Developing a skills-focused initiative is a great example. Admittedly, there are numerous potential challenges, such as:
Lack of buy-in from executives who don’t understand the use cases for skills data.
Disorganized or unclear employee data sources.
Biased ratings and skill assessments from managers (as highlighted in the first piece in our series).
However, just as the story above illustrates, taking a consistent, intentional approach will ultimately achieve the best results.
Skills as an Objective, Data-Driven Foundation
I’ll talk more about the human side of skills initiatives and how they create value for people and the business, but first I want to explain the fundamental value of skills data. Almost any business problem can come back to skills data.
Customer service issues. What skills do your customer representatives have or need?
Quality issues. What skill is the team missing?
Low employee engagement. How do you acknowledge and tap into the skills of your workforce?
Not only do skills answer these problems, but they are quantifiable data points. They are measurable. And when something can be measured, it can be improved.
In addition, this creates a common foundation for decisions and conversations within the business. Instead of saying, “our people aren’t qualified,” leaders can pinpoint the specific skill gap and how to solve it. Instead of feeling like it’s impossible to hire the right talent in a tight market, leaders can highlight internal skills that exist and leverage those to tackle immediate needs.
Every stakeholder, from senior executives and HR to managers and even the employees themselves, can benefit from this foundational layer of data. But it doesn’t have to feel cold and clinical—there are real human impacts as well.
Skills as Both Engagement and Business Value Opportunities
Understanding skills can create value from multiple perspectives. Employers and leaders benefit from more clarity and better decisions due to skills insights. The workforce also has opportunities to tap into their abilities and develop their strengths.
Here’s a helpful breakdown: