Developing Essential Skills to Lead to Employee Engagement?

Do your employees have all the essential skills needed for their job? If not, there is a possibility that a lack of required essential skills could lead to a disengaged employee. Think about it; let’s say you are the manager of payroll services at a busy hospital; you have just hired Samantha on as she comes with great references for having excellent interpersonal skills. At the same time Samantha is hired, the department has just upgraded to a fancy new computer system. You make the assumption that as Samantha is pretty young she will easily transition to her position and easily learn the new computer system. After about a month you begin to notice that Samantha is already beginning to show signs of a disengaged worker: she has already phoned in sick, her morale is low, and there is room for improvement with her productivity. Samantha’s current behaviour is not reflecting the eager, enthusiastic employee you hired a month ago. There could be numerous factors which lead to an employee’s disengagement however one factor to think about is whether or not your employees have the necessary skills to do their job (i.e., would Samantha have been more engaged had she had more training on how to use the new computer system? Was the lack of knowledge and skill leading Samantha to be frustrated at work?)

The Government of Canada has identified nine essential skills that will benefit employees and help employees transition to change in their working environment. For a detailed description of the essential skills visit:

As an employer looking to increase employee engagement in the workplace a strong suggestion would be to assess the skills of your employees. If you feel that your employees could benefit from essential skills training – try to build in activities once a week that concentrate on enhancing the essential skills most needed by your staff.

Originally posted May 8, 2009 by Fiona Glendinning

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