When Does Your Organization Benefit From Skills Mapping?
In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, staying ahead of the competition requires a great deal of adaptability and innovation. Businesses are doing their best to keep their workforce agile and ready to take on new challenges. One of the methods they use to guarantee success is skills mapping; namely, the process of identifying and comparing needed and existing skills among employees. But how can you know when is the best time to implement skills mapping? In this article, we explore 7+1 circumstances that indicate skills mapping must be the next step for your organization.
7+1 Reasons You Need To Implement Skills Mapping In Your Organization
1. Job Roles Changing Or Becoming Redundant
As new technologies change the way we work, organizations find that many roles need to undergo changes, ranging from a few adjustments to elimination. This can cause many employees to feel uncertain since their skills can go from essential to redundant from one moment to the next. Skills mapping can help you outline the competencies of employees in such positions and identify those who will benefit from upskilling and/or reskilling. A detailed skills matrix can also show you which specific competencies they lack and help you develop a suitable training plan.
2. Reduced Employee Engagement
Many causes can lead to employee dissatisfaction and disengagement, such as a high-pressure work environment or low compensation. However, surveys have shown that even when those boxes are checked, employees can still be unhappy if their professional development becomes stagnant. You can avoid such issues by identifying your staff’s strengths and weaknesses and crafting a career development plan that fits their interests and long-term goals. The tangible potential for growth will motivate your employees and keep them engaged.
3. Disappointing Training Outcomes
Have you noticed that, no matter how much work you put into your organization’s employee training program, you are not getting the desired outcomes? For example, employees seem disinterested, can’t retain information, or end up reverting to their old habits instead of utilizing their newly acquired knowledge. All of these indicate that your L&D strategy is due for a change. Skills mapping can help you through this process by giving you a roadmap to follow so that you’re certain you are concentrating your training efforts on the right skills.
4. Organizational Restructuring
Another reason to implement skills mapping would be the event of organizational restructuring in the form of an expansion, a merger, or an acquisition. Changes of such magnitude can significantly affect the flow of work within your company. Moreover, they can put you in a position where you have to redesign roles, bring in new employees, or eliminate positions. Skills mapping can assist you in accomplishing all that without jeopardizing the quality of services your company offers by highlighting the skills you no longer need, as well as those you need to acquire through training and hiring.
5. Ineffective Cross-Departmental Collaboration
In most businesses, getting through the daily task list requires multiple departments to collaborate with each other. Effective teamwork and cross-departmental cooperation promote the exchange of different opinions and perspectives, thus resulting in better problem solving and more innovation. However, this is often not the case, as a lack of overlapping skills can create hurdles in their communication. Skills mapping can bridge the gap between different departments by identifying which skills need to be acquired or developed to facilitate collaboration.
6. Falling Behind The Competition
As the industry continuously evolves, you might have noticed that it’s becoming harder and harder to keep up with competitors. This could be a sign that your employees are struggling to think outside the box. Although this issue can have serious repercussions for your organization, implementing skills mapping can solve it. By consistently analyzing your staff’s knowledge gaps and identifying emerging industry trends, you can find the right training programs that will promote creative thinking and innovation. Moreover, you will foster a culture of continuous learning that will keep your employees prepared for any challenge.
7. Succession Planning
Employee retention is an important issue for most organizations, as changing employers every few years has become increasingly common. But even if turnover rates are low in your company, you will inevitably lose employees—especially those on a higher level—due to retirement. Proactive businesses must have a succession plan at hand, and skills mapping is a great tool for their development. Specifically, skills mapping can identify employees with high-potential skills, such as leadership, integrity, problem solving, etc., so that you can train them accordingly and prepare them for the moment they will need to step up.
Bonus: Driving Data-Based Decisions
Above, we talked about specific situations that might call for you to implement skills mapping. Nonetheless, the truth is that skills mapping has a place in almost every situation and decision within your organization. This is due to the wealth of information it provides on the most important resource you have: your workforce. With the data presented in a skills matrix, you can make data-driven decisions that will improve recruiting and onboarding, employee training and development, talent retention, compliance, and alignment with organizational goals. As long as you remain consistent with the data collection and analysis process, skills mapping can transform internal processes and promote growth and success.
Skills mapping can be valuable for all businesses, but some circumstances make its implementation all the more necessary. In this article, we explained some of the most common issues that require you to take a deep dive into your employees’ knowledge and competency levels. However, it’s crucial to understand that implementing skills mapping can be a proactive step that prevents many of these issues from arising. Make it an integral part of your business processes and foster more innovation and agility in the near future.
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