How Skills Assessment Supports Business Through Digital Transformation in the Workplace

How can you use digital transformation to accommodate or renovate your business vision?  Skills Base can support your organization as digital technology in the 21st Century continues to impact workplaces throughout the US, UK and worldwide.

Skills Base has a real focus on developing workforce capability using the power of the latest digital platforms eg. cloud based software. We provide a range of tools and services to target change through a 3 pronged approach:

· skills assessment

· skills improvement

· charting improvement over time

Whilst the “workplace of the future” will never truly arrive (it’s in the future, how can it?) the truth is that change is affecting the working world, and the rapid rate at which change occurs is increasing dramatically.

Accommodating this constant flux requires a more flexible and responsive workplace. Organizations also need to look at new methods as a result of this level of transformation.

Key changes in our workplace include:

· Modes of communication (always on is a new, and sometimes uncomfortable, thing)

· Flexibility of the workplace, including more aggregated and dispersed workforce’s

· An expectation of new and changing skills, especially technical and soft skills

Mega-trends like automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are collective drivers in the US and the UK, as highlighted in McKinsey Global Institute Report, causing a level of transformation not seen since the industrial revolution.

Yes, there’s a whole lot more to this and a myriad of other driving forces and influences, but let’s start with the basics and take a look at what a skills assessment platform like Skills Base can do to help in this swiftly mutating work environment.

1. Skills Assessment

A recent report by Gartner, shows the fluctuation of skill expectations in emerging jobs. In particular, technical and soft skills are more in demand than ever, and we are seeing this proliferation cascade into more traditional roles as part of the swing toward digital transformation across the workplace.

Soft skills, including business acumen, teamwork and problem-solving, are integral to a 21st century view of the modern employee’s arsenal. It’s not just about how something is done, it’s more and more about how that is then pitched as part of a business case within a team environment.

The co-founder of Apple and inventor of the ipod, Steve Jobs, put it succinctly “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”

And it’s soft skills that are at the core of successful execution.

Indicators point to the value of these skills and the consequent impact on an organization being able to successfully execute its mission. So, the question is how do we acquire these skills?,The answer to that may be more convenient than you might think.

For some organizations, a quick fix is obviously recruitment. But this is both expensive and also fraught with unknowns:

· Will the recruit “fit” with the org culture?

· Do they really have the skills they purport to have?

· Do their personal goals align with the organization (if they don’t, then any recruitment will be short-lived)?

These are all questions which will go through the minds of the recruiter, the HR director and also the line-manager.

Think for a minute about the nature of soft-skills. These are eminently “trainable” and can be delivered as a by-product of a recruitment process, an upskilling process, and/or some other intervention.

One of the key things many organizations miss, is that the first step in delivering the right training and intervention is to understand what an employee’s (or a team’s) strengths are.

This is the first point at which Skills Base steps in to help the organization. In fact, one of the key things that Skills Base does is to assess an employee’s skill level (or the skills level of a team, location, business unit and / or the entire organization) in configurable areas, such as soft skills. We can do this rapidly, sometimes completing an evaluation inside 10 minutes. We then provide the employee, the line manager and the HR manager with a clear view on where the employee’s strengths lie.

Imagine knowing your team’s strengths now — clearly articulated, rated and peer-reviewed. What would you do with that level of insight?

This is really the first step in digital transformation: know your strengths and weaknesses and doing something about them!

2. Skills Improvement

For many organizations, the next step is to target interventions that focus on improving employee, team or business unit skills in areas that really matter. That is, skills improvement. Skills Base has beend deployed to more than 4,000 organizations, just like yours, that have already witnessed the dramatic impact skills assessment can have on their capacity to execute.

Many organizations say lack of skills is seen as a barrier to reaping benefits in the new workplace. For instance, the potential benefit of related thematic and technology changes such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), will be unrealized without the right skills. Thus, ensuring the workforce has these skills is another step in gearing up to accommodate digital transformation (read McKinsey Global Institute’s updated report).

The flipside of this, is that after evaluation, a skills assessment system like Skills Base can suggest direct links to “micro-training” that employees can take “on-demand” to improve skill levels in a very direct and targeted way.

So, whilst there is an awareness of the importance of these skills within the modern workplace, there is an increase in their demand. This is coupled with a growing trend to more role transportability between industries because the nature of many of these in-demand skills can be industry, and sometimes even role agnostic.

Thus, there is an emergence of hyper-competitiveness. Many employees with these skills have more options, and so organizations who want to engage, or retain them, are finding it harder as the demand for these skills increase and the barriers between industries break down. Being able to ensure these skills are recruited and imparted is increasingly important.

Not only is skills assessment extremely beneficial to the organization, employees value this too, as it provides them with a direct way they can improve their skills and execute their jobs—making them more valuable to business.

In fact, there are many studies and research that show skills assessment is key to fighting voluntary turnover by increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty (as an example see https://www.predictivesuccess.com/blog/using-assessments-to-improve-retention/).

This is a real secret to our success. Many organizations, and maybe one of your competitors, is already doing this and reaping the rewards.

3. Charting improvement over time

Finally, the third approach to skills assessment is to chart improvement of your organization over time. This is the point at which we can truly see if an organization has responded to the digital transformation challenge.

To properly close the skills gap, identifying the need for new skills, followed by targeted training interventions through “micro-training” is the new norm in terms of adequately equipping a workforce. But, without a feedback loop, there is no way to truly monitor effectiveness, maintain and refine.

It’s here that the final piece of the puzzle comes in.

A tool like Skills Base can monitor the improvement of an individual’s, or a team’s, skills over time. Link that progress to interventions and your organization will be provided with insights into what it can do more of, less of and how it can execute more effectively on the challenge of digital transformation.

We work with organizations in the US, the UK and throughout the world to deliver better skills management software to your business. Enquire today!