Ways to develop business skills

How to find and hire skilled people

If you elect to hire staff with the expertise that you require, you will need to engage in a targeted attraction, recruitment and selection process.

Read more about taking on staff.

The Australian Human Rights Commission also provides a range of fact sheets to help promote diversity and prevent discrimination in your workplace, including information on how to ensure a fair and equitable recruitment process.

How to develop staff skills

Upskilling your existing staff is an essential part of building your business's capability. This is especially true if you are introducing new products or services, technology, processes or business models.

Building skills and knowledge is an important and valuable ongoing investment in your business which should produce better results and higher productivity. When staff value the time, money and effort your business has invested in their development, it fosters a stronger commitment and loyalty from them. Providing effective, ongoing training should lead to motivated staff who know and understand their responsibilities and are keen to develop their abilities further.

Various types of training and development activities can be adopted to build skills and capability. These include building knowledge through reading, listening and observing, or developing skills through demonstration, practice, review and improvement. Training and development can be conducted through on-the-job or off-the-job learning experiences, and can include peer coaching, mentoring and formal structured training sessions.

Read more about training your staff.

Pairing the right people can also help develop skills. Teaming right brain (imaginative, holistic framing, visualisation, etc.) and left brain (rational, sequential analytic, objective, etc.) people together can create an environment where their skills are enhanced. Take for example David Packard and Bill Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard. Both trained as engineers but Packard became the executive leader and Hewlett supplied the engineering spark. This right-and-left-brain combination allowed for creativity to be fostered within a structured environment.

You may require the assistance of a training consultant or organisation to help you choose appropriate training and development activities. Public providers, such as Australian Government Industry Skills Advisers, TAFE Queensland and universities may be able to help. You may wish to access the services of a private provider, such as the Australian Institute of Management, or a member of the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia.

If formal recognition of learning is required or preferred, there are several ways to obtain accreditation. It may be necessary for formal recognition of learning to comply with industry or regulatory requirements. In this case, you can engage an accredited training provider, obtain accreditation as a training provider yourself, or adopt a process to ensure staff have access to formal recognition through recognition of prior learning (RPL).

Find out how recognition of prior learning may benefit you and your staff.

Explore your training options on the Queensland Skills Gateway.

How to access innovation skills externally

Another way of developing capability is by accessing skills externally through partnerships, collaborations and exchanges. They may not have the skills that are core to your business but they may have complementary skills and be more likely to find answers from other disciplines, and do so quickly.

Often, an innovative solution to a problem will come from those with expertise at the periphery of a problem's field. "Innovations happen at the intersection of disciplines…Open source collaboration is a very different model for innovation and product development than most firms are used to. ...I think we just need to find innovative licensing ways or legal regimes that allow people to share knowledge without risking the overall intellectual property of the firm." Karim R Lakhani, Harvard Business School.

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