Where are the hidden skills in your organisation?

You don’t always have to recruit externally in order to fill a skills gap. In fact, with a well-designed learning and development programme and leaders who know how to spot potential talent and understand an individual’s desire to expand their skill-set, you can save money by developing and recruiting from within your business.

Where to start

Ideally, you’ll build a skills, learning and development environment where this all becomes second nature and part of your everyday working approach, but every business has to start somewhere. Here are our top tips for businesses who don’t know what they don’t know:

  • Do a gap analysis – what is your short, medium-term and long-term business plan? What skills, attributes and knowledge do you need in your organisation – and in which roles – in order to help you achieve those business goals? Where are the gaps and how might you fill them?
  • Understand your current position – what do you know about the people who work for you? Do you understand where their particular skills lie and how they can be used to promote your success? Do you know which people are actively looking for learning and development opportunities?
  • Engage with your leaders – it’s managers who are interacting with your people every day who should be able to spot either a skills gap or a skill that isn’t being used to its full advantage. They should also be having regular conversations with their teams and with their peers so that they have a good, up-to-date picture of what’s happening across the organisation. You may want to invest in some training for leaders – particularly newly-promoted leaders – so that they understand the importance of this part of people management and how it can help the business.
  • Make sure your employee review processes support skills development – often, the review process is lacking in robustness in this area. It’s great practice to set targets for a current role and to talk about potential training opportunities, but by asking wider and more open questions and showing that there may be opportunities to either use current skills elsewhere or develop new skills that might be useful to the company, you are giving your people great development opportunities that will also benefit the company’s success.
  • Think about succession planning – leaders should always be thinking ahead; whether to their own succession planning, or seeing how positions and departments might change over time. Developing key skills and experience in people coming through your business can help you with future leadership planning too.

A good development programme helps you to reduce the cost of recruitment. It also empowers your people, resulting in a more skilled, knowledgeable and motivated workforce which in turn can reduce staff turnover and boost your employer reputation.

To find out how we can help with learning and development programmes, as well as putting together skills-based review planning and procedures, talk to us today.


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