What Are The Business Benefits of Having A Skills Inventory?


As we dive into the age of digital transformation, the skills gap continues to expand. According to PWC’s 2019 CEO Survey, “availability of key skills” moved from 5th to 3rd amongst issues CEOs perceive as threats to organizational growth.

Businesses should always track their workforce’s skills and capabilities. Without this data, leaders could be making uninformed business decisions that are costing them valuable time, money, and talent. How can businesses avoid the consequences of a looming skills gap?  

Try a skills inventory.

A skills inventory 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.

Skills inventories are meant to be dynamic. As your company grows so should your skills inventory. That way when the next business opportunity presents itself, you have a clear understanding of what your company is capable of.

Let’s take a look at some of the specific ways a skills inventory can help you optimize your workforce and improve your business outcomes.

Know Your Current Skills and Capabilities To Plan for Sustainable Future Initiatives

Through the collection of data about the skills and capabilities of your people, you will create an inventory of your workforce. You can then plan more effectively for future business objectives, like an expansion. A skills inventory allows you to compare skill levels across your departments and identify where the gaps reside. Not only can you address these gaps to improve your current business strategy but also generate actionable plans. You will know where you need to hire, retrain, or outsource, allowing you to make data-driven, cost-effective business decisions.

In young companies, a skills inventory can also help you avoid a talent shortage stemming from high growth. By understanding your current capabilities, you can align your growth strategy with your talent strategy to avoid a shortage of key skills during a crucial turning point in your business.

Prepare Your Workforce to Ensure a Smooth Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is an inevitable change many organizations will face in the coming years. As a business leader, you may be asking yourself “Is my company prepared to address this change? Do we have the technical skills necessary to make these changes?  What skills will we need to hire for or re-train our employees in? And how much will all this cost?”

A skills inventory can answer these heavy-hitting questions by revealing the current skills and capabilities of your workforce, where the gaps reside, and what you need to change to transition your company smoothly into the digital era.

Build Dynamic Teams That Win Business and Get Results

Companies are turning to more dynamic teams to meet the growing demand for speed, performance, and reliability expected from modern products and services. With everything connected 24/7, there is no grace period anymore. Rapid adaptability has become the key to success.

In response, companies are deploying cross-functional, dynamic teams. Ideally, these teams leverage an assortment of skills, roles, and people that best align with project requirements.

Building a team that produces results requires more than a diverse group of people. It involves a strategic combination of hard and soft skills. Instead of relying on job descriptions or word-of-mouth recommendations, a skills inventory provides managers with the data they need to position their teams and projects for success.  

Retain and Attract Experts To Elevate Your Competitive Advantage

Lastly, a skills inventory can help you identify and retain experts in your field by refining the recruitment process and driving an environment of continuous learning. Lack of career development is the top reason employees leave their jobs. Keeping your top talent is already challenging, especially in fields experiencing a skills shortage like data science. Tailored development driven by the needs of your workforce can help ensure your employees feel they are continuing to grow in their individual careers with your organization. In return, your experts will strengthen your workforce, help you develop high-performance teams, and win more business for your organization.

These are just a few key benefits of developing a skills inventory. Analyzing the current skills and capabilities of your workforce can help you proactively avoid skills gaps, maximize your experts, and make key business decisions that are backed by data-driven insights. Your workforce is your greatest asset and should be leveraged to maximize business results, just like any other resource. Take the first step and start developing a skills inventory today.


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Allison Davis