Are you surprised that in the Knowledge economy:
93% of companies cannot link skills growth to corporate targets Source: CIPD
The digital skills gap could cost the UK £141 billion in GDP growth, according to Accenture. (Consultancy News January 2019)
60% of US employers believe their employees do not have the skills they need to succeed Source: McKinsey
The challenge of finding talent with the right skills means that organisations need to look at recruitment, development and retention differently. They need to work with the people they have and focus on improving their productivity by calibrating their skills to very tangible goals. And, research shows that people are more engaged and productive when they have clear goals to aim for.
So, how do you do that?
Do you know your team's current skills? What skills do you need right now that you don't have? What skills will you need in the next 12 months? Visualise your team's strengths, weaknesses and skills gaps. Armed with that information, you can work with each individual on their personal Development Plan.
Here are our top three tips:
1. Personalise their Development Plan.
Understanding the value of professional development goes a long way with both new and existing employees. Many people just don't see that it's essential in their job because a) it's never been explicitly "expected" of them and/or b) it's never been provided for them. Companies that personalise professional development plans have a much greater success motivating their people to learn. Structure the plans for each individual person's interests and career goals, with SMART goals, clear Skills Paths and guided micro-learning so that they can develop in both their current and future roles. Remember it's not always about chasing promotion - many great people are happy in their existing role so encourage them to achieve mastery, to be at the top of their game in their discipline. Remember, it's about personal achievement and their development adding value to the team.
2. Align Expectations.
Research shows that the biggest worry many people have at work is that they’ll become obsolete — that their skills are out of date: they will be overlooked for the best projects or worse, they will lose their jobs. The challenge here is aligning what they want to do with what the organisation needs them to deliver now and in the future. What do they need to master in their current role? What skills does the team need that they could develop? What is the product strategy and how should they develop to be part of it? Discuss the relevance in clear, uncertain terms describing what's in it for them, for the team and the long term goals.
3. Track and Visualise Success.
How does someone travel to a destination not knowing where the intended destination is? Professional athletes use visualisation techniques to see positive outcomes. Just visualising winning is a great motivator but to stay on track they set micro-goals and measure their progress towards target. Individuals and the team need to see their progress and gap towards target. How has learning that new skill moved them forward? How has that contributed to team success? What's the next micro-goal and where will it get them? Of course this means more than an annual review, it's frequent adaptive planning, with individuals and the team.
How do you calibrate your team's learning & development? We'd love to hear from you...