We know that employees are an essential component of any business and they need to be nurtured. That’s what talent management is about. Organisations need to build a highly skilled workforce capable of enhancing their offerings to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage. A skilled workforce is not only engendered through employing quality candidates but also through the continuous development of skills. By providing employees with the opportunity to develop additional skills and strengthen others, the organisation not only allows for personal career growth but increases the talent pool overall.
Successful organisations actively create and enforce plans that provide a comprehensive skills roadmap and guidelines for the development of their employees. The plan should stimulate a culture of self-improvement, ambition, and aspiration, with a concomitant impact on increased productivity and quality output.
The Department of Labour created the Skills Development Act of 2003 and applicable Amendments of 2008 in order to encourage employers to use the workplace as an active learning environment and to provide employees with opportunities to acquire new skills. This was crafted after the realisation that enhancing the skills of the employees provides both short and long-term benefits to the individual employees, as well as the organisation as a whole.
Understanding the value of a skills plan is great, but where do you start?
Organisations are required to develop a concise Workplace Skills Plan [WSP] that provides a structured approach to determine the type and amount of training required for the year, based on the current and future skills needed for the organisation.
No matter the deadlines, the reality is that creating a meaningful Workplace Skills Plan takes a considerable amount of time; requiring research, planning and foresight.
Begin with a comprehensive skills audit to gauge current skills levels versus the proficiency required, and don’t forget to communicate widely and frequently with employees during the process. The more information that employees have about the skills analysis; its origin and design, why their input is important, and what results talent management is likely to yield, the more inclined they are to participate fully.
Consider critical skills that are required for every level in the organisation, from general workers to the C-Suite, all aligned to key performance indicators.
Up-to-date role descriptions and competency dictionaries should be used as a baseline against which current skills levels can be measured through applying one-on-one structured interviews, self-assessment, direct supervisor assessment questionnaires, 360° reviews, benchmarking and competency assessments and examining performance versus scorecards and key performance indicators, to inform development plans.
Too tall an order? Give the team at Litha-Lethu a call. Our assessment process includes:
(a) a consolidated management report, specifying talent pools, strengths, and potential development areas
(b) individual feedback, with a suggested development plan to address weaknesses and capitalise on strengths, and
(c) the creation of a solid, meaningful Workplace Skills Plan.