In this globally-connected world, enterprises are racing to transform their business to innovate and stay competitive.
Enterprises increasingly recognize the importance of human capital development to business success and are fueling a significant number of organizational resources to build their workforce skills for sustainable growth.
Four crucial factors would impact the success of any skills development for job success. They are the job design structure, the job performance measurement used, the job performance system, and the curation of the job skills portfolio.
This article will focus on the job skills portfolio and its review process. The following are some strategies for enterprise leaders in curating purposeful skills portfolios that are outcome-driven for greater job value:
Job skills portfolio
The skills needed to perform work required for a job on a defined set of performance expectations and other individual criteria are part of the job skills portfolio.
It specifies a framework that explores ways to organize skills to meet the needs of a job. It also considers the nature of hybrid work and the emerging needs for the job.
Three broad parameters in the job skills portfolio are (non-exhaustive):
- Flexible work structure – boundaries are defined in the overall direction in terms of ‘what’ to achieve and the essential outcomes. Job holders are given the agency and autonomy to co- create with managers to decide how to achieve work goals. This is particularly useful for evolving work where agile teams operate.
- Dynamic core skills – the principal bundle of skills that can serve both the individual and team needs of the job optimally. The primary goal of such curated skills must align and add value to the job at the right level, speed and quality while having the integrated agility to serve changing business needs.
- Traits and qualities – these are underlying tacit criteria in any job performance. They bolster individual propensity to utilize the right skills for the right work outcomes.The following are some key areas to examine in defining and curating the most effective bundle of dynamic core skills.
Identify skills needed to perform at the right level
There are different levels of work, and there are instances in complex work where they do overlap. It is essential to review the majority of such work for the job to identify and curate the core skills.
- Level 5 – Leading strategic work
- Level 4 – Planning strategic work
- Level 3 – Managing operational tasks
- Level 2 – Executing operational tasks
- Supporting operational tasks
While a job holder in a manager role may have the majority of their work scope that falls in leading and planning the strategic work, this does not mean that other work level does not apply. Fundamentally, explore why and what core skills will be needed for the job’s current and future operational model.
Review factors influencing the skills selection for the job
After reviewing the work levels, it would be disastrous if the enterprise dives directly into identifying and selecting the skills variables without considering the other systemic factors related to the job.
- Business needs (present). The current business demands for the job outcomes and performance.
- Business directions (future). The future goals and requirements change for the job outcomes and performance.
- Job needs (the urgency and criticality). The job needs may be immediate and have direct operational implications on performance outcomes. The job needs that are critical for the performance of employees and business
- New work design or redesign. The structuring or restructuring of the value of the job role to business outcomes.
- Work autonomy. The degree of supervision and accountability has increased for the job.
- Work task complexity changes or stagnation. The degree of difficulty of situations and tasks for the job role.
- Staff development needs. The trajectory of individual skills needs in performance and growth.
Review the skills parameters or variables for the job
After reviewing the factors influencing skills parameters, the following are the primary fields for determining the bundle of dynamic core skills for an effective job skills portfolio.
Enterprise needs to evaluate which variables most suit their organization’s operational model and the ease of adoption that maintains flexibility in implementing the job skills portfolio.
- Proficiency level
- Portability of the skill
- Degree of impact to direct job outcomes
- Degree of complexity for new learners
- Connectedness to other task skills (adjacency and affinity leading to better skills learning to performance.)
- Connectedness to other contingency skills (greater flexibility to adapt to complex job needs)
- Underpinning knowledge for the skill
The focus of any organization’s operating model is to always have the capability to add value to their business. This capability building must be self-sufficient, anchoring the people and their skills to deliver the desired outcomes. Leaders can use the techniques described to co-create with stakeholders a portfolio of skills that aligns with current requirements and cater to future business needs.
Nevertheless, the other three dimensions of capabilities, such as the structure of work design, performance measurements and job performance support system, are essential pillars that must be integrated into the organization’s skills portfolio.