Guide to effectively capturing your employees’ skills

Here, we take a look at how you as a small business owner can harness the power of your employees skills to improve your business.

We all bring different skills to the table in the workplace, and that’s a really good thing. But your employees’ skill sets are only of any use to you if you know how to identify their skills in the first place.

If you want to learn more about the skill sets your workers possesses, for whatever reason (perhaps you want to improve processes, drive efficiency or make an internal hire for a role?), here’s a brief guide to effectively capturing your employees’ skill sets…

Take stock of the workforce

Begin by sitting down to think about the skill sets each employee possesses. Depending on the size of your organisation (or the number of people you are directly responsible for), this may be quite a large task.

Start by listing every employee with their role, forming a list of each of their skills that immediately occur to you. This is important, as skills refer simply to something an employee is able to do. A skill set on the other hand, refers to the combination of abilities that connect to a particular role.

Then, sit down with line managers to ensure you’re putting together an accurate representation of the skill sets each employee has. You may find that line managers can more readily identify skills sets (or indeed skill set gaps) than you can, which is to be expected given how closely they work with their teams.

Approach employees directly

Next, give each employee the opportunity to let you know what they think their skills sets are. Again, this will help you piece together an accurate overview of the kinds of qualities each employee possesses, and better yet, you can use the opportunity to ask them if they think they have skill sets they need to develop further, or any areas of the business they’re interested in learning more about (in which case, you’ll also have partially conducted a training needs analysis too).

Survey the workforce anonymously

Once you’ve approached employees directly, it’s time to create an anonymous survey or ‘360-degree feedback form’. This form should be presented to employees anonymously, asking them to pass comment on the skill sets they believe their colleagues possess.

Take care to emphasise that this is not an opportunity to pass judgement on competency, likability or any similar exercise, but is instead a chance for them to point out the best skills sets their peers exemplify while performing their role.

Again, this will help you to piece together each of your employee’s skills sets, and might reveal skill sets that wouldn’t have been obvious had you simply tried to identify them yourself.

What if there’s a gap in your employees’ skill sets?

Of course, if you spot a gap in your employees’ skills sets and find you need to recruit to fill it, you’ll need to execute your job adverts, interviews, hires and on boarding processes with as much thought as you’ve given to understanding what your existing workforce’s strengths and weaknesses are.

To this end, make sure you use recruitment software to streamline the process and find a new employee with exactly the right skill set using the kind of tools provided by suppliers like this one.

On the other hand, you may find that some of your employees have limited but highly functioning skill sets (which isn’t a problem if they have a very specific role to carry out), or broad but moderately-well functioning skill sets – which could be indicative of a need for skills development training or a chance to advance their career in a specific direction.

Further reading on employee skills

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics

Employee skills

Leave a comment