How Well Do You Know Your Current Workforce

June 3, 2020 Ruchi Patel

Digital readiness is more important than ever: a future-proof workforce decides whether your organization masters the challenges of the digital transformation. Digital transformation requires more than just recruiting new “digital talent.” Making the leap requires your organization to identify the foundational competencies of learnability, agility, and curiosity, which guide training, reskilling, and upskilling of the existing workforce.

Aon’s Digital Readiness Survey shows the depth of the challenges organizations face:

  • 61% of respondents reported that their organization does not know how to spot digital readiness potential.
  • 35% said their organization has the processes in place to make decisions about digital readiness potential quickly.
  • Only 7% of the respondents agreed to both of the following statements: “We have talent assessments to help identify strengths and development opportunities of existing employees.” and “Our organization knows how to identify individuals with digital potential.”

Knowing their strengths, skills, and abilities empowers employees to invest in their development.

Closing that gap starts with a better understanding of your employees. Knowing their strengths, skills, and abilities allows them to make informed decisions, and empowers them to invest in their development.

Skills inventories can provide great insights and help with understanding what everyone brings to the table, what interests drive people, and where to start preparing for the future.

Here is a simple framework that will help guide your planning.

Define a Model of Potential and Organizational Fit

Understanding your workforce on a deeper level helps employees find the right career path and role in the organization. This involves defining job roles systematically to objectively evaluate performance. Collect input from multiple stakeholders to ensure job descriptions are accurate and fit into your overall workforce strategy.

Identify Future-Proof Skills and Job Architecture

To enable talent mobility, it is necessary to understand what roles future-proof skills look like for your organization, and how those fit into your job architecture. Every organization has unique challenges and goals that need unique solutions. Understanding how your organization's job architecture is currently structured will allow you to identify areas of strength and opportunity. A job architecture system that works for one company may not work for another. The amount and types of changes you make will depend on your starting point and end goals.

Assess for Competencies, Behaviors, and Skills

Assessments like our digital readiness solution or a skills inventory provide great insights for your organization to discover the competencies, skills, and behaviors that best match what you need in the future. Identify competencies of top performers and assess those competencies to scale. Assessments help define the essential competencies that translate into behaviors that will give your organization a competitive edge. Better assessments also support competency-based interviewing of new hires.

Assessments help define the essential competencies that translate into behaviors that will give your organization a competitive edge.

Define Individual Development Plans

Empower your employees to discover their strengths, skills, and abilities, so they can make informed decisions and create their personal development plans. These plans assist employees in career and personal development. Their primary purpose is to help employees reach short- and long-term career goals, as well as improve current job performance in partnership with management.

Provide Business Insights and Show Talent Gaps

Employee communication and education are critical to support these efforts. Provide technological tools for employees to manage their own career paths. In addition, identify current talent needs for digital transformation and how to compensate for those deficiencies.

Enable Employees to Own and Grow Their Careers

After identifying gaps, help close them by training, retraining, and upskilling your workforce. Prepare employees to tackle new challenges, master new tasks, and drive their own career journey.

Digital transformation changes the agenda of HR leaders. They must evaluate employees and their future-proof skills to hire and develop confidently. A flexible workforce depends on HR empowering employees to make the best of their careers within the organization.

About the Author

Ruchi Patel

Ruchi is a Senior Associate Consultant with Aon’s Assessment Solutions team and leads projects across a range of industries to develop validated tools and selection processes for a variety of roles and organization levels. She earned a Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology from North Carolina State University, an M.A. in industrial-organizational psychology from East Carolina University, and a B.A. in psychology and communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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