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Do Your Employees Know The Path Forward?

Do your employees know the path forward?

I saw this post on Linkedin, and I think it does a great job of calling attention to the feelings your employees might be experiencing when they think about their ability to grow in your organization. I’ve often heard that the greatest gift you can give someone is clarity, and companies have an opportunity to rethink and possibly redefine the skills and competencies that employees will need to be successful at every level in an organization. Even if you think you have it figured out, this is a great time to stress test that and see if these competencies and skills have changed given how much work has changed.

How has communication been impacted in the last 12 months? Do you find that a deeper technical skillset is more important in a remote environment than it was in an office space? How have things like resilience and adaptability been factored in, and do your employees have the ability to hone these skills to ensure their continued success?

Personalized learning has been an increasingly popular solution for upskilling employees to meet these changing needs of work. The last year has changed the way we work and what we expect from people on our teams, and nothing caters to the individual learner like personalized learning. The key aspect to this strategy is that the solution meets each employee where they are, sets sights on where they need to be, and builds a learning path of skill development and behavior change that will get them there. 

In order to successfully implement a personalized learning strategy, it’s imperative that leadership takes stock of the skills and competencies needed as the company evolves. Skills assessments to determine where inventory is strong and where it needs to be developed will give you insight into where employees need resources. This allows you to prioritize based on business needs and existing ability. Once you know what you need and what you have, you can identify the best solution to build the path to where you need to be, and who will be involved. Importantly, these solutions need to be supported by leadership and measured over time in order to be successful and to generate the business results you need.

To sum up, every company should at minimum be clear about the specific skills and competencies required at every level in the organization. This is the only way employees will understand their path to growth, and it provides transparency into the employee lifecycle that eases some of the stress that comes from ambiguity around the individual’s future. Focusing on things like skills and competencies as they relate to a position removes some bias from the hiring and promotion process as well, which is an important strategy on the journey to inclusion.

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