Some work tasks, like enrolling in benefits, requesting time off, or completing a performance review, only happen once or twice a year.
For the most part, these activities take place on tucked-away platforms built for an administrator — not your workforce — to standardize and automate processes.
Important opportunities for career growth often are buried in these same forgotten spots, unused by workers who are building skills in other platforms, or not using platforms at all.
“Today’s businesses must keep abreast of new technological and business developments. If they don’t, they’ll be overtaken by competitors that are willing to do what they are not: improve and adapt to new circumstances,” according to the Digital Marketing Institute. “A workforce that can learn new things will avoid obsolescence.”
To help your people grow, and to create real business value for your organization, it’s time to bring career mobility out of the shadows. Let’s look at how you can use technology to lay a foundation for engaging your workforce continually, integrating solutions across your learning ecosystem, and gathering rich skill data you can use to make informed talent decisions and thrive amid disruption.
User Experience: Key to Engagement
More than half of business leaders (53%) say a lack of visibility into skills is their top barrier to workforce transformation.
Even with upskilling technology in place, you’re not guaranteed that skill data. Gaining visibility into your people’s skills and actually generating data takes user engagement. Motivating your workers requires their buy-in. And to get that buy-in, it helps to give your employees a reason to engage with new opportunities to grow.
“The first principle and probably the most important is experience and engagement,” said Danny Abdo, Degreed VP of Solutions Consulting. “Remember, career mobility relies on employees voluntarily engaging. You can’t really force them to do it like you can with things like compliance (training).”
When shopping for technology, don’t focus on features. Value — not bells and whistles — inspire workers to buy in, Abdo said. “That’s what will get the user to engage. And once they engage for the first time, it shifts to making sure that experience is as pleasant and frictionless as possible, so that they will continue to engage and build out that cycle of receiving and giving value.”
When your career mobility program is powered by a platform like Degreed, where people are continually learning, engagement becomes ongoing.
Integration: Playing Nice Across the Board
It’s critical that the solution powering your career mobility program integrates across your existing ecosystem.
“Just think of the frustration that can happen if a user is going through an experience and they have to log in multiple times during that experience, or they’ve already added data in one platform and now they’ve got to add that same data in another platform,” Abdo said.
From an organizational perspective, you want to future-proof your technology because the tech landscape is always changing rapidly amid ever-present innovation, Abdo said. “Your ability to evolve with it really relies on your vendor’s ability to integrate and stay current. You don’t want to get stuck with a DVD player when nobody’s making DVDs anymore.”
How can you evaluate a vendor through this lens? Above all, don’t believe people who say their platforms don’t need to integrate with anything, or that they already do everything you need.
The all-in-one solution might sound great in theory, but it’s rarely as engaging, or as effective, as you need it to be.
Skill Data: It’s Got Your Back
If you’re successful at engaging your employees, your career mobility program is probably swimming in a sea of data. Hopefully, it’s the right kind of data — valuable skill data that can help your organization make critical decisions.
“Just like not all currencies are equal, neither is skill data,” Abdo said.
Good skill data helps you answer questions like: Do we even have the skills to achieve our strategy? If we don’t have the skills, what’s the best approach to get those skills? Do we need to hire? Can we upskill or move skills around?
There’s more to skill data than simply knowing if someone has a skill. You’ll want to know what that person might be working to develop. You’ll want to know that person’s proficiency level. Is he or she a beginner? Advanced? What kind of training happened, and was it applied on the job? What about certifications? If there are any, are they recent?
Find a technology that can help you answer all these questions and more. When you have a platform like Degreed, which connects people’s skill-building to career opportunities, valuable skill data becomes readily available.
“It’s really just about giving the person that is using that data the best information and the confidence that they can use that data to make these important decisions,” Abdo said. “It’s important to vet your technologies to ensure that they’re capable of capturing these attributes.”