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Connected Technologies: Reduce Skill Gaps and Create Opportunity

Many organizations are experiencing an increase in turnover. With every employee departure, a piece of creativity, knowledge, skill sets, and company culture is lost. If organizations aren’t providing clarity in workforce models, sometimes worsened by some hybrid work models, it can create a disengaging experience.

With all the technology and data at our fingertips, organizations need to implement an effective strategy to capture and identify data that matters and use it to reduce skill gaps. Such a strategy will give business leaders the power to create a workplace of opportunity to keep employees aligned and engaged.

The Evolution of Connected Technologies

Historically, organizations have used a variety of technologies and different talent systems to accomplish the wide range of tasks and processes needed. These include human resources information systems (HRIS), learning management systems (LMS), project management platforms, operating software, and more.

These systems were rarely integrated, or they acted as disparate systems and only a few individuals had the ability to manually bring the data together. . . if there was time. The reason for disparate systems was the processes were seen as standalone. From payroll and time management, recruitment and talent acquisition, performance management and career development to learning, these have all been separate HR functions managed by different teams.

Technologies are evolving. These systems along with new platforms are starting to speak to one another and are bringing processes and the data from each together in new ways. This is opening the door for new opportunities, where the processes are more connected and where one process is clearly driving the demand for another.

Using Connected Technologies to Create Opportunity

Business leaders can harness the connectedness of these technologies to help improve organizational performance and simultaneously create opportunity for their employees. It depends on clearly identifying the problem and needs along with aligning and executing to solve them.

Business and Talent leaders need to start at the front end by answering key questions:

  1. Organization perspective:
    1. Which job roles and skills do we need to stay competitive in the market?
    2. Which of our people match up to those job roles and skills?
    3. Are the people in the current job roles meeting demand?
    4. What specific skill gaps remain?
    5. Once we identify those skill gaps, what can we do to close them and ensure proficiency?
  2. Employee perspective:
    1. How should employees explore available opportunities?
    2. How should employees understand the opportunities available to them within the organization and how they match up to the skills required for those opportunities?
    3. How should we design learning to close any skills gaps for those opportunities?

By answering these questions, business and talent leaders can map out where their organizations fall relative to the skills and competencies required to meet business demand, and they’ll understand the process for identifying and closing skill gaps.

Using Connected Data for Informed Leadership

Once organizations have a strategy and process to bring data together across systems and develop a competency and skill map for their organization, leaders will be able to provide greater clarity about the opportunities their employees have and where they may need to recruit to fill gaps.

Leaders will need to use this information to create a vision for the company and align to move in that direction. This will allow leaders to have a clear path and communicate information such as what roles are available, what skills are required for those roles, and what resources are available to upskill for those roles based on current skills.

From the employee’s perspective, they’ll know which specific skills they need, how they currently stack up against those skill requirements, and any existing gaps they should address by upskilling to fill organizational role opportunities.

The Need for Demand-Based Learning

Traditionally, learning has been a little rigid from an organization’s curriculum. While this type of training does have its uses (e.g., compliance training), this method runs the risk of offering training to employees already skilled in particular areas.

This situation has been changing for some time and is shifting toward determining what the organization needs to learn and when it needs to learn it. When business leaders determine the direction of an organization and can map their employees against current and needed skillsets, learning teams can more effectively design and deliver learning to develop and reinforce those needed skills.

Creating a Workplace of Opportunity

As HR technologies work with one another more effectively, bringing the organizational employee data together to make informed decisions and provide clarity is a critical need. By mapping the job role skills requirements against the employee’s skills proficiency data, leaders across the organization will be able to provide that clarity to each employee.

Integrating a connected technology strategy to inform leadership, map an organization’s capabilities, and design learning for needed skills will create a workplace of opportunity.

About the Authors

John Plusquellec
Vice President of Human Capital Technologies
John Plusquellec is the Vice President of Human Capital Technologies and has been active in the HR Technology consulting business for over 20 years. He and his organization specialize in supporting client’s HR transformations, from implementing new technologies to redesigning business processes across all industries to improve business performance.

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