Solve the Internal Skills Mismatch, Increase Engagement and Performance

November 20, 2017 | IBM | HCI
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Modern life can be chaotic. Automation, AI, demographic shifts, globalization, political instability, and regulatory uncertainty are the hallmarks of our age. Navigating the changes these competing trends cause is challenging both at the enterprise level and for individual employees.

On one level, your organization must adapt to tectonic shifts in the economy by identifying and prioritizing the specific knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for your workforce to successfully execute business strategy. On another level, your employees need to know what they’re responsible for, how to be successful in their current roles and how to prepare for their next roles.  Misalignment between your human capital strategy and the facts on the ground will cause confusion and disengagement among your people -- further impeding the successful execution of strategy.

Your employees deserve a clear understanding of what’s required to perform in their current roles.

Have you ever looked at the official description for the job you have now and thought, “Is that what I’m supposed to be doing?”

When your org chart, job titles, or roles and responsibilities don’t reflect the reality of your organization’s operations, it creates confusion for new hires and establishes unnecessary hurdles in getting work done. While it is impossible to formally define every detail of every expectation in a given job, your employees need a clear sense of what they own and perhaps more importantly, what they don’t.  

This information impacts almost every aspect of your team’s daily tasks, performance management, compensation and career development. The least we can do is ensure the information aligns with the reality of employees’ work and supports the current and future needs of the business.

Define your future talent needs and be transparent about it.

Many problems in life are information problems, and most of those are actually lack of information problems. Let’s say your organization determines that a certain proficiency in data analysis will be crucial to your business strategy. This skill requirement might be top of mind among your workforce planning team or your talent acquisition center of excellence, but if your employees don’t know this skillset is about to become incredibly valuable, you are shortchanging them and the organization. Give your team members a chance to focus their personal development on areas that will increase their value to the business.

Similarly, if certain competency or skills profiles are about to become less valuable in your organization, you should consider communicating that information as well. Approach this as an opportunity to support future-focused career paths for your employees and help them develop toward their next position.

Though this process isn’t easy, clearly defined roles, competencies and career paths that align to both the present and future business needs will go a long way in improving the engagement and performance of your workforce.

Want more on this topic? Listen to the on-demand version of HCI’s webcast to learn how SunTrust Bank worked with IBM’s future-oriented job and skill profiles to drive both a cultural and operational transformation.