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Capability Assessments – The Key to Reskilling

Capability Assessments – The Key to Reskilling

A blog from TCSion

Organisations today are facing challenges in addressing skill gaps created due to the digital revolution. Technological advancements are making manual jobs redundant. Roles that exist today will cease to be in the same shape and form tomorrow. According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business School’s Project, digitally disruptive era, on one hand is making business leaders think how they can source for the futuristic opportunities and on the other hand, they are also eager to embrace change by upskilling themselves. 

While leaders rethink their staffing strategies to source the right talent, they are also looking for answers to the following questions:

  • · How do we build skills at scale to keep pace with digital advancements?
  • · How do we ensure that the organisation revenues stay unimpacted?
  • · What happens to the existing workforce?
  • · How do we build resilience within the organisation and stay relevant by addressing these demands?

Employees also expect more guidance and support from the employers to build their careers and contribute towards the organisational goals. They are willing to acquire new skills and technologies to explore fresh roles as they also fear losing their jobs or becoming redundant amid automation.

Finding a mid-ground that addresses the company’s as well as the employee’s requirements is the key to building a resilient ecosystem. Hence organisations are keen to repurpose their existing workforce to meet skill demands and also help employees with their career goals. How can they achieve this goal?

The answer is Reskill, Upskill, and Cross-skill!

To create a roadmap for transformation, it is always important to know where one stands. Similarly, for effective reskilling, cross-skilling, or upskilling of the workforce, the organisations must build and evaluate their current skill inventory to baseline workforce competence and identify the skill gaps to address new requirements. On the other hand, employees also need to know their current competence and identify skills gaps that can help them grow in their respective roles and careers.

Capability Assessment is a powerful tool that can help both, employers and employees to assess their current knowledge and skills. While it highlights the existing strengths, it also helps identify the skill/knowledge gaps of the workforce. Knowing these gaps is critical for any individual or an organisation to build a roadmap to bridge them and move to the next level.

Steps to an effective Capability assessment

1. Identification of the capabilities to be evaluated

It is essential to know if one is measuring the correct aspects as per organization’s vision and strategy. To determine gaps & maximizing reusability of existing workforce, identifying the right set of capabilities, strategic intent, and desired future state of capabilities is of utmost importance to derive maximum benefit/value from the capability assessment.

The identified parameters can also help as a standard for benchmarking and evaluation and can be aligned with individual, business, and organisational goals. Benchmarking with global standards and frameworks is an effective way to compare capabilities with the best in industry and determine potential areas of improvement for the workforce and organisation.

For example, enlisting critical skills and competencies required by an individual based on the detailed job description/deliverables for a role/job and creating an assessment design to evaluate them effectively helps keep the assessment focused, relevant, and aligned with the strategic intent.

2. Define criteria of assessment

Assessment criteria should be clearly defined as a standard unit of measurement and should specify the dimensions to be measured. There are two important components to these assessments. First is aspect, which represents the dimensions that need to be assessed. For example, effective communication skills need to be assessed for roles that require verbal and non-verbal interactions. Aspects can vary according to the nature of the business and the goals identified.

The second component is a scale that helps measure the level of proficiency. It assesses an employee’s skill/competency in their field. The organisation can also decide role-based proficiency levels which will help determine readiness for performing specific roles.

3. Execution of the assessment

Executing the assessment process by following a specific design and a focused approach ensures consistency, quality, and unbiased application. The assessment can be deployed across the organisation or to a particular set of learners based on the intent. Deploying a psychometric skill assessment to measure the potential cognitive ability of the candidate while assessing individuals for a leadership role or for roles where behavioural competencies are critical, is an example of objective and accurate assessment design.

4. Result analysis & future roadmap

Capability Assessments should be supported by robust reporting mechanisms. The data generated or information gathered through the assessment are to be analysed for effective benchmarking, identifying gaps between the current state and desired future state and derive relevant insights for an informed decision making. Leveraging these insights to create an actionable roadmap can help organisations stay future ready and build resilience. A detailed analysis that explains the skill gaps identified and a learning roadmap to bridge those gaps, is an example of an actionable roadmap.

A robust capability assessment requires an objective and a well-defined approach to help organisations develop their current skill inventory for baselining workforce competence.

TCS iON Talent Development Centre offers a non-threatening, simple, and technology-driven capability assessment framework. It is supported with structured and unstructured ways of learning and robust reporting framework that is instrumental in helping individuals and organisations to bridge skill gaps and facilitate effective decision-making. It enables collaboration between the learning and development function and business functions to achieve business goals and challenges through reskilling.

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