Are you missing out on your employees’ secret skills?

One in three employees report having secret skills that aren’t being utilised in their current role.

Many of these employees are hiding sought-after attributes such as leadership, communication, project, and team management skills.

Fresh research from the Association of Project Managers casts an unflattering light on how many organisations fully utilise the skills of their existing talent.

Despite employers regularly reporting talent and skills shortage issues, this mismatch appears to derive from a range of issues including limited awareness of employees’ wider skills sets, narrow job descriptions, and employee disengagement with their current role.

Employees surveyed by APM reported their experiences of workforce development being largely limited to the bare minimum to conduct regular tasks, with nearly half reporting a lack of training opportunities to further develop their skills.

Focussing closer to come could be the answer to the productivity puzzle, with employers and their people having a shared interest in effective workforce development to create a virtuous circle of improved business performance, job satisfaction and career progression.

APM’s survey also reported that younger employees were willing to reward investment with loyalty. Despite many respondents having moved jobs to achieve career progression, half reported they would prefer to build career longevity within one organisation rather than keep moving on.

Unlocking potential

For organisations considering how to discover employees’ secret skills, there are some straightforward ways to get started:
  1. Regular one-to-one conversations between managers and employees that focus on development rather than job performance
  2. Take the time to find out more about employees’ backgrounds before joining your business.
  3. Analyse CVs of new recruits to see what else they’ve got to offer.
  4. Support employees who are taking the initiative and investing in their own future.
  5. Regularly identify opportunities for informal coaching and training that can help share experience and expertise with junior colleagues.
Routine wins offer a quick route to success

One of the most common frustrations we hear from our clients and students is they time consumed completing routine tasks. This is where simple solutions can make a big difference.

Here are a handful of ways suggested by our coaching team to get more time into your day, more productivity into your week and ultimately more money into your pocket.
  1. Improve your keyboard speed. Two fingered typists typically take at least three times as long to compose emails, notes or simple reports compared to colleagues who have mastered touch typing.
  2. Organise your email. Using the ‘rules’ functionality within Outlook can sort messages that don’t need your immediate intention into their own folders rather than clutter your inbox.
  3. Get to grips with Excel. If you’re reliant on colleagues for basic formulas and formatting, learning how to master the essentials can make this popular spreadsheet tool a powerful ally.
  4. Automate your diary scheduling. Use plug-ins like Calendly to eliminate the ‘to and fro’ of arranging appointments by giving colleagues and customers access to your diary to pick a time that works for all attendees.
  5. Smarten up your notetaking. Taking more accurate notes using techniques such as Speedwriting means less time is spent capturing and organising your thoughts, and more time can be spent on the core focus of your work.

With creativity and planning, there are effective ways to unlock the performance puzzle and optimise the contribution your existing team can make to your organisations future success.

For an introductory conversation to explore how our teams can support your business with this challenge, please contact Chris Hodson or David Morley.