The idea of competency is usually misunderstood in the business environment. Although some managers completely neglect skill development to improve their employees’ potential, others still confuse the concept of training with coaching. So now is the time to put your ideas back in order. Why is it important to continuously develop the skills of employees and how should you do it? This is what you will learn from this article.
Why Develop Your Employees Skills?
Skills development and performance
Developing employee skills narrows down to instilling in them essential know-how and interpersonal skills needed for their professional growth. Whether it involves simple improvement in a particular development area or a real apprenticeship, skill development remains important. In the end, professional development gives an organization the opportunity to take advantage of internal talents, thus, optimizing the overall performance.
Skill development concerns all employees in the organization. However, it is adopted based on the challenges faced by the company and the organizational goals and objectives. As such, it can improve productivity as well as mastery of hard skills. Professional coaching also entails improving soft skills, as in the case of managerial coaching where employees learn about leadership, listening, confidence, and communication skills.
Professional development furthers professional mobility. This is a criterion of excellent performance and attractiveness particularly in France where 64% of the working population think of changing their jobs at least 3 times throughout their career.
Skill Development and Well being
Professional development of employees can significantly improve the success of an organization. Thus, it is important to take the issue of professional upskilling seriously.
Developing competencies of every employee fosters a positive climate for growth and productivity. The corporate culture, for a good reason, is centered on continuous improvement programs. This means that new skill development is a small revolution that rewards companies though improved performance and motivated workforce. When companies invest in skill reinforcement, they are able to motivate their employees. The employees themselves will also feel valued and considered by the company.
What is a Skill Development Plan?
Employment law in France encourages every employer to ensure that every employee adapts to their work environment and remains employed. As such, leaders are put into task to establish an effective skills development plan, initially known as a corporate training plan. The plan for skill development describes all the groundwork actions needed to improve employee performance.
Steps to Create Your Employee Skills Development Plan
When well planned, an upskilling plan can help employees stay within the firm longer and happier. Here are the steps needed to create a skill development plan.
- Analyze the existing skill gap
To create a skill development plan, the first step will involve figuring out gaps in the employee skills that need upgrading. A need analysis can be helpful in determining the missing skills as well as the specific employees that need the training first. Analyzing these needs gives you the opportunity to meet your goals and objectives. By understanding what is already working for you, the training efforts will be fostered towards the gaps, thus, maximizing the benefits.
- Identify individual employees for leadership and professional growth
The next step involves identifying the high potential employees that are ready and willing to learn to enhance their professional growth potential. Focus the training efforts on the identified employees, not only promoting their skill development, but also engaging them in management and leadership training. An interesting idea is that employees who are demoralized may get motivated to stay when they see a company’s efforts in developing their careers. Thus, corporate training helps in developing talent.
- Align employees’ goals with company goals
After identifying areas of skill and interested workforce, ensure that the goals of individuals and that of the company align. A skill development plan can only be effective when employees are involved. Put into consideration your employee’s professional goals as well as their goals in the company in order to strengthen succession plans.
- Help employees grow with the company
An upskilling plan should not only focus on the company’s growing potential. It should consider both the firm and the industry. Do you plan to explore a different industry? How many leaders do you want to train in the next 5 or 20 years? Are there people in the company who are ready to take it to the next level? Include these concerns in the upskilling program.
- Adopt employee development plan templates
Once you have decided to train your employees, there are several templates to make the process easier. You may consider an individual employee development plan template that helps in reflecting the personal career goals of each employee and how these align with the organization. Another common template is succession planning, which will guide the company into figuring out its needs in terms of skills.
- Fit the training process with the skill development task
After choosing the career development plan for your organization, ensure the training process fits the task. For example, when offering leadership training, it is important to adopt the following approaches:• Mentorship
• Job shadowing
• Cross training
On the other hand, upskilling involves different tools to enhance employee knowledge and competencies. As such, some of the approaches of training will include on-the-job training, microlearning, or experiential learning.
