Skills assessment aids

01/07/1999


W hile most manufacturers know the capacities of their equipment, software, and other facilities, many are unaware of the skills employees’ possess or the training they need to become more productive. In an increasingly competitive environment, manufacturers must track staffers’ abilities just as they assess equipment to operate with greater
efficiency.

“Unfortunately, companies often hire people with the wrong skills for a job or assign them to the wrong functions. Within many organizations, misalignments of skills arise as business needs change and external markets evolve,” says Mark Pecoraro, president and ceo of Success-Factors.com (San Francisco, Calif.), a provider of web-enabled skills management software. “As a result, companies frequently don’t know who is in their workforce, what they can do, or where and when they’re available. This also leads to a lot of unfocused training that usually isn’t designed to meet specific needs.”

5 Tips for skills assessment


1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Managing skills at Honeywell
To improve staffing decisions, employers and managers must take an inventory of employees’ existing skills and capabilities; deliver training tailored to specific organizational needs; and deploy people in assignments where their skills will be most useful. Though these tasks can be completed manually, Mr. Pecoraro says using computers and the web can be especially helpful in conducting and revising skill assessments, tailoring training programs, and making new job assignments. They can even check when employees last used particular skills and what job-related training they recently received.

Honeywell Industrial Automation and Control (IAC, Phoenix, Ariz.) recently used SuccessFactors.com’s skill assessment software to inventory abilities of more than 1,000 engineers at dozens of IAC locations across the U.S. IAC’s managers began tracking the skills and job profiles of 100-200 subordinates with the system in April 1998. They found the better they understood the engineers’ skills and profiles, the more efficiently they could match engineers with specific projects.

Each IAC engineer was able to complete a personal profile listing 100 separate skills in about 20 minutes using desktop PCs. Individual skills were then matched against existing criteria and given a percentage based on how well they fit.

Part of this process includes self-ratings by the engineers, with which the managers can then concur, or not. If and when disagreements occur, users usually can install a review process.

Knowing who can do what and where they’re located helps make job and training assignments easier. Each IAC manager and engineer also discusses assessments and makes plans to fill training gaps. Several hundred engineers also developed personalized learning plans for themselves.

“Software and the web can help users integrate a skills management solution into their daily routines. This means managers can asses the skills of groups of staffers and use the data as a resource planning tool, while employees can input information to continually update themselves,” says Mr. Pecoraro.

Similarly, some web-based skill assessment solutions even solicit input on managers’ performance. These are similar to programs that compare managers’ and staffers’ judgements of an employee’s particular skill. These solutions also compare percentages and seek to reach an agreement, such as settling on a specific training regimen.

Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@cahners.com





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Big Data and IIoT value; Monitoring Big Data; Robotics safety standards and programming; Learning about PID
Motor specification guidelines; Understanding multivariable control; Improving a safety instrumented system; 2017 Engineers' Choice Award Winners
Selecting the best controller from several viewpoints; System integrator advice for the IIoT; TSN and real-time Ethernet; Questions to ask when selecting a VFD; Action items for an aging PLC/DCS
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
SCADA at the junction, Managing risk through maintenance, Moving at the speed of data
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
click me