Organizations around the globe are putting more and more focus on skills — what they are, how to track them, and how to use the data. Maximizing the value of your skills and making informed business decisions is heavily dependent on the reliability and sustainability of your skills management program. To implement skills management effectively within your organization, think of it as a complete business program made up of 4 processes: Curate, Assign, Assess, and Develop.
How to implement skills management software
Resources for building a sustainable skills program
Curate your skills content
Curation is the development, maintenance, and evolution of your organization’s skills framework. This ensures the skills library and job roles are relevant to the business, even throughout shifting operations or industry changes. Implementing skills management sustainably involves reviewing, adding, or archiving content periodically to keep your framework updated.
It’s common for organizations to employ multiple individuals from several departments across the organization to take part in the curation process. Often, these individuals are the subject matter experts (SMEs) from HR, L&D, and Operations. Working together, they’re able to gather and validate the most critical skills and information that will align with business needs.
Establishing regular cadences to review the skills framework will be essential. Outline what good looks like at the beginning of the process so the data collected is useful to your teams.
Assign employee skills and job roles
Assignment is the process of determining which skills are required for each employee based on their job roles.
In traditionally implemented skills management programs, organizations manually assign skills and roles based on manager judgment or allow employees to self-assign. But as organizations mature their programs, these skill and job role assignments tend to grow in complexity. For example, assignments can be made based on multiple employee data points — job title, location, department, shift, etc.
As this natural program growth occurs throughout the organization, using a digitized skills management software system is often needed to automate the more granular, complex assignment processes. This automation also helps alleviate administrative burden and helps control the costs associated with running the program long-term.
Assess employee proficiency
Assessment is the evaluation of employees based on their assigned skills to determine proficiency levels. This process can look very different depending on how you structure your skills framework or the reason for tracking and validating the skill. It’s important to clarify who should be assessing and what should trigger the assessment.
Let’s look at some examples:
Some skills within your skill and competency framework may inform the license for employees to operate in risky or potentially hazardous environments. These are the competencies most likely associated with your health, safety, and quality operating standards. In this case, a strict assessment process should be implemented and actioned on by highly qualified, pre-selected assessors.
In contrast, some skills may be softer and used to inform employee-manager development conversations. In this case, it might be appropriate to allow an employee to self-report their progress.
In other instances, part or all of the assessment process could be driven by an employee’s completion of on-the-job training, tasks, or experiences. With this data all stored in one place, an employee’s proficiency record can be much more reliable. It can also be used to inform the assessment processes in the above scenarios.
No matter the assessment method, the key is to balance the rigor of assessment with the costs of putting that rigor into practice. Choosing the right methodology here will heavily influence the effectiveness and longevity of your entire skills management program.
Develop to close skill gaps
Development involves recognizing skills gaps, identifying opportunities to close those gaps, and leveraging tools like mentors, training, on-the-job experiences, or other learning resources to achieve the desired level of proficiency. In operational environments, a skills gap could increase the likelihood of poor quality or even jeopardize the safety of a team. It’s important for organizations to thoroughly think through their approach to development, as it has the potential to have a significantly positive influence on the effectiveness and efficiency of your operations.
Implement skills management as a complete business process
Each phase – Curate, Assign, Assess, and Develop – is critical as you implement skills management throughout your organization. If each phase is strategically thought through with business needs in mind, you have the opportunity to leverage trusted skills data to identify talent and gain a better understanding of workforce and operational capability.
Want to learn more about the skills management process, or how a platform like Kahuna can support these functions? Talk with an expert skill advisor!