances you have to use it for identifying gaps between the skills you need and what your team possesses. This assessment will also help you create targeted growth plans to close the skill gaps.
Identifying and Closing Skill Gaps
Now that you’ve identified your strategic skills and created an understanding of your present landscape, it is time to identify and close the skill gaps. The art of visualization has many benefits, a few of them listed here:
1. Data visualization makes it easier to understand complex data sets.
2. Use it to communicate data insights to a wider audience, including those who may not be familiar with statistical analysis.
3. Data visualization can help businesses and organizations make better decisions through insights into their data.
4. It can facilitate collaboration by enabling people to share and explore data together.
To identify the current skill gaps, you can combine the results of the first and second exercises. This will help you get a clear understanding of where you stand and where you need to focus. Tools like Talbit make this process easier for you as it provides you a visual representation of your critical skill gaps automatically.
What does the visual presentation tell you? Where are your gaps and how large are they? Do you have people who possess the needed skills or relatable skills and may be interested in growing them? These are questions you should be asking yourself, in your Leadership team meetings, from your Learning & Development team and Team Leads, and in each team.
Closing those gaps is essential for your business and strategic success.
Closing Skill Gaps
The last part of the process is closing the skill gaps. This part needs to be treated as an ongoing process. Think of it as a vehicle traveling from one destination to the next. The moment the wheels stop turning, your business stops growing, and your CEO has to report stalling and sad numbers to theboard. Something no CEO wants to do.
To get started in an agile and results-driven way, train your team leads to read and understand your strategic objectives and critical skill gaps. At the end of the day, they are the gatekeepers of success as they are the closest to your people and have a pretty good understanding of their everyday workload. If you are new to this type of systematic skill development, you might want to start with a pilot project by including max 25% of your people.
Step #1 – Create and offer critical skill-related projects and work assignments
Let’s not forget the great 70:20:10 rule - skills and talent grow best when applied to real work. Creating projects and work assignments around critical skills is the most cost-effective, engaging, and motivating way to reach the targets. If possible, try to design them so that people can easily search for and apply to the projects, understanding the skills and time required.
Forget silos and welcome fluidity into your organization!
Step #2 –Course and skill development offerings are tailored according to critical skills
Every organization offers its people multiple choices for learning and development. They have licenses to a vast number of courses on Udemy or Coursera or have invested in a learning management platform such as Docebo, TalentLMS, Valamis, Eduhouse, Moodle LMS, and so on. However very few are driving their offering based on the strategic needs.
One of the reasons for this is that people’s development plans are still being crafted in a document form, disconnected from the critical business processes, such as strategy and business development. Connect the dots and treat people development as a critical component of your strategic success.
Step #3 –Critical skills are part of the business and talent development process
So, how to then connect critical skill development with people and business development? By bringing them to the center of it all. Start your people development process by getting an update on where your employee is now, what they are proud of, where they’ve succeeded and where would they like to concentrate on next.
Then, introduce the company strategy and the skills needed to succeed. Try to explain,what it means to your team, and especially for the individual, and allow them to envision what that means for them and where they see themselves in contributing to the equation.
Tools such as Talbit will have the critical skills part of each development process, listing them along with personal focus skills. Those skills and their importance will then drive the development of personalized growth plans, generating outcome-based development goals automatically. Content for skill development will come from Talbit, your LMS, or from your selected service providers.
Step #4 – Keep the wheels turning and stay onroute
As learning is a continuous process, create ways to have regular focus meetings or 1:1s to make sure the wheels keep turning and you stay on the chosen route. Encourage employees to engage in diverse projects, collaborative cross-functional teamwork, and sharing their knowledge in Learning Labs or other team activities.
Track progress regularly to ensure your skill development initiatives are yielding the desired results. Adapt and refine your strategy as needed and involve employees in the process. Seek their feedback and opinions on the effectiveness of the process and listen to their suggestions for improvement.
Celebrate success by recognizing the achievements of successfully developing and growing the needed, critical, and new skills. This not only motivates individuals but also sets a positive example for others.
Talbit – a Finnish SaaS company and platform is designed to help organizations maximize their employees' potential through strategic and systematic skill development. We will help you build the process and offer our platform to support you in unlocking success through skills-based strategy and people development.
Talbit –Because Your Strategy, Skills, and Employees Matter!