Skills-Based Approach

Traditionally, leaders have often approached the Learning and Development (L&D) function through knowledge-based concepts designed to funnel employees through a series of roles and responsibilities that neatly fit within the organizational structure. These days, with artificial intelligence and search functions providing “knowledge” on demand, the things employees need to learn to grow in their roles and in support of business objectives is rapidly evolving.  

According to McKinsey & Company, leading organizations have recognized that skills-based practices are an influential solution to the challenges they face as they adapt to an everchanging workplace. When capabilities serve as the primary focus of people development, an organization can build a workforce with in-demand skills and talents that are widely applicable rather than to just one job function. 

Hiring alone cannot be relied upon when different expertise is required. When talent development professionals apply a skills focus to their work, they meet the business’ needs of attaining new capabilities by promoting skill-building from within the company using a curriculum that involves hands-on experiences and applications. This strategy uplifts both the workforce and the organization.  

The Benefits of Skills-Based Learning 

Training staff for competency ensures your organization has the right abilities and resources to achieve its goals, and there are several notable advantages of instituting a skills-based learning strategy for the organization and its people.  

NewAnalyticalAligns Business Objectives with Employee Expertise

Competency-based programs improve overall organizational performance. Knowing the proficiencies that will contribute to future success, and training employees with these talents ensures that organizational goals can be achieved. Additionally, skills-based practices grant learners the opportunity to be partners in L&D programs and take greater ownership of their learning in specific areas of interest. Putting skills first can propel employees’ interest in furthering their expertise and learning beyond what is necessary for an existing role.  

Pen On PaperOffers Practical Learning

When talent development leaders deliver a skills-based curriculum, they are setting straightforward expectations for personnel to acquire new capabilities that directly impact the organization. Employees gain new capacities through hands-on experience as well as practical and relevant applications. Practicing new talents in naturally occurring scenarios helps learners feel more confident that their expertise is both needed and valued.  

People talking bubbles iconSupports Overall Employee Wellbeing

Research shows that extending opportunities for professional development leads to better work performance, lowered anxiety and increased job satisfaction. And if you pair learning and development with a competency-based approach, employee wellness only expands further. A skills-based strategy gives workers the certainty of knowing that they have purposeful and applicable talents, which considering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, creates a sense of safety and comfort. Additionally, when staff are provided with clear goals, they can more easily connect and work with others to achieve objectives.  

Light bulb with brain inside iconOpens Up New Possibilities

Encouraging workers to explore potential and capabilities to build on their own inspires new ways of thinking, which benefits the employer and employee. Handing over the responsibility of skill-building to staff means that leaders do not have to rely on new hires or create a role to get desired skill sets. Instead, employers can lean on internal abilities empowering personnel to consider different ways to contribute in their chosen field or seizing opportunities to entertain new career pathways.  

Two talking bubbles iconGives a Voice to Needs Across Teams

Hiring is expensive, and in the face of economic uncertainty, many companies may slow their hiring practices. Yet, teams still require support to advance their work and may need skills that they do not have. Establishing a competency-centric approach to learning can open up an internal talent marketplace. When managers discover a need, they can collaborate with their L&D colleagues to understand who are likely contenders to meet it. 

Car iconOffers Adaptable Pacing

When employees build up their proficiencies, it empowers employers to move forward at a more thoughtful pace. Colleagues can support cross-functional teams eliminating the need for an organization to go through a full hiring process to add resources. As the need to upskill staff is infinite, it’s important to recognize that long-term skills needs can be built over time, supporting the internal mobility and engagement of employees for the long-term.  

Arrow on sign pointing in different directions iconPersonalizes the Learning Experience

One of the benefits that can come from a skills-based strategy is increased autonomy for workers. The approach allows individuals to consider where they are in their current learning path and what interests they may have in discovering different skills. Supporting the direction they would like to take on their learning journey can increase job satisfaction, higher levels of motivation and improved overall performance.  

Harnessing a competency-based strategy is an optimal way to promote professional development for your staff while addressing real-time shifts occurring in our workplaces. The roles organizations will need in 10 years are likely to look very different than the ones of importance today. Empowering personnel to focus on the talents they need and providing ongoing learning opportunities will shape them into resilient, agile and motivated employees, allowing for the continued growth and development that the workforce will need to succeed today and in the future. 

Discover how Emergenetics can help you attain the people skills your leaders and employees need to be successful. Explore our website or fill out the form below to connect with one of our team members today.   


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