All about skills mapping: Discover how to chart your team’s skills

SKL-Skills-mapping

It’s a fact that 87% of the world’s companies know that they have a skills gap in their professional teams. But if you count yourself among them, then are you sure you could identify and close such a gap in time? With a skills mapping strategy, you can achieve this.

Skills mapping is like a talent x-ray, that gives you a penetrating view of your team’s potential. It’s essential if you want to identify hidden talents and leverage them strategically for the growth of your company. But what exactly does the technique involve? In this article, we’ll explain what skills mapping is all about, and how you can apply it in your company.

What is skills mapping? The technique that every L&D leader should know about

Skills mapping is the process of identifying, evaluating and documenting the whole array of skills, knowledge and competencies that a team (or organization) possesses. It’s like carrying out a detailed talent inventory, allowing L&D leaders to better understand their team’s strengths (and limitations), and work out how they line up with wider business objectives.

With this knowledge, you can identify skills gaps, design personalized training programs, and ensure that the right talent is in the right position – every time.

Improved productivity, better organizational culture, and more: Discover the benefits of skills mapping

Skills mapping offers a host of advantages for companies that make good use of it. These include:

Optimized resource allocation

When you have a clear idea of the skills possessed by your professionals, you can allocate resources more efficiently. What does this mean in practice? Putting the right people on the right projects, thereby maximizing your workforce’s potential and ensuring that you don’t “waste” talent.

Increased productivity

Skills mapping can help you to match job responsibilities to individual strengths. The result? A results-oriented team that’s more productive and efficient.

Effectively identify training needs

As noted by eLearning Industry, skills mapping makes skills and knowledge gaps more visible to leaders. This, in turn, allows them to take informed steps to improve their employee training strategy accordingly.

Enhanced organizational culture

Skills mapping helps you to foster a culture of growth and development within your organization, while granting you the added bonus of improving talent retention and job satisfaction levels. And, naturally, when people feel that their skills are being properly recognized and valued, they tend to be more happy and committed at work.

How to implement skills mapping: 5 key steps

So, the time has come to take action. If you’re eager to implement skills mapping in your company, but don’t know where to start, then take note of the following key steps.

1. Define your objectives: What do you hope to achieve with skills mapping?

The first and most important step is to define the basic objectives of the skills mapping process. To do this, you’ll need to ask yourself a few fundamental questions, such as:

  • What type of skills do you want to identify?
  • Will you map the whole organization or just a specific team?
  • Are you looking to identify any skills gaps?
  • Do you want to develop personalized training programs?
  • What method will you use to visualize the skills mapping results?

2. Identify skills: What competencies are key for your organization?

Once you’ve defined your objectives, it’s time to identify the crucial skills that will lead to success for your organization. To do this, you should ask yourself the following question: ‘Which skills matter the most for the key roles in my company?’

With this knowledge in mind, you can document and analyze the competencies needed for each position – but make sure to consider both technical and soft skills!

3. Gather information: How can you evaluate your employees’ skills?

The next step is to gather specific information on your employees’ existing skills. To do this, you can use a variety of methods, from performance evaluations, skills tests and interviews, right through to feedback from supervisors and colleagues. You might also opt for an outsourced solution, or draft in an expert to help you with a skills analysis.

4. Chart your skills map: What skills does your team really possess?

This stage will let you see how the land really lays. With the information you’ve collected, you can now put together your company’s skills map. This will give you a visual means of identifying each person or team’s skills, and cross-checking them against the current needs of the organization.

5. Develop an action plan: How can you help your employees cultivate the skills they need?

Don’t allow all of your efforts to go to waste! This last step goes a little further than the actual skills mapping, and asks you to develop an action plan to address the skills gaps you’ve discovered. The measures you take could include training and development programs, focused project assignments, or mentoring delivered by more experienced employees.

Common challenges when mapping skills (and how to overcome them)

As we’ve seen, skills mapping can grant many benefits to companies that apply the technique. However,when seeking to implement it effectively you are likely to encounter certain obstacles. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common challenges that can arise when mapping skills, and how to overcome them:

  • Resistance to change

As with any new process, employees are likely to feel fear and resistance to change when you attempt to implement skills mapping. Some may even feel threatened or uncomfortable with the idea of being evaluated based on their abilities.

How can you overcome this challenge? Above all, you’ll need to clearly and transparently communicate the benefits of skills mapping, emphasizing how it can help employees to develop on an individual level.

  • A lack of accurate data

Another common challenge is a lack of accurate data on employee skills. Additionally, it can sometimes be difficult to objectively evaluate a person’s skills, especially if there are no formal evaluation systems in place.

To properly address this challenge, ensure that you use various evaluation methods on a regular basis, and collect data from multiple sources such as those we’ve mentioned above (monitoring, feedback, etc.). This will let you take an accurate and updated snapshot of your teams’ skills.

  • Dynamism in skills

Skills are constantly evolving in the professional field, and those that are considered the most important today may matter less in a few months’ time. Market demands, technological advances, and changes in regulation can all influence which skills are needed to perform certain roles. Because of this, it’s crucial that your skills mapping is a dynamic and adaptable process, and that the specific strategy you utilize is frequently updated.

Tools to help you implement skills mapping in your organization

So, how does skills mapping work in practice? Today, there are many tools available that make it easy to chart, evaluate and visualize your team’s skills. Below, we consider two of the most common:

  • Tools for initial assessment

One of the most important ways to evaluate your team’s knowledge and skills is through initial assessments. These typically take the form of tests, quizzes, projects, or focused tasks, taken before a new course or training program is implemented.

Tools like this can help you to quickly identify skills gaps, and make more informed decisions on talent development and resource allocation.

  • Talent development and training platforms

As we’ve mentioned, the skills mapping implementation process is not simply about visualizing existing skills. It’s vitally important to form an action plan that responds to the competencies mapping, and for this, training and development platforms are essential. Take for example, isEazy Skills, which brings you the most complete catalog of power skills courses on the market.

Through its new Skills Hub tool, which combines a recommendation feature with advanced artificial intelligence, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently access the training resources most relevant to your needs – and the ones that best line up with your training objectives.

Boost your skills mapping strategy with isEazy Skills

In the current labor landscape, where the skills needed to succeed are constantly changing, it’s vital to have an agile and adaptable strategy for managing talent. Skills mapping not only helps you to identify your team’s existing skills, but also helps you to prepare for the future, and implement the training plans your employees truly need.

Are you ready to maximize your team’s potential? Request a demo of isEazy Skills today, and start successfully applying your very own comprehensive talent development strategy.

Josefina Castelán

CONTENT CREATED BY:

Josefina Castelán

Content Marketing Specialist at isEazy

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