Tools & Tips

Skills – A Guide for workforce development practitioners

The purpose of this guide is to highlight the competencies that National Fund collaboratives need in order to embark on job quality work with employers. The key word here is collaboratives, not specifically “collaborative directors.” Ensuring that someone has (or is developing) the requisite skills and deploys those skills at the right time is key to developing high performing collaboratives.

Competencies in Detail

Below are descriptions of the core types of competencies. At the end of this document, there is information on where to find or develop these competencies.

Executive Influence Skills

  • Understand employers’ motivations and readiness for change – customer requirements, business results, community impact, peer influence, corporate and/or personal reputation, etc.
  • Understand employers’ current business plans/ strategies and overall health – controlled or aggressive growth, on solid footing or in crisis, etc.
  • Ability to tailor messages and identify influencer(s) accordingly (know who the key players are and have access to them) and ability to work with people in power
  • Understand how CEO/C-suite direction translates throughout the organization and how that might impact adoption of job quality changes

Business Skills

  • Ability to work at the speed of business and understand how and why that can vary
  • Understand profit and loss and balance sheet dynamics and how to add value and/or create value proposition
  • Competitive environment and industry trends
  • Strategic thinking
  • Branding and marketing

Industry Operations Knowledge

  • Organizational infrastructure and workflows
  • Basic business operations for targeted departments, in context of workforce needs/issues
  • LEAN, Kaizen, and other operational designs and approaches
  • Communication and translation skills – ability to credibly speak and write in their language and translate workforce jargon into business-relatable terms
  • How operational changes are considered, designed, and implemented
  • Where and how to find sector-specific expertise Organizational Designand Development
  • Ownership and management models, including employee ownership, gainsharing, open book management, team- or self-managed teams, etc.
  • Career ladder options, inside and outside of specific industries
  • Knowledge of organized labor, labor relationships, and labor/management committee experience (where applicable)
  • Organizational culture and organizational design to foster frontline worker continuous learning, innovation, and problem-solving (i.e., “idea-driven organizations”)

Talent Acquisition and Management, HR Policies and Practices

  • Employee engagement strategies and assessments (formal and informal) and how to frame results with management
  • Understand the National Fund’s Job Design Framework and toolkits and how to use them to identify opportunities
  • Compensation and benefits policies
  • Culture change expertiseEquity Mindset and Actions
  • Current and future workforce demographics, disaggregated by race, gender, occupation, wage rate, and reasons why current situation exists (legacy, systems, policies, social norms, etc.)
  • Ability to conduct courageous conversations around opportunities to create a more diverse and equitable organization (message framing, cultural competence, business case, etc.)
  • Business-aligned action planning to address the identified issues, specifically in recruiting, retention, advancement, and compensation

Systems Change Design Skills

• Seven design elements: define success, define targeted population, design for greatest likelihood of adoption (diffusability), specify incentives, incentivize outcomes not behavior, secure commitments upfront, listen to the system; then ability to adapt

• Ability to create a memorandum of understanding with substance, i.e., explicit responsibilities for all parties, especially employers, and access to data

• Sustainability planning

Systems Change Facilitation and Implementation Skills

• Ability to frame and communicate the role and value of the collaborative and the value they provide to the employer

• Employee engagement skills to facilitate their ongoing input, feedback, and co-design of interventions

• Project management skills, ability to provide technical assistance when and where needed

• Ability to track and report on results, implement continuous quality improvement

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story @ Job Quality Competencies: Guide for Workforce Development Practitioners | National Fund for Workforce Solutions

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