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Sherry Campanelli and Laura Newhall on Evaluating the Full Potential of Your Staff

Hi. We’re Sherry Campanelli, Program Compliance Manager, and Laura Newhall, Clinical Training Coordinator, from the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Disability Evaluation Services (DES). As an organization, we are committed to utilizing all of our resources to enhance our services for people with disabilities. We believe that employees are an organization’s most important asset and effective utilization of staff skills and abilities is paramount to success.

Implementing a staff skills inventory is a comprehensive way to more fully assess the skills and talents of your employees and to identify knowledge gaps and training needs for your organization. A thorough inventory supports effective hiring and may help target areas for future business expansion. Knowledge gained from an inventory can also assist in determining how employees can contribute more fully by helping managers match employee talents to organizational needs.

Lessons Learned: Before developing your skills inventory think about:

  • What would be helpful for your organization to know about your staff’s skill set; for example, knowledge of languages spoken and the degree of fluency.
  • Who you’re evaluating (all staff versus some of a staff).
  • Ensuring that the questions provide a vehicle for all staff participating in the inventory to respond in some way. For example, if you ask for educational level, include all potential educational levels of your employees.
  • Encouraging respondents to think outside their current job responsibilities when considering the skill sets that they have.
  • The skills inventory as an ongoing process that needs to be renewed periodically and updated as organizational needs change and new employees join your workforce. Plan ahead for periodic updates of the inventory and review of data obtained.

Hot Tips: Consider the following areas of inquiry for your staff skills inventory:

  • Credentials – in many fields (e.g., health care, education), credentials (e.g., licenses, certifications) are the bedrock on which to build a top-notch staff complement.
  • Education and Training – what degrees and/or additional training your staff have/need. Professional development should be at the forefront of workforce retention efforts.
  • Other useful workplace skills – ability of staff to speak other languages, highly-developed computer skills, grant/technical writing, photography, event planning, notary public, and other skills useful in any office that may not be part of someone’s current job description.
  • Previous or concurrent work experience related to your organization’s needs and future aspirations, including connections/intelligence from other work experience/knowledge of the competition.

Rad Resource:

Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission. ~ Anne M. Mulcahy

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