Skills tracking is fast becoming a buzzword of our times. As the COVID-19 outbreak forced us all to adapt our working habits, our skills naturally changed too. Upskilling and reskilling spiked last year, and the challenge managers are facing right now is how to track these developments.
This article will guide you through the essential whys and hows of skills tracking.
Why skills tracking is vital for success
Strong skills tracking ensures that your employees are always able and sufficiently qualified to meet the needs of your business. As a company grows, evolves, and adapts, so too must its workforce. It is vitally important to stay compliant and practice safe working every time: skills tracking guarantees this.
Skills tracking also has the added benefit of improving internal communications. By being actively engaged with the skill development of every employee will increase retention rates. Employees will feel valued and listened to. An issue that is more pressing than ever as the shift in working habits has led to a breakdown in communication for many companies. Skills tracking is one way to motivate and spark connections within your teams.
The “future of work” has a new buzzword: skills
Our world is not the same as it was with the “future of work” now a reality of today. Last year saw a boom in skills learning, as workers adapted to the circumstances. Many absorbed more tasks and more responsibilities. Whilst others took on entirely new roles. The landscape shifted to take on external pressures, and many businesses leaned heavily on upskilling for their contingency planning. In total, there was a 38 percent uptake in training activities last year over 2019.
The issue at hand is now sustainability: how do we ensure that our employees develop their skills at the rate of our business needs? Unfortunately, many companies have already slackened their grip on this, and reports have emerged of widespread dissatisfaction with how learning and development was rolled out. Ineffective skills tracking is plaguing some businesses, leading them to have costly skill gaps arise.
In short: the number of skills your employees hold has drastically increased, the industry itself has changed, and new standards and procedures are undoubtedly on the horizon. Keeping tabs on your skill developments has never been so important.
Six benefits of skills tracking
Effective skills tracking in your organization will improve employee satisfaction, sharpen your edge, and help guarantee that the skills you need and the skills you hold are perfectly aligned. Skills tracking can be seen as a way of ensuring that your business is watertight with no skills leakages.
There are six fundamental benefits of skills tracking for your business. Individually these benefits are great, yet when combined these benefits are formidable.
1. Workplace culture & reduction of staff turnover
Taking a keen interest in your employees’ skill development will improve your company culture. You’ll be creating a leaner and more agile team that feels in charge of their personal developments. This will improve both morale and job satisfaction. It will also make your workforce want to stay working with you.
2. Productivity on the shopfloor
Very simply, a workforce that wants to work will work. Your pride and commitment to developing your team will influence their attitudes toward the job at hand. Moreover, skills tracking ensures that your teams are sufficiently skilled and qualified to perform their tasks.
3. No more skills gaps
Skills tracking is an effective way of stopping gaps appearing between the skills you have and the skills you need. As your employees’ skills develop and the needs of your organization evolve, it is important to make sure they grow in unison. By doing so is a surefire way to maximize your potential. It also maintains standards and keeps auditors happy.
4. Sharper competitive edge
The natural transition from skills tracking is learning and development. When you know where improvements can be made, you’re going to make them, right? By continually optimizing your workforce, you’ll see improvements throughout your different departments. You’ll be fuller-bodied and therefore more competitive in your market.
5. Industry 4:0 ready
Keeping tabs on your workforce’s skills development is all the more important with the fourth industrial revolution upon us. As our equipment and processes become smarter, so must we. Not only are there heaps of fresh qualifications needing to be earned with new jobs emerging. Upskilling current positions should also be at the forefront of agendas. If it’s not, then be wary of that next audit!
6. Contingency planning set
As experience tells us, upskilling is vital for survival. It really should be a top theme for your contingency planning. A good understanding of the skills throughout your organization will help ensure continuity, no matter what the world may have in store.
The most effective ways to track your employees’ skills
There are many ways to track the skills and qualifications within your company. And depending on the type of industry you work in, as well as the specific role requirements you wish to track, will influence the method and tools you need to use to meet your needs.
A traditional method of skills tracking would be coaching and mentoring. This is when skills are physically assessed by an onlooker to gauge an employees’ development.
Another method is assessments using HR and Learning tools. This approach is utilized by nearly every type of large organization.
For some companies, the above methods might just do the job. Yet, should your organization’s success depend on your employees’ skills then you might need more specific skills tracking software. Especially if skills developments or skills gaps could have a direct business impact.
What areas of business can skills development directly impact?
Pretty much everywhere. If you have someone running a task who lacks the skills to do it, they will be underperforming. Even if they are completing the work, the final product is probably lacking in quality or productivity. By implementing a training program, this employee will have the necessary skills to complete the task and to complete it well. They will also be compliant if qualifications are necessary.
On a wider level, if the company you work for is committed to skills development its learning culture will improve. The business will thrive as it continually seeks to optimize its workforce. Research has shown that this also improves employees’ engagement and satisfaction with their company.
A closer look at skills tracking software
There is plenty of skills tracking software on the market which offers different services. If you are currently running a Learning Management Software (LMS) for your training activities, it’s likely, to some extent, that skills tracking is also available to you.
However, not all providers will consolidate all your data into one hub. It’s not uncommon for an LMS provider to only track the skills developments from the courses and modules that they offer. This means skills gaps can still occur. If tracking your employees’ skills, certificates and qualifications is mandatory for business continuity in your organization, then you might need dedicated skills tracking software.
As you’ve gotten this far through this article, we must agree that you need a more sophisticated skills accounting system that allows you to track skills development in a more profound way.
How AG5 Skills Intelligence Software can help you close your skills gaps
Optimizing day-to-day operations. That’s what we aim for when closely tracking skills development, right? You already have several HR, Learning and Training systems in place but none of them are offering you a centralized overview of your current and required skills to keep the business running.
A way to guarantee that skill gaps never occur is by taking on a third-party system. AG5 Skills Intelligence Software, for instance, allows you to track skills development and progress, regardless of where earned or maintained.
This way, you will benefit from a centralized skills hub where you can consolidate all of your employees’ skills data in one place. Want to know more?
Book a free demo to see how AG5 could help you track your skills.