How do you work more skills-based within your company?

Today’s talents take on many different roles and work on multiple projects, requiring a diverse set of skills, with new ones constantly emerging.

Being adaptable and able to quickly adjust to a constantly shifting market is now a prerequisite for securing future competence. Companies need to find other ways to conduct their work that promote competitiveness.

A skills-based organization is aware of its collective competence and can quickly identify specific business challenges. They use their data to gain insights into which talent to recruit next, how to develop the skills of their employees, and which competencies they need to strengthen in order to bridge the competence gap.

The job title itself has long defined the notion of work. It has specified who performs the work, how the work should be done, who leads the work, and how HR and management teams support their employees in terms of career development. Companies have managed work based on predetermined job titles with a clear hierarchy.

However, conducting work in this way can hinder a company’s growth and innovation opportunities, their ability to create a meaningful and inclusive workplace for their talents, and their ability to build competitiveness.

Skills-based model increasingly important

It is evident that an increasing number of companies are recognizing the importance of competency-based work. During the fall of 2022, Deloitte released the study The skills-based organization: A new operating model for work and the workforce. It shows that companies are receptive to moving away from the static occupation-based work model in favor of new ways to organize their operations.

New technology is affecting

Despite the positive attitude, fewer than one in five respondents indicate that they work in a skills-based manner throughout their entire organization to a significant extent. 61 percent of business leaders explain that new technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence, which require new competencies, will be the primary driver for their organization to transition to a competency-based approach to work.

Meanwhile, 85 percent of those surveyed in HR indicate that they are considering reshaping work practices to allow for a more flexible flow of competencies within the organization in the coming years.

These conclusions indicate that companies have an understanding of the need to shift to a new way of working. However, the ability to implement it in practice is wavering, as many companies still manage their overall competency in an unstructured and outdated manner.

McKinsey’s report, Taking a skills-based approach to building the future workforce, highlights several challenges that companies face when adopting a competency-based approach. These challenges include validating competencies, finding the right candidates, and identifying which competencies need to be recruited. Challenges like these can be addressed with effective tools within Skills Management.

How can companies prepare for a future that is difficult to define?

The company’s ability to deliver lies in knowing what competencies are available and what competencies the company currently possesses. Only then can action be taken.

The willingness to shape a business where competence is the focus indicates a strong need to build an organization based on its true requirements. This need has become even more pronounced in today’s changing and competitive market, with a glaring skills shortage combined with the difficulty of retaining talent.

To maintain competitiveness, companies must shift their focus from a static approach with locked job roles to a dynamic work landscape with fluid competency flows.

Building a dynamic work environment also promotes motivation and creativity within the company. Employees’ work is valued based on the competence they bring to the organization, rather than their job title or educational level. You define each individual based on their unique set of personal qualities, motivations, dreams, and competencies.

A powerful solution to today’s challenges

This way of working also signals the opportunity for lifelong learning. Talent is not locked into a specific role but can constantly develop their competencies.

A skills-based approach allows companies to choose from a larger pool of potential candidates during the recruitment process. Additionally, it strengthens the chances of retaining current employees due to good opportunities for internal advancement.

The right conditions to succeed

Companies that focus on their growth and provide a learning-oriented corporate culture also prioritize their collective competence and the value of constantly developing it. Thanks to technological advancements, it is now possible for companies to work based on competence.

With digital tools, it is both fast and efficient to match the right competence with the right task, visualize employees’ ambitions and future goals, and manage business, projects, and staffing in a unified flow. These concrete prerequisites enable organizations to work based on competence.

Skills-based work in practice

  • The organization plans and manages its work based on skills, not specific job roles/job titles.
  • When working based on skills, you harness all the competence within the company.
  • The approach allows companies to increase the number of potential candidates. At the same time, there is a greater chance that current employees will stay due to good opportunities for internal advancement.
  • With digital tools, you get the right conditions to successfully work based on competencies.

Do you also want to work more skills-based?

Mattias Loxi, Co-Founder / CMO

Mattias is one of the founders of Cinode. Now in Marketing and Sales - runs the most popular blog and newsletter "Veckans konsultnyheter" about the Swedish consulting Industry. Also runs the podcast "Konsultpodden as well as a lot of Speaking engagement. Add him in Linkedin

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