Ownership of skills

  • The biggest problem in organizations is figuring out who the custodian of skills is. Is it HR, is it the line people? HR is ill equipped as they are familiar with behavioral and soft skills. The functional technical skills are not something they are familiar with. Even if they were to start getting familiar with it, it can be a daunting task for there are many functions and sub functions with a company. Getting a grip on skills of all these functions and sub functions can be very daunting.

    We need to overcome this problem by doing more than one thing. We need to fine tune HR to act and behave like a library of information. Librarians have a good appreciation of various disciplines and what goes where. All you have to do is say “thermodynamics” and they appreciate that we are talking of engineering and even mechanical engineering in particular). Similarly, HR needs to get familiar with the skills landscape of the organization. They need to be enabled with a skills library for this like how maps help us get familiar with geography. Next, it is better to democratize (with controls and governance) the process of skills profiling to the line people. After all they know best and in detail what skills are needed for which jobs or roles.

IYS strongly believes that this is an opportunity for HR to become custodians of skills if they have played a meaningful role or become significant in organizations or move from being a soft function to a real hard function.

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