|People with highly transferable skills may be specialists in certain areas, but they’re also incredible generalists – something businesses that want to grow need.”|
— Leah Busque
You know the drill by now.
The most technically proficient humans tend to be the ones promoted, even though many organisations today talk of hiring for attitude and training for skill.
It seems that there has been no other way to recognise and reward employees than making the highest grossing sales representative the next sales manager or the best at solving customer complaints the next team leader. What about the best professional sports player becoming the next manager or coach?
This approach has remained in place for the past 100 years even though significant change has occurred in many other aspects of organisational life. One has to think it comes down to a combination of laziness and playing it safe over a new way of making courageous decisions that will
set your business up for success.
So……what am I talking about here?
How about starting to hire from outside or promote from within the business employees who have demonstrated strong transferable/human (known as soft skills – ugh!!).
What would be the advantage of this over the current 100 year old practice?
Here’s five transferable skills that should be top of mind when hiring externally and promoting internally that want to break the 100 year old cast iron mould and why these are critical.
1. Sitting With the Discomfort of Ambiguity – the ability to change quickly, sit with not knowing the answers or holding multiple perspectives, and the discomfort of holding your nerve in this current environment is a critical skill that businesses need in a fast paced, highly competitive and constantly changing landscape.
2. Growth Mindset – being open to new possibilities, new ways of doing things and new opportunities in new teams is now needed more than ever. Imagining what could be versus what can’t happen in a world of work that’s constantly changing will set companies up for success.
3. Street Smarts – the world is full of overeducated ‘intelligent idiots’ following the process they had drilled into them at University. Unfortunately you don’t learn to be human from a textbook and at some point ‘street smarts’ will be required.
4. Curiosity – an understated but critical skill for now and the future is curiosity. The thirst for greater understanding combined with an ability to ask questions without trying to convince others of your ‘rightness’ allows for better relationship building.
5. Develop a Coaching Culture – the answers are everywhere and successful businesses will encourage and help each other through embracing the power of peer coaching. It’s no longer acceptable that a few have all the answers, or give all the directions. This must be shared to harness the power of human creativity. We need everyone to embrace coaching and creating highly connected and engaged teams.
Employees are demanding more of the employer today, and will jump quicker than ever before It’s time to hire and promote for attitude and train for skill.
Can you make the change or will you lose out in the war for talent?
It’s your choice.
August 18, 2022