Talent, in many organizations, seek learning and development opportunities to advance their careers. They often look to their employer for support and guidance. Therefore, it is important for organizations to provide structured learning. However, many employees may not know where to start when it comes to their professional and career development. Organizations have the unique opportunity to provide the “where to start” for employees in conjunction with developing the skills necessary for the overall goals of the organization.
Research conducted by the National Technical University of Athens notes “competency-based management has become a very crucial element in the effective operation of an enterprise or an organization, due to the increased need of the latter to be agile enough to adapt to quick market changes and re-orientation of their business plan.”
Therefore, first and foremost, the organization needs to establish what the business goals are and what needs to be done to complete those goals. For example, if an organization has the goal of launching an app, it’s likely that the need for skilled-coders and marketers will be necessary to achieve that goal. You can also use national surveys, to identify where the implications of talent or skill shortage are (or is coming).
From there, organizations can begin to compile an ongoing, continuously updated list of in-demand skills that support business objectives. Having a strategic approach like this for developing employees will ensure the efficiency and productivity of your workforce.
Next steps include using assessments to understand where your skills gap is, pairing that with your organizational goals, and identifying employees to fill that skills gap.
If your organization has succession plans in the near future, it’s important to emphasize identifying employees that can fill those leadership roles. Developing learning paths for these employees can ensure that your organization has the competencies it needs in the right places moving forward.
Develop learning paths for employees by providing them with a structured approach to their development. Create and provide a variety of paths for different employees to follow based on their career interests and goals, as well as the organization’s interests and goals. Assessments are a great tool for considering promotions and job changes and reviewing team and department make-ups which ultimately aid in the creation of learning paths and Individual Development Plans (IDPs) These IDPs not only help an employee work through their learning path but with the performance review process as well. Ensure that managers in your organization are clear and effective in creating IDPs for employees. Managers also must assume the responsibility to measure the performance of the employee relative to the IDP and learning path.
Beyond creating and documenting these paths, it’s important for organizations to also provide the resources for employees to accomplish these goals.
Work with a learning and development organization on what your goals are and have them provide ongoing support for employees, design formal training, and assess training effectiveness.
The success of learning path implementation at your organization greatly depends on your organization’s ability to effectively hold learners accountable. Be sure that employees and managers are mapping out year-long plans to achieve their learning goals and being held accountable for their progress moving through the learning path.