When companies are asked about their competitive advantage, you often hear them reply, “our employees and their competences”. But if you dig deeper, only a few know what competences the company have vs what they need to grow. Even fewer know who has what competence and on which level except their closest managers.
Few areas within a company lack corporate insights as this - what core and keyresources the company has. But still, companies claim it is crucial for future success.
Competence exists at the individual level but...
Many companies know more about their customers, machines and inventories than they know about their employees. Once a year, maybe twice, the competence development plans are updated as a part of a review meeting between the employee and manager. It’s documented on an individual level, meaning that the company has access to the data but on an individual level. The data isn't aggregated to allow for greater insights!
Can you easily and fast filter and sort your entire company’s competences and roles? Is that information kept in silos or are you transparent with other units about your high performers?
Can you sum up the potential effect of higher competences and better development plans for your business? How does it help you reach your company’s overall targets?
So, if you don’t know this, how do you then recruit, make plans or forecasts? How do you know where to go, if you do not know where you are today.
Aggregate your competence data
Let’s start to create and structure data about your competences in your company. It will be evident for you and your people that this is the most important thing for you to be competitive. Let’s ask and involve people for real in their own development, not only once a year but daily.
Let’s take lead
So, what company or industry is leading this change?
That is the consultant industry, an industry that sells competences as a business idea. They need to know about their peoples’ competences and experiences, make the information available and share it with others to win new contracts. They also need to keep the people motivated and help them grow even further.
You can take this so much further!
A fast movement with a more global workforce and new networks of competences are pushing this industry to develop. Companies that have realized this and work actively with their people have better retention rates and higher profitability. Other industries will have to follow and change how they work with competences and how they develop the people that are supposed to develop their companies.
The first step is to make it easy for the consultant to specify preferred areas of development, meaning help your employees grow their competences to keep them motivated.
The second step is to have the consultant's development areas visible for all people in the company, especially those working with finding new customers and managing assignments. It makes it easier to match consultants with assignments that will continue to develop them.
The third step is to aggregate the competence data from employees and assignments to analyse competence gaps, get indicators of competence shortage and trending development areas.