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The business case for skills mapping: A clear understanding of competency across your workforce

By Cia Kouparitsas 
Published: April 18, 2023
READ TIME: 3 minutes
Skills gaps are a major concern for organisations around the world, which is why employers need to start thinking about how they can innovate their approach to filling critical roles—especially when it comes to digital capabilities.

While it is well known that successful digital transformation relies on the power of a strong digital workforce, it’s also well documented that HR practitioners globally are still struggling to close the gaps that have been crippling innovation for some time now. 

While many suggest technical skills shortages are to blame, it’s becoming increasingly evident that organisations simply aren’t clear on where their genuine gaps exist, what their digital needs really are, and what skill sets their workforce possess (outside of their job descriptions). This latter point is especially important as many employers don’t realise that the capabilities they’re so desperately seeking are often lying dormant within their own workforce.

The critical importance of understanding workforce skills and competencies

Without a clear understanding of where your organisation currently stands and where you need it to be when it comes to required skills, it’s almost impossible to guide recruitment and training to fill critical voids—no matter the state of the labour market. This is where workforce skills assessments can be used by organisations to obtain an accurate view of their current capabilities and productivity, the specific skills required for optimal performance (both now and in the future), and any gaps that need to be filled. Well-executed skills mapping can help organisations meet critical needs and remain resilient and agile throughout uncertain times.

Unlocking potential: The benefits of skills mapping

The process of skills mapping involves assessing, identifying, and evaluating the strengths and weaknesses, skills and capabilities held by existing employees in an organisation, the capabilities that may be missing, and the skills needed to perform any given role well. It identifies exactly which tasks and requirements are crucial to an organisation, which employees could benefit from additional training, and those who could be upskilled or transferred into critical roles. Aptitude and temperament assessments can also be applied alongside skills mapping to provide even greater insight into a employees' skills and abilities and ensure the strongest team dynamic is achieved.

Having a comprehensive outline of the right skills and competencies required for employees to reach the next level means organisations can create clear pathways for professional development and enable greater talent mobility. Skills mapping allows organisations to maintain a consistent measure of skills and competencies and identify the individuals who are best suited to fill gaps. It can also assist retention by offering employees growth opportunities within the organisation. Through systematically unlocking the potential within an existing workforce, skills mapping can maximise training ROI, reduce churn, and increase productivity, without risking burnout.

By identifying the existing skills of each employee and illustrating exactly where gaps in an organisation exist, leaders can approach strategic resourcing with a level of certainty, enabling them to make more informed decisions and create more resilient and agile workplaces.  

SFIA: A data-driven framework for identifying and addressing skills gaps

There are a number of skills mapping frameworks organisations can utilise to understand and mobilise their workforces more effectively. When it comes to competency frameworks for the digital world, many larger organisations and institutions—including the Australian Government— have turned to the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA). Mapping the skills within an organisation against the SFIA framework is an effective way to get a complete picture of your capabilities and productivity—including where there are genuine essential skills gaps, the potential to upskill and transfer employees, and where you may be oversubscribed. SFIA is an accurate, industry-standardised way to assess where an organisation sits in terms of workforce skills, and the people strategy it should implement going forward. By using a data-driven mapping process, SFIA aims to eliminate bias with an end goal of delivering a more equitable and capable workforce.

In order to remain agile and innovative in a rapidly changing landscape, organisations need to ensure their workforce is optimised to meet business demands and remain competitive on the global playing field—and in the context of economic uncertainty and perceived talent shortages, workforce skills mapping provides a great solution.

Find out how WithYouWithMe can help your organisation create a skills framework using SFIA.

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