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Taking a 'Strengths Selfie' with Skill Visualization

As we know, employees and employers alike benefit when the right person is matched to a role that aligns with their skills and interests. Career pathing software can help reveal a path and the education needed for employees to take on new roles – be they vertical or lateral – placing them on a career trajectory within an organization. Onboarding is also a way to introduce employees to learning and career development opportunities to help them envision a long tenure within their organizations. As we’ve learned, when employees take on an active role in owning their careers, employee retention improves

Harvard Business Review’s recent appeal touches on another way that organizations can identify and convey skills: visualization. Faced with a litany of potential data points corresponding to an equally vast number of skills, visualization options can help managers and talent leaders track, assess, rank and develop projections for employee attributes demanded by any position.

Whether illustrated through career pathing software, a competency grid or an ePortfolio, the ability to visualize skills provide a number of advantages over conveying them through text alone. These advantages include:    

  • Visuals convey data more quickly than text. According to HubSpot, we process visual data 60,000 times faster than text. This is especially helpful in situations where a large amount of data is being conveyed. Concision is key to conveying important information, and even the most concise written explanation will always lose the battle of brevity to a good chart or graph.   
  • Visuals are better learning tools than text. A benefit of assessing and sharing employees’ strengths and weaknesses is that employees can continue to recall them as they progress. Visuals can help convey skills in a way that employees are more likely to remember and learn from them.
  • Visuals are more approachable. The ubiquity of infographics affirms the fact that information is a lot more palatable when it’s shown in image form. Complex data can be conveyed simply in visuals while still maintaining their impact. This makes visualizing skills an appropriate fit for employees at all levels.
  • Visuals tell a story. An engaged employee is a motivated employee, and employee motivation is essential to ensure efficiency and retention. Skills that are shown through images can chart employees’ career paths, showing them where they’ve been and where they can go. In this way, visuals can chart progress and inspire employees to build on their skills.

Recognizing the skills employees possess and the skills they’ll need is essential for engaging employees. Moreover, being able to articulate the skills needed for positions throughout your organization can grow both your talent and leadership pipeline. By using visualization options to showcase employees’ skills, you’ll better reach employees and demonstrate where they stand on their career path.


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