The shift from jobs to skills-based organizations

Over the past two and a half years, the workplace has changed dramatically. One of them raises the question: are we witnessing the great change towards an organization by skills? Are jobs essentially “dead”? If you ask Michael Griffiths, Senior Partner, Director and Leader of Deloitte’s Workforce Transformation Practice, he thinks we’re headed in exactly that direction.

Griffiths says, “The boundaries of the organization, both how you engage with your workforce and who your workforce is, are sort of disappearing.” There are several elements to this movement. One of them concerns organizations that use their employees in a much more agile way.

“We see that people are able to bring their skills [to work] and then having adjacent skills identified for life and work as part of the conversation about how to match their skills to their job,” he says. The other side of Griffiths’ point is our need to understand how to use skills across the organization. In the future, organizations should better match people’s skills to jobs or, ideally, projects and opportunities. Ultimately, the organization will need to use the composite data on the skills of its team members to design an entirely new talent management process mechanism.

I wanted to know how organizations might reorganize their work if we remain stuck in our current, archaic age of job descriptions. Michael shared, “You can’t change skills unless your work is defined in a more agile way. Work results should be defined and broken down into this structure, rather than old orchestrations around the architecture of tasks leading to roles, projects, etc. You need to get your data around work at the most democratized level possible, and then you can map skills to it, and then that allows you to move to a skills-based organization.

Have we reached that point in our organizations where, instead of skills and talents being employee-focused and defined only on their CVs, becoming employer-focused?

“I think it’s a cultural shift that we’re heading towards,” says Griffiths. “I think the world has moved to push organizations to tip over.”

My analysis would indicate that we are in the middle of a chicken and egg scenario. Do we define skills first, or do we formulate the workforce strategy of how skills reform into jobs, jobs, or opportunities within the organization itself?

“Your talent management strategy should have an industry and metrics you can track,” says Griffiths. He also constructed my metaphor quite cleverly. “You have to build the hen as the egg is created. The first egg probably won’t be great, but you start to learn how the hen can make better eggs,” he added.

Based on his research and findings, we could call the egg “Research” and the hen

‘Infrastructure.’ So what does the transformation to a competency-based organization look like and how is it happening?

“You have to create value for the individual and see the person for their skills, not for their looks,” says Griffiths. “Eliminate bias and create a transparent marketplace where people can see opportunities as they arise and then be connected.”

It reminded me of a recent Interview with Forbes with author Ravin Jesuthasan. He said, “How do we approach our talent experience so that we meet people on their individual terms instead of forcing them to fit our ‘one size fits all’ model?”

Second, Griffiths suggests that while 98% of organizations indicate they want to move to competency-based work and 90% are actively experimenting with eggs (competency-based approaches), only one in five are adopting competency-based practices. to extend to the whole company. organization. So the skills infrastructure (ahem, the chicken) doesn’t exactly take off.

Maybe we need to define skills as a term first. Hearing that Deloitte recommended the creation of a Skills Hub, I asked him to explain further.

“We have a definition of skills in our research,” he said, “which I think is the starting point.” Griffiths said Deloitte defines it as technical capabilities, human capabilities, and professional or adjacent skills. But he also mentioned the need for a taxonomy to keep things clear. “A taxonomy is as simple as your skills, abilities, and performance attributes or traits.”

As I have noted many times in this column, purpose is needed inside and outside the organization. So how do skills contribute to the concept of purpose and human centrality? “Skills allow you to see the whole person,” says Griffiths. “Skills-based organizations are 79% more likely to have a positive work environment experience.”

This is one more reason to shout “the winning goal” from the top of the hills. In this case, the purpose is directly linked to a competency-based organizational culture.

Griffiths left me with this: “I think if you can transition into that type of work experience, you provide purpose by definition.”

Time will tell how quickly organizations not only tie purpose to skills, but also how well they transition to a skills-based organization as a systemic part of its operating culture.

Watch Michael Griffiths and Dan Pontefract’s interview in full below or listen to it via the Leadership NOW Series Podcast.

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Check out my 4th award-winning book, “Conduct. Care. To win. How to become a leader who matters.” Thinkers50 #1 ranked thinker, Amy. C. Edmondson of Harvard Business School calls it “an invaluable roadmap.”

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