Learning & Development

Right-skilling Best Practices

With the amount of money companies spend on training every year, it is often surprising how prevalent skills gaps seem to be. The challenge is not so much lacking skilled workers but being able to match the right workers possessing the right skills with the right jobs. This challenge has made the idea of “right-skilling” popular in recent years.

Right-skilling is one of those trendy terms that at first glance isdifficult to distinguish from similar-sounding jargon like upskilling or reskilling. “Right-skilling means equipping your workforce with the right skills to do the tasks they’re facing—an area that’s become much more relevant in an ever-evolving business landscape,” writes Graham Glass in an article for Forbes. “Although it’s often confused with re-skilling (or re-training employees for different roles, so they can pivot), right-skilling is geared toward keeping employees productive and enabling them to deliver value in their current positions.”

Glass argues that right-skilling contributes to increased productivity, increased job satisfaction, and an improved bottom line. Sounds great. So how does one effectively right-skill? Glass offers three best practices for right-skilling.

Identify and Close Learning Gaps

Right-skilling is all about thinking about what areas employees are currently struggling in and what opportunities are often missed and then training to address those gaps. For example, a company with high rates of customer complaints might need to spend some focused efforts on customer service, while companies with a lot of accidents might need to focus training on safety.

Create Continuous Learning Opportunities

Training should never be a one-and-done activity. The demands placed on employees are ever-changing, so why should their training be static? It’s impossible to right-skill an employee one time and be done with it, because the “right” skills are always evolving.

Build a More Effective Training Ecosystem

An effective training ecosystem is one in which individual training needs and learning styles are understood and training is flexible enough to adapt to those individual differences. Such an ecosystem doesn’t come naturally or automatically. Companies need to work at developing them within their organizations.

A tight labor market means it’s difficult to find staff with the right skills when they walk through the door. Instead, employers need to spend time and money right-skilling staff with the knowledge and experience they’ll need to serve the company most effectively in their role.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.