What does a modern skills assessment strategy look like?


Historically, skills assessments have been reserved for high-level workers, but to embed a truly positive learning culture in the company, this needs to change dramatically.

Moving away from a small number of select people whose skills are assessed by the HR team, this should instead be seen as a 360 degree strategy, with workers across the company receiving regular feedback from their peers, managers and external suppliers.

Regular feedback and feedback reinforces learning and helps people continuously progress, and this simply cannot be afforded to be overlooked for most internal workforces – there needs to be a comprehensive strategy in place to assess and develop internal skills for the benefit of all.

This focus on continuous assessment and development will go a long way in keeping the entire workforce motivated, as well as increasing retention and avoiding losing your best talent, which is even more dangerous in the current climate.

Ensuring employee growth is ultimately the primary driver of organizational growth and innovation, and the cost is higher than ever for companies that neglect the assessment and growth potential of their internal talent. This is mainly due to the current Big resignation, which threatens costly labor turnover that could devastate businesses large and small.

Companies must therefore meet their employees where they are with dynamic, democratized and data-driven growth opportunities based on a 360-degree skills assessment, or they will not only risk their bottom line, but they will also cripple their best talents. .

Data shows that workers who receive feedback from peers, managers, and external vendors are significantly more likely to be promoters.

As shown by the recent report produced by Degreed, which surveyed 2,400 employees, team leaders and executives around the world, across all industries and company sizes, to understand what employees want from their organization in 2021.

There was a clear difference between those who rated their company’s learning cultures as positive (promoters) and those who rated their learning cultures as negative (detractors).

Data shows that workers who receive feedback from peers, managers, and external providers are much more likely to be promoters, highlighting the importance of skills assessment.

Among other key differences illustrated in the report, promoters were found to be the most likely to be assessed by others and to have updated their own competency profiles over the past year to document both the skills they have and the ones they want to acquire.

How to integrate 360 ​​degree skills assessments and with what benefits

Implementing a 360-degree skills assessment strategy, which invites colleagues and peers to participate in feedback, brings a host of benefits. Below are some of the ways this can be incorporated and the benefits associated with these actions:

  • Use tools that offer skills reviews, skills assessments, and informal assessments, so people can get the feedback they need, when they need it.
  • Inspire and cultivate a culture of psychological safety that values ​​ongoing, immediate and informal counseling.
  • Give your employees a reason to update skills profiles more regularly and ensure they understand how their skills data can benefit them socially and developmentally.
  • Use things like leaderboards or influencer programs to get people to update their profiles.

How the Workforce Learns data shows that in a positive learning culture, skills data is tracked on more employee profiles and updated more frequently. This shows that people are clearly motivated to maintain their skills profiles when these are regularly assessed, to signal their strengths and identify their next learning steps.

In fact, promoters are nearly 200% more likely to update their company’s job application system to seek internal learning and growth opportunities. Without a positive learning culture, people are 86% less likely to say they regularly update their digital profiles.

One step forward

If you are seriously considering implementing a skills-based strategy in your business, with the foundation of skills assessment and scoring in place, then you need to ensure that your talent strategy provides and values ​​opportunities for internal growth based on data and skills profiles.

It’s essential to think about the tools you use, how they talk to each other (or not), and how you can align them.

This can be done using solutions that can integrate with your entire learning and HR ecosystem, so that skills data is not stored in silos, but can be aggregated for a picture. overall individual and organizational capabilities.

A word of advice: it’s essential to think about the tools you use, how they talk to each other (or not) and how you can align them; results conveyed by inconsistent terminology will confuse your data.

Assess the learning journey to support your employees’ career growth

In a positive learning culture, there will be company-wide attention to ensure that workers are always learning, including time set aside for it and assessed goals, which is why it is important to regularly evaluate the development of this course.

Building a positive learning culture based on advice, feedback and internal growth opportunities is essential not only to meet your business needs, but also to stay ahead of the game with an agile development strategy based on skills.

Employee learning and growth will play an increasingly vital role in helping organizations prepare for and adapt to the likely challenging times ahead.

Understanding what your people are learning today, what they would like and need to learn, and providing them with opportunities for internal growth in all directions will help you build a solid foundation for tomorrow and the many years to come.

Interested in this topic? Take a look at “How to create the right environment to develop a culture of learning”.

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