- Track results to monitor progress
How will you know if your skill development plan is working? Take your effort and time to assess the success of the plan and possible trouble spots. Organize regular meetings with your team members to see if the training is efficient through their feedback. Identify any possible challenges making it hard to follow through with the plan. Make sure to adjust the teaching so as to make the time available, effective, and easier.
An organization has the complete freedom to identify the right employees for the innovative training programs. However, the selection should not be biased on the basis of sexual orientation, ethnic origin, age, or gender. A professional development program may also be initiated at the request of employees. While the request should be initiated in writing or orally, the employer has the responsibility of giving consent so that employees can benefit from their desired professional goals.
Note that employee skill development is not compulsory to every employer, but a strongly recommended program for the enterprise’s growth. Indeed, it focuses on talent acquisition and employee retention as it specifically fights against the drain of talent.
How to Develop the Skills of Your Employees
Value each individual to develop global skills
The entire company always benefits from the quality work and motivation of each employee, as the overall performance improves. Valuing a team member starts from the onboarding, a process of helping a new hire to settle into their role in the enterprise. After onboarding, offering them training gives the perspective of evolution which will enhance their motivation and engagement.
Thanks to the digital corporate university, mobile learning and blended learning strategies, every employee has the high potential to develop interpersonal and know-how skills in the job environment.
3 steps to improve individual skills
The process of developing individual skills involves the following three steps:
The first step to individual skills development is assessment of the needs that employees require to accomplish their professional goals. The assessment of the needs beforehand ensures that the enterprise only invests in a program that properly targets the skills of the staff and capability of the organization.
In simple terms, assessment entails looking at every employee and evaluating whether they have the skills and knowledge needed, and what should be done to improve them. This involves considering the role of every operator in regards to the organizational goals then measuring the competency levels as well as available skills and knowledge. When a mismatch of the available skills and needed skills has been identified, the company should then identify the right corporate training program to fill the gap.
When performing individual assessment, managers need to assess who is to gain from the training, either as an individual or as a group. This is because performance gaps may not be throughout the firm. With performance gaps, managers can evaluate whether the skills lacking are just for a few individuals or the whole team. The gap identification helps to personalize training towards individuals.
Skill training is not an end to itself. To make sure that the money, effort, and time invested is worthwhile, a company must validate the corporate training program. This involves evaluating the program elements to ensure that they meet the objectives and succeeds in raising employee productivity.
Validation can occur in several ways. One most significant way is through the use of performance measures to check for the success of the process. It may also involve improved performance measures within the staff, including speed of performance and number of repeated clients.
Evaluation is also part of the validation phase. With already conducted assessment and collected feedback, managers and leaders are able to have a clear snapshot of capabilities of their team members as well as available skills and knowledge. This information, once evaluated, should be used to create an effective program that enables employees to achieve their goals and targets.
Skill upgrading requires that managers put in place a plan that enhances the release of the potential of every staff member, and ensure that their professional results can be achieved in the end. The plan sets out what a company desires to achieve in a training program and how it intends to achieve this.
Part of the planning process is needs assessment. This involves understanding the goals of every employee, what they expect from the company, how the management feels about improving employee skills, and identified needs that the program should fulfill.
Professional Coaching in the Skills Development Process
Digital professional coaching
Digital learning is the most recent professional development tool currently. It allows for distance learning through competent online coaching. This gives the learner the benefit of flexibility as well as personalized professional support. With digital coaching, trainees get support at every stage through instant messaging and videoconferencing.
Aside from the fact that online skill development is affordable and scalable, it is considered a more effective approach to skill development compared to traditional workshop programs. At the center of the learning experience is a coach or a leadership trainer. The digital coach combines the elements of coaching, peer groups, mentoring and other new tools that promote a full training experience.
