Published on

November 10, 2022

Skills-Based Learning: 10 Benefits to Convince Your Boss


Marius Vennemann

Managing Director


Learning Hub

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A group of L&D managers discussing the benefits of skill-based learning.

Getting started with skill-based L&D can be challenging. Here are 10 reasons to start using skill-based learning and development that will convince your stakeholders.

Skill-based L&D is a hot topic right now. Never before has skills development and retraining had this level of urgency, which is still increasing. Considerable changes in the global economy and fast shifts in technology and ways of working have impacted every aspect of our personal and corporate lives. L&D teams worldwide are challenged to do more with less and find new ways to close the skill gaps prevalent in almost every industry. 

Traditional vs. skill-based learning: what's the difference?

One approach is to shift from the traditional, one-size-fits-all learning models to individualized skill-based learning models. Traditional learning models have been around for a long time and, as with all old things, have become out of touch with the needs of the new world of work. The disadvantage of the traditional models is that they do not provide learners with guidance on what skills they need. They lack clarity about where the skill gaps and development opportunities exist. They also do not take a strategic approach to learning, leading to inferior learning outcomes.

In contrast, skill-based learning models focus on the specific skills needed for current and future optimal performance and assists learners to get the skills they need to close their skill gaps. This approach is more tailored and relevant, leading to better learning outcomes. It focuses on planning, implementing and evaluating the skills acquired in different ways.

Through our experience, we know that it can be difficult to convince stakeholders of the need to change. Skill-based approaches are often perceived as complex, lengthy and expensive, so they are removed as discussion points from the agenda. But it doesn't have to be that way.

10 benefits: what your boss should know about skill-based learning

Here are 10 reasons to start using skill-based Learning and Development that you can use to convince your boss:

Reason 1: Facilitate strategic workforce development

Skill-based workforce development helps you map your current skills against future requirements. This approach is invaluable in identifying current and future skill gaps, and you can then deploy strategic skill-based hiring and training initiatives to fill the gaps.

Facilitate strategic (skill-based) workforce development

Reason 2: Increase agility and flexibility

A skill-based workforce development approach focuses on the skills and behavior required instead of the duties and qualifications involved. This helps you break free from old rigid job descriptions and make your organization more agile and flexible in responding to changes in the work environment quickly.

Increase agility and flexibility of your business

Reason 3: Accelerate skill growth

Skill-based learning accelerates skill growth by guiding your employees with target skill profiles more effectively and without detours. You will be able to provide them with tailored learning opportunities based on their individual goals and needs. This allows for focus on specific skills tailored to each individual and will lead to more relevant and targeted learning, and better overarching learning outcomes.

Accelerate skill growth within your organization

Reason 4: Reduce selection bias

Skills will enable your company to use skill-based recruitment practices. Skills-based recruitment practices aim to hire or promote employees based purely on skills, capabilities, and (objective) suitability for the role. It moves away from valuing educational background, experience, and assumed suitability. Human bias is removed, thanks to the measurability of skills. 

Reduce selection bias when hiring and promoting employees

Reason 5: Reduce employee turnover

Strategically developing employees and providing them with a growth path within your organization makes for satisfied employees. Satisfied employees tend to remain in an organization, which means lower turnover rates for the company. It also opens up new opportunities for internal mobility by matching current talent needs with supply internally.

Reduce employee turnover

Reason 6: Prove the ROI of learning

Advanced skill analytics takes a data-driven approach to L&D that allows you to track your progress and ROI. Instead of measuring completed learning units, you can prove actual outcomes such as skills acquired, closed skill gaps, etc. Value added to the business is quantifiable and measurable and can be equated to increased productivity and given a monetary value.

Prove the ROI of learning

Reason 7: Improve performance

The performance of employees improves when they are better equipped to do their jobs and meet your customers' needs. Skill-based learning keeps your employees up to date on ever-changing tasks. The more your employees can work more efficiently and effectively, the more your organizational productivity increases.

Improve business performance

Reason 8: Increase employee satisfaction

Employees who can see and experience that their company is committed to their development tend to have higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement. They feel valued and motivated, and this leads to higher productivity. These days employees see a vibrant L&D culture as a key part of what makes a company a great place to work.

Increase employee satisfaction

Reason 9: Eliminate silos across HR functions

A skill taxonomy offers a solid foundation for skills and supports all HR activities while eliminating silos across all functions. Plus, you can build powerful HR development "apps" based on your global skills layer as a common language (e.g., expert search, internal mobility, training needs identification).

Eliminate silos across HR departments

Reason 10: Stay competitive

To remain competitive in today's rapidly changing economy, it is important to develop a skilled workforce. A skill-based approach to L&D is the most efficient and effective way to achieve this. By enabling your employees to progress constantly, the organization continues to move forward with a strong position in the market.

Improve your competitive edge

Getting started with skill-based L&D can be simple

Of course, transforming your entire company into a skill-based organization can be challenging, but Rome wasn't built in a day, either. Our advice is to start small. Rather than tackling the entire workforce at once, the most successful clients start with small pilot projects within their organization. Prove the concept to create a showcase that you can use to get buy-in for larger-scale changes. Select one business unit and start from there.

Do you want to get started with skill-based workforce development?

Enroll now for free in our Skill-Based L&D Masterclass. In only 8 hours you’ll learn all about skill-based L&D to drive the skills-based workforce development in your organization.

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edyoucated is funded by leading research institutions such as the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BIBB)