Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Learning is all about change, and change drives opportunities and demands.
This poses a major challenge for organizations to rethink their strategies to augment the skills gap. Relying solely on hiring processes will not suffice. Different approaches must be employed to fast-track capacity-building within existing workforces.
Research shows that most organizations used one of the two approaches below to ensure employees have the skills the business industry needs:
Reactive — It can be noted that a lot of organizations are still too slow at continuously empowering employees, and only reacts when the need to build new skills arises. There are also instances that when organizations try to put together learning solutions, the trend and need for that specific skill has already passed. This must be addressed immediately as falling behind trends can picture the inability of organizations to adapt.
Predictive — On the other side, more than 50% of HR leaders think that the solution is to get ahead by predicting the business’ future skills needs. However, attempting to predict future skills without careful research is more likely to end up with misplaced investments. The new skills acquired may be banked if the prediction is inappropriate.
Rather than wasting resources in reactive and predictive approaches that may not work, there emerges a third option: the dynamic approach. This strategy enables employees to develop skills in leadership, problem-solving, and self-discipline, as well as absorb new information in innovative ways, thereby helping them act fast in responding to the things they know and can anticipate.
Here are three steps organizations can take to adopt a dynamic approach to skilling and reskilling employees.
a. Identify changing skills needs
Having a mechanism that can carefully identify the changing skills needs would be beneficial for organizations. One best way is through people analytics-centered talent development or using the data generated from the employees themselves.
While the assessment of immediate managers and supervisors will come in handy in identifying the missing essential skills, this method aids leaders as information will come directly from the workforce.
Collaboration between employees, leaders, and customers – or the skills-sensing networks – will also be able to monitor changing needs and ensure employees are prepared.
b. Jumpstart skills development
While thoughtful, formal training still is still necessary, for many in-demand skills, it is just too slow to closely cover emerging skills needs.
There should be skills accelerators that can leverage existing resources and expertise to enable upskilling support to meet skills needs in a timely manner. What are the ways to do this?
Identifying skills adjacencies — Building shortcuts to in-demand skills by identifying related skills from skills employees already have. Identifying skills adjacencies can help business leaders tap into a broader and more diverse pool of employees and candidates who can get up to speed quickly.
Instead of limiting recruitment to a specific skill, search for talents who also have other related skills. If you are looking for someone who knows Photoshop, you can also look for someone who knows both Photoshop and Adobe Premiere.
“Training of trainers” to coach peers — Cascading skills is viewed to be an effective tool to increase organizational alignment. One way to do it is by mentoring a colleague and having them coach their peers on new skills as the need arises.
Delivering learning to employees when they need it most — This is related to identifying changing skills needs where you use data to identify and tailor learning delivery to the moments when skills needs arise in the business.
On-time delivery of training – Delivering learning to employees at the right times is another skills accelerator.
c. Lastly, foster transparency between employees and the organization
Increasing organizational transparency between leadership and employees is easier said than done. But the benefits it presents must encourage organizations to embrace it rather than dread it.
Organizations that practice transparency have increased employee engagement and trust, stronger company culture, and free communication. A transparent work environment also helps employees feel valued and encourages creativity.
Breaking away from knowledge-hoarding helps employees collaborate and solve problems more effectively as transparency allows the sharing of information freely in an effort to benefit the organization and its people.
Further, transparency shall be seen in every corner of the organization:
In the hiring process where the detailed, accurate job descriptions and salary rates must be shared prior to the interview.
In the performance management and career development where peer evaluation aside with performance management review is considered; and
In company performance and goal-setting where employees are privy to the company's performance and future plans.
Do you like the idea of using a dynamic approach for
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