Change is inevitable in the business landscape today. Industry experts are aware of the profound impact of market volatilities and economic uncertainties on the nature of work, workforce composition, and processes. And in the coming future, a business’s sustainability will rely on its workforce’s adaptability to this change.
However, the question remains- how can you ensure your workforce’s versatility towards evolution?
Diversifying skill sets is a cost-effective yet highly lucrative solution that may help you manage the situation. For one, it will prevent last-minute resource crunches. And for two, it will allow your workforce to challenge themselves and evolve as per the market volatilities.
This article explains the importance of skill diversification and provides ways to make your workforce future-ready.
Why is it important to diversify skills in the modern business landscape?
Let’s consider an example of an IT professional working in a project-based company. Now, this person must have programming skills and technical expertise. However, along with these skills, if the individual has project management skills and certifications, he/she can also be utilized in the management domain as a project coordinator or even a project manager.
Thus, if employees have diverse skills, they can prosper in the business world. On the contrary, if they rely on a single competency, they may have to limit themselves to technical domains only.
Here is a rundown of the other reasons why skills diversification is the need of the hour:
Empower employees to take on new roles within the company:
Let’s consider another example. The marketing department wants to promote the company’s product through SEO-friendly content. However, the current content team is not well-versed with SEO analytics and other related expertise.
But, if one can train those employees, they can fill this gap and promote SEO-friendly content. Thus, skills diversification will help hone the members’ competencies and relieve the organization from external hiring.
Employees with diverse skillsets can improve profitability:
Businesses have the benefit of enhancing billability of multiskilled resources. That’s why organizations should encourage employees to build more than one skillset. For example, if there are no suitable vacancies matching their primary skillset, their secondary skillsets can come in handy to make them billable on some other project.
Improve the performance of employees:
The more skills your employees have, the easier they’ll find it to innovate and create. For example, if we continue with the previous example, content writers can align their work with the search engine’s algorithms. Thus, newly added skills will help generate better results and help the employees improve their performance.
Now that you know why skill diversification is essential, let’s understand how to diversify your employees’ skills.
Ways to diversify critical skills
Diversifying the skills can be done in various ways. Here are five best practices that you may undertake for that:
Get a comprehensive view of your existing resource pool
Before going further, you need to analyze your resource repository and assess the skills they currently possess. Accordingly, you can understand the existing skills gaps. Hence, you can make a note of the required competencies and take appropriate measures to bridge the gap.
Implementing a resource management solution can help you get 360-degree visibility of the entire resource pool. That way, you can get an idea about the resources’ skills, certifications, and other credentials, making it easier for you to gauge the missing skills and take resourcing treatments.
Implement training and upskilling programs
This is one of the most important and productive ways of diversifying the employees’ skills. You can organize training and upskilling programs to ensure that your resources are up to the mark.
A training solution can help you analyze the resources’ schedules and conduct these sessions based on the resources’ availability. You can monitor the schedule of a particular resource and find a time slot when that person will be available. Hence, you can organize training programs during that timeline without hampering any ongoing project’s progress.
Promote cross-skilling and shadowing opportunities
Cross-skilling is one of the many ways to ascertain that your workforce can take up diverse roles. It can also assist in creating “back-up/reserve resources” in case another department needs one. By cross-skilling employees, you can transform your resource pool into an effective support system that can perform the duties of more than one department within the organization.
On the other hand, shadowing is a practice where one resource can learn from another senior resource. Both inter-departmental and intra-departmental shadowing can help improve the productivity and performance of the resources. Through these tactics, resources will become more adept in performing their tasks and have a diversified skillset that can come in handy during future projects.
Deploy a modern forecasting and capacity planning solution
Skills can be diversified only when you are aware of skill shortages and surpluses at present. Forecasting the pipeline project demand and measuring the existing capacity provides you with an insight into the skill gap across the enterprise. Consequently, you can take corrective actions and future-plan the capacity.
Deploying an advanced forecasting and capacity planning solution helps you with these processes. After getting the foresight into skill shortage, you may opt for hiring new resources with the skills in demand or bringing in contingent resources. Otherwise, you may also go for training and upskilling of existing resources and ensure they match the demand. All these measures will help you in the diversification of the skillset.
Stay abreast with the evolving market trends and demands
Last but not least, managers need to stay aware of the market trends and the changing customer demands. Although keeping up with the changing demands may sound challenging, it is necessary to ensure profitability and sustainability. And diversifying the workforce is one of the significant ways to ensure your workforce walks along with these evolving trends.
To keep track of the ever-evolving market, you should conduct proper research, implement competitor analysis, communicate with clients and users, etc. These will help you understand the trends better and make informed decisions.
As companies strive for transformation, skill diversity plays a significant role. Whether it is surviving in the current market or planning for the future, a diverse workforce can make a huge difference.
With the afore-mentioned ways paired with a resource management software, you can create a future-ready workforce.
What steps are you taking to ensure a diverse resource pool?
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.