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Strategic skills mapping - a success factor on a changing labor market

Almost all companies we meet express challenges linked to skills development of both existing employees and long-term supply of the workforce. The importance of working effectively with learning has never been greater, it is a prerequisite for your company to deliver on your strategy and reach your long-term business goals. At the same time, many companies do not know how to prioritize, or where to start. In this article, we will go through how strategic skills mapping can be used as an effective first step to map which competences exist in your organization and which ones you lack.

What is skills mapping and why is it important?

Skills mapping is a process where you identify, assess and document the collective skills of individuals or groups within your organization. It includes analysis of the existing skills, knowledge and experience of your employees, so that you as an employer can get an overview of your organization's level of competence. It helps you understand your strenghts, but above all this process helps you understand which important skills you lack. Your skills mapping should include both formal and technical skills, as well as power skills and more personal skills. An important aspect is to focus on the skills and competencies that are crucial for the company's long-term success.

The advantages of skills mapping are several:

  • Support individual development and career planning: By providing a collective insight into individual strengths and development areas, your employees can make more informed decisions about their own career development, and which training or development initiatives thats most relevant to their personal and professional growth.

  • Facilitate recruitment and talent development: Skills mapping gives you a better understanding of your existing talents, and what potential you already have within the organization. It can help you identify internal candidates for existing or future positions as well as guide hiring decisions to ensure a good match between candidate and role.

  • Optimize resource allocation: When you gain a clear understanding of your employees' competencies, you can match the right person with the right task. This leads to more efficient work teams and project groups, while reducing the risk of overloading or underutilizing your resources.

  • Identify skills gaps: By mapping your skills, you will discover which necessary skills and knowledge you lack to perform specific tasks or achieve your goals. It makes it possible to identify which training, development and recruitment efforts you need to fill these gaps and strengthen your long-term competitiveness.

Did you know that:

  • 50% of CEOs believe that skills shortages and new technologies will affect profitability in the coming decade.

  • 53% of HR and business leaders from 80 countries report that lack of employee skills data is the biggest obstacle to building a future-ready organization.

  • 80% of business leaders worldwide state that the right skills are critical to the long-term growth of their organizations.

How to implement a skills mapping

Tips and advice when carrying out a skills mapping:

  • Create a plan for the implementation of the skills mapping, including timelines and areas of responsibility. Start from your overall business plan: which key competencies are crucial for you to achieve the organization's long-term goals?

  • Involve managers and employees early in the process to ensure commitment by communicating the purpose and benefits of the skills mapping. Explain the connection to the business plan, the organization's long-term goals and the key competencies.

  • Train and inform managers and employees about the skills mapping process, including how it will be implemented and why it is important to the organization. Place extra emphasis on how the skills mapping can be used for the individual's own development.

  • Create a structure to regularly update and evaluate your skills mapping to ensure it remains relevant and effective over time. How many updates per year are required varies, and depends on, for example, the rate of change in your industry or where you as an organization are on your development journey. Keep in mind that the skills mapping should also be integrated with your performance reviews and the employees' individual development.

Tools and Methods in skills mapping:

  • Competence matrices: Used to visualize and analyze the current competence in the organization by mapping different competence areas, skills and levels.

  • Competency assessment: Conduct interviews, exercises or self-assessments to assess and document individual competencies and skills. These should include both technical competencies and personal skills.

  • Online platforms and tools: Use digital tools and platforms that offer features to easily conduct and manage skills mapping, track progress and generate reports.

  • External consultants or specialists: Engage external experts or consulting firms with experience in competency mapping to provide expertise and guidance during the process.

By implementing skills mapping in the organization and using appropriate tools and methods, you can create a thorough and structured understanding of the existing skills and identify areas for improvement and growth. This gives you the opportunity to strategically manage your supply of skills and maximize the potential for success and growth.

At Brights, we work with supporting organizations with planning and implementing skills mapping. Regardless of whether you want to brainstorm ideas or have a project you want to implement, you are most welcome to contact us to see how we can support!


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