The success of every business, no matter the industry, depends not only on the size of their teams, but on the skills that every team member possesses. However, continued changes in company strategies and client demands mean that the skills currently in use by a business may not be the ones needed in the future. But it can be difficult, especially in a time of slim margins and unpredictable markets, to simply fill these skills gaps with new hires.
To stay successful and be prepared for future demands, today’s companies must turn to resource skills development as an organic means of growing their teams. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how to begin this process. But with the right strategy, your organization can steadily grow stronger and have greater abilities to tap for a constantly changing future.
Finding Existing Skills
Growing your team’s skills is important, but first you have to know what skills may be hiding within the ranks of your company.
Having a resource management solution that contains a resource skills library where each team member’s abilities can be cataloged and organized for more informed task assignments. Having this in place will help in ensuring that all your available skills are put to use, but should be expanded through meeting with your team members and having them add any other applicable skills they may have. These should be relevant to your current and future business needs as well as skills that they would be comfortable with using, which may expand or shift their roles within the organization. In either case, seeing where your untapped potential is must come first in this organic development process.
Encouraging Employee Growth
While it’s one thing to determine that you would like for your employees to develop their less-used skills, it’s another to have them devote the time and focus necessary.
Resource skills development should be incentivized and encouraged in various way. There is, of course, always monetary incentive for team members who expand the scope of their skills and the ways in which they support your company. However, providing the time and space necessary for skill growth can often be incentive enough when an employee is passionate about growing. If a team member is expected to grow their unused skills while also still providing the same amount of work they would otherwise, they may choose to not take you up on the offer as they may see it as too much hassle. However, giving them these career opportunities with the space for a learning curve can naturally lead to development.
Allowing for Organic Development
Now that you have identified potential skills to grow and the team members who are willing to put effort into growing them, it’s time to provide your resources with the opportunity to do so.
While there may not be many opportunities yet at your organization for these potential skills to be used, or that using them on client-facing projects may be too high risk, internal projects can often provide the best opportunity. Identify smaller or lower risk internal projects that can put your team members’ skills to use and then begin assigning them to these employees. Provide guidelines, timelines, goals, and appropriate management for these projects and allow your resources to provide feedback and their needs as the project progresses. The success or failure of these projects can show how developed their skills are and not put pressure on employees whose careers should not be judged for taking a risk that managers encouraged. Slowly, these internal projects can turn toward client-facing projects and these roles can become official parts of their job descriptions, making your existing teams even more robust.
Pushing Training Forward
Now that your team members have sharpened their skills through use and begun to make them an important part of your organization, it’s time for official training.
Evaluate how much your team members will benefit from training and how the resulting skills will benefit your organization throughout the coming years before spending money on courses. However, with the right fit, your employees can take on new and bigger roles that will expand the effectiveness of your organization as it currently is. As a result, you’ll need fewer contract employees and will not need to rapidly expand your full-time team members to meet changing skill demands when done right.
With resource skills development, you will grow a stronger team, employees who are likely to stay with your company for much longer than they would otherwise, and a wealth of skills that you will be able to put to use for newer, better, more profitable projects in the years to come.
Putting Your Resource Skills to Their Best Use
Growing your resource skills is only half the battle. You need to be able to use your teams effectively. With our free ebook, “Agile Resource Management,” you can have stronger, more informed strategies toward your team’s development and long-term success.