Some of the benefits of digital coaching include:
- Automate the easy training components
Traditional coaches always feel that they waste a lot of time on administrative tasks that have less value. Digital coaching applies technology such as algorithms that support the training process, allowing the coach to be efficient and effective in providing content. Technology allows coaches to have group discussions with clients through automated processes.
- Deliver growth and consistency
In a traditional setup, trainees may work with several coaches who probably will come with different experiences. This might be okay if all the coaching styles are effective, but won’t it be better if you get consistent experience as much as possible?
Digital coaching integrates different approaches, which are tailored to each individual. In particular, the process automates the toolkit for coaching, including only activities that can help the trainee to grow.
- Enhances human contact
Most of the coach’s roles in digital training are supported by technology. This does not mean the coach is replaced, the relationship with the client will always remain critical. The coach instead keeps in contact with the client through technology platforms such as email, text, video conferencing, and one-on-one meetings.
In addition, digital coaching uses effective tools that create deeper and more connected relationships. During skill training, a digital coach would be able to offer more frequent contact through frequent responses and discussions through messaging or other activities that are more effective than the traditional coaching approaches. The platforms used may enable a coach to involve high-level listening and scrutinizing communication nuances more efficiently.
- Personality assessment
Professional coaching is crucial to every employee with the help of the DISC vs MBTI assessment conducted. With coaching, individuals are able to gain insight on their behavior and personality, which impact their performance at work. Disc assessment focuses on the dominant behavioral types, including dominance, influence, conscientiousness, and steadiness. MBTI, on the other hand, focuses on personality traits as well as sensing, thinking, and judging abilities.
- Makes coaching better
The main reason for considering digital training is to improve the experience of employees, while also ensuring the process remains affordable and flexible. With development tools that are productive, the learning process is easier to assimilate and the learning materials provide complete educational experience for learners.
At CoachHub, all of our coaching, whether individual or collective, are done entirely online. But this does not mean your personal details are not secure. Indeed, our e-learning platform fully complies with the regulations stipulated by RGPD, is SSL certified, and stores data in accordance with the industrial standards of ISO 27001.
Return on Investment
Digital coaching is considered a ROI development tool, as digital learning programs cost much less compared to face-to-face programs. The primary objective of professional development is to boost performance and enhance employee retention and career mobility, thus, promoting the company’s employer brand. Here are the key ROI benefits of digital coaching:
At the company level, digital coaching is considered a cost-effective project that can help the employer branding strategy, because it reduces the training cost and time required by eliminating travel needs. In a digital corporate university, the programs are segmented through pedagogical content that enables connection between training and roles. This way, the process rarely affects the productivity of individual employees.
At the team level, digital coaching is efficient as it strengthens the cohesion between team members. It involves communication strategies necessary for experience, learning, and collective experimentation. Online coaches dispense instructions uniformly among group members and are able to keep an eye on the impact on the team.
At the individual level, digital learning contributes to increased motivation and engagement. Employees can learn anytime and anywhere, especially in time of need. As they manage their own schedule for the training, they can also choose their desired development content and subjects of individual interest. They have the opportunity to set the scope and time of workload in accordance with their availability.
Sustainable development of your employees
Digital coaching promotes career mobility within the organization. And this offers two important benefits: the development of professional skills, but also motivation and commitment of employees, both are crucial for company growth. In other words, choosing digital professional coaching is a very beneficial plan for your firm. Coaching accommodates all workforce, including managers and leaders.
Skill development remains a significant component of human resource development. Career skills as well as soft skills revolve around professionalism, personality, attitude, and personal relationships. In order to nurture these traits, employees need to establish stronger relationships at work and increase their work performance. They also need to refine their communication and interaction skills as they engage other colleagues and teams. As such, training and coaching remains important for every organization. With a successful plan, employers will be able to improve the overall performance of the firm through enhanced individual performance abilities. Furthermore, employees who receive training are more likely to be motivated and committed to the company.