How Skills Planning Can Help Your Company Achieve 6 Types of Transformations
All organizations will face a significant change at some point during their existence. How business leaders respond to these changes will determine the success -- and sometimes survival -- of the organization. While aligning resources, capital, and systems with business goals is a crucial part of a successful transformation, aligning your skills and capabilities is equally important.
Your workforce is your greatest asset and often the slowest to change. Replacing resources, raising capital, and altering systems can be done with little friction. Changing people, on the other hand, can be a real challenge. Business leaders need to account for this friction when planning for significant shifts that affect their workforce.
How can you manage this vital aspect of change? Start with skills planning.
What is Skills Planning?
Skills planning is a tool that provides a snapshot of the current skills and capabilities of your workforce. It can help you recognize skills gaps and provide a clear vision for how your workforce needs to change or grow.
Let's take a look at how skills planning can help you strategize for different types of business transformations that affect your workforce.
Maximize Organizational Restructuring
An excellent skills plan tracks and organizes skills data at a department, team, and individual level. You can identify gaps across groups of employees, or you can drill down into personal skills and capabilities.
When the goal of these changes is to improve operational efficiencies and business outcomes, companies need to be intentional about employee placement. The ability to look at the workforce from a broad and narrow perspective allows business leaders to align skills with future business goals. Managers can ensure that they continue to develop high-performing teams by pairing complementary skill sets.
Maximize M&A Synergies
A skills plan can help executives maximize M&A results before any transactions take place. The purpose of M&A is for the combined force to be stronger than the separate companies, generating synergies. Your people are a significant factor is realizing these synergies.
In preparation for M&A talks, a skills plan informs leaders of the gaps in their current workforce. From this information, they can choose the ideal partner whose workforce complements their own and fills those existing gaps.
A skills plan can help you evaluate potential synergies ahead of time. If you recognize where your gaps reside and what skills you need to acquire from an M&A, you can assess a potential acquisition more effectively and prepare a post-merger strategy.
Congratulations, you’re growing and expanding! If you want to maintain your cost efficiencies and continue to turn a profit, you need to hire people that will get results and successfully fill the existing holes in your workforce.
A skills plan allows you to compare the current skills and capabilities of your workforce to the ideal skills and capabilities of your expanded workforce. This data enables you to identify, plan, and align your hiring strategy with the goals of your expansion plan.
Tap into New Markets
Similar to expansion, your company may be tapping into new markets. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to hire more people, but your teams will need to be equipped with the right skills and capabilities to make the leap. A skills plan helps you evaluate whether your organization is fully prepared to take on a new market or if your employees will require additional training or realignment before you make the big move.
Prepare for Digital Transformation
It's no secret that leading a successful digital transformation is challenging. Your workforce needs to be ready with the right skills and capabilities to succeed in the digital era.
Preparing your workforce for a digital shift requires more in-depth planning than some of the transformations mentioned. Why? Digital hard skills often require extensive training, which takes time and consistent effort from employees. Hiring won't provide a quick fix either. There is currently a shortage of digital skills, particularly among top experts.
What does all this mean? Business leaders need to plan if they want to lead a digital transformation that produces profitable, long-term results. Use a skills plan to identify these gaps early and prepare a plan that introduces new skills and strengthens existing skills over a reasonable period of time.
If you want to see the performance and efficiency gains from digital, you must ensure your workforce is well prepared to handle new technologies and processes.
Prepare To Pivot
Pivoting is a well-known concept in Silicon Valley because it happens to the majority of young companies. Pivoting is when a company decides to shift its value proposition because its product or service isn't meeting the needs of the current market.
If you're pivoting, it doesn't mean you will never see success. Pivoting means you are trying something different. However, your company needs to be prepared to pivot, or you could find yourself returning to the same unprofitable situation. Use a skills inventory to ensure your team has the right skills and capabilities to make this change efficiently.
Do you have the right skills to make a hard turn? If not, you need to invest in training or find new team members. There isn't any room and capital for failure. Don't let your team be the reason you go out of business.
Transformations can require risky decision-making and strategy. As a business leader, you want to ensure your decisions are backed by data. A skills plan allows you to turn a highly subjective area of business, your workforce, into a clear picture of skills and capabilities. That way you can feel more confident in your decisions and lead your organization through a profitable transformation.
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