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Skill utilisation in the workforce

​Authorities, businesses and persons all invest considerably in training and instruction. However, acquiring skills is just part of the story. Ironically, at a time when skill shortages are head line news, many workers believe they’re over-proficient for the job they do.

In a small scale study published in 2009, 42 per cent of Australian workers reported they believed they were fairly over-proficient or qualified. Many employers agree. Another study, from this past year, found 37.1 per cent of employers viewed the ability degree of the workers as above what’s needed for the job at hand. How skills are utilized within the office is crucial to maximising the investment for all participants.

Organisations of any size or sector can lift productivity by better utilising workers’ complete scope of capacities. Skills utilisation is all about how well employers exploit and acquire their workers’ abilities and talents to get maximum value. This is frequently activated by tight labour markets as well as the requirement to keep and pull employees when faced with strong competition for labour and skills. Skills Australia’s Better use of skills, better results: Australian case studies showcases 11 organisations’ tailor made initiatives to help both company and workers themselves. This qualitative research has identified links between strategies to maximise the skills of workers and advantages to employers. By adopting effective practices, organisations can enhance staff retention, lift profitability, and deliver better job satisfaction and benefits for workers who reveal personal initiative. Our research has found that when an employee feels their skills are getting used as well as their gift nurtured it pays dividends in initiation, business efficiency and productivity.

Designing work to maximise the worth of worker skills and expertise will make workplaces effective at creating innovative business processes and ultimately improve competitive advantage. This requires organisations to have powerful HR practices in place, have cultures that espouse open communication and encouraging leadership. With this particular culture workers are more likely to be pleased at work and inspired to perform at their finest. As a result staff within the case studies felt valued, had access to career paths and were more likely to remain with happy wheels their employers. The businesses featured within our case studies come from a broad variety of businesses including resources, building, health and finance. They vary from petroleum and gas exploration and production company Woodside to RSPCA Victoria.

Skills utilisation benefits employers by directly affecting businesses’ bottom line. Small employers’ benefited from their power to be flexible, adaptable and advanced, while large employers could supply workers using a diversity of job functions and encounters. Businesses trying to exploit and develop their workers’ abilities should address how work is organised and how their skills are aligned to the needs of the company. One common practice throughout the organisations is enabling staff to implement their instruction and training to lead towards the broader company aims. As an effect, the organisations benefit by using the imagination and information of people that are frequently best put to identify better means of doing things. Lots of the organisations profiled have developed a reserve of skilled staff despite continual skill shortages within their sector. Woodside runs a skill-pool strategy where staff are developed and rotated to fulfill the firm’s long term needs. Staff are supported by a skills-pool manager whose remit includes supporting their career path. By developing staff via an internal strategy, Woodside has reduced its demand to fill vacancies in the open market.

Other examples of improved business results include significant cost savings because of decreased work related injuries and decreased staff turnover and lower insurance premiums.

The organisations involved within the research utilise a ton of practices to take advantage of the skills of their workers. Some have a variety of strategies which operate as element of an entire package of initiatives. Others focus on one special strategy. Initiatives under taken over the case study organisations could be summarised into five board measures:

  1. Understand the skills and talents you’ve got and may demand in the future by running a skills audit.

  2. Develop existing skills and acquire important new skills through training and mentoring

  3. Employ new skills in practical ways

  4. Give employees autonomy and flexibility. And involve them in decision making.

  5. Alter the occupation to satisfy the variety of skills you’ve got in your workforce.