Competence forecasting for the future should be done often so you can stay up to date on the latest insights and trends. Remember, it's not an easy process and needs information and input from many different places.
Those who want to start this process may find it less scary if they follow our step-by-step guide, which collects all of the best practices and puts them in the order they should be done.
1. Leaders to align on business goals & needs
Even before the forecasting process can begin, there needs to be buy-in from the company's leaders that it is necessary to look inward and realize if the workforce is well-equipped to ensure the long-term viability of the business. This understanding must come before the forecasting process begins.
After having everyone on board, the next step for leaders is to determine what the probable company objectives and demands will be in the future. This will give them a better sense of the employee competencies required to reach those goals.
For instance, if an organization wants to grow quickly, it needs to focus on skills like innovation and strategic thinking. While an organization that wants to be acquired would rather focus on skills like communication, collaboration, and managing change.
2. Managers to provide preliminary insights
Managers are in positions that put them closer to the action, increasing the likelihood that they may have acute insights into how roles and abilities are evolving.
They can comprehend the present level of their teams' competency and the areas in which they are lacking since they oversee the performance of their team members and distribute responsibilities to employees. The level of insight deepens further when managers are empowered with AI-assisted tools.
If they are additionally engaged in the recruiting procedures, they can better comprehend the patterns seen in certain occupations and industries.
For instance, a sales manager may conclude that their team is not meeting sales quotas and that the team members are generally incompetent in their ability to think analytically. This would therefore infer that there is a capability gap that is crucial for the future of sales even if this wasn't the case while they were being employed, and this would suggest that this is a major area of concern.
These first insights will be useful in selecting jobs or competencies for action since it is difficult for an organization to examine and anticipate all relevant occupations and capabilities.
3. Collect and consolidate information
The next thing to do is to summarize the research conducted by organizations such as the World Economic Forum or collect additional information through the methods mentioned previously (such as conducting focus groups with subject matter experts) or do both of these things.
The real forecasting process will use all of these different pieces of information as inputs.
4. Analyze the information and data to reveal trends
If we look at the data from the past, we should be able to see some indicators of the shifts that are happening in employment and competencies. It is also essential to keep in mind that although it is simpler to make projections for the more immediate future (for example, the next one to three years), it will be considerably more challenging to do so for the more distant future (e.g., 5-10 years).
No matter how long the prediction horizon is, the forecast should be looked at regularly (for example, once a year) to add new information and update the prediction. This means that forecasts for more than a year in the future shouldn't stay the same but should be updated as needed.
5. Finalize the list of jobs and competencies that will face changes in the future
This list, along with the subsequent activities that the business will take to ensure that its workforce is well-prepared for the future, should be communicated with the entire organization.
To be more specific, in the context of employee development, it will then be critical to identify which employees may be affected, determine whether or not they already possess the emerging competencies of tomorrow, and determine how to assist employees who may be lacking in certain areas in terms of transitioning and developing their skills.