Using Employee Assessments to Track Employee Development

By July 5, 2023Assessments

A company’s greatest asset is the talent of its employees. From new graduates just starting their careers to senior leaders, every employee contributes something to their employer.

Having strong, engaged employees is the key to building a successful business. Engaged employees help a business remain competitive and adaptable to the ever-changing market.

Engaged employees don’t just don’t walk into work one day. Companies need to earn employee engagement, and one of the best ways to do that is to help employees to develop their skills.

Skill development benefits both companies and employees.

By focusing on developing technical skills and soft skills, employees become more capable professionals, and companies can increase productivity, reduce turnover, and develop a culture of continuous learning and development.

How can companies enhance employee skill development?

Various methods and approaches can be used to enhance employee skill development. Companies should implement learning and development programs relevant to their business and the modern world.

Creating personalized development plans for individual employees and teams and utilizing learning management systems to track development progress is important.

By using different skills training approaches, businesses can effectively develop a more skilled and versatile workforce, better positioning themselves for success and growth in the long term and encouraging employee engagement.

A skills-based approach to employee development allows organizations to target specific areas where their workforce might need reinforcement. When companies focus on the skills most relevant to the business’s objectives, employers can better align their focus on individual employee growth with the overall corporate strategy.

It boils down to this—investing in employee skill development benefits the workers and strengthens the organization as a whole. Employee skills development truly is a win-win scenario.

Where to start with employee skills development

Employee skills development should be an ongoing effort to improve and expand skill sets. This will enable employees to perform their current roles more effectively and prepare them for future job opportunities within the organization.

Skills development is a critical aspect of talent management and is closely linked to organizational success. Evaluating your employees’ current skills is the first step in skills development.

Assess current skills

Assessing current skills is important because it allows managers and employees to clearly understand current skill levels, uncover hidden talents, and identify areas for improvement.

Some effective methods for assessing current skills include performance reviews, self-assessments, and observations during everyday work tasks.

To facilitate accurate and comprehensive assessments, organizations can use online skill assessment tools and platforms that simultaneously evaluate multiple soft skills and measure performance against benchmarks.

One of the most direct and effective ways to assess the current skill levels of your employees is to use performance-based assessments, such as Pure Performance by TrueAbility.


Contact TrueAbility today to find out how skills tests effectively can support the professional growth and development of your current employees, align their skills with organizational needs, and enhance their overall performance.

Regardless of how current skills are assessed, managers should establish an open communication environment, focusing on constructive feedback, recognizing employee achievements, and helping them map out their future development. In this way, the company can show that they’re willing to engage with employees.

Identify skill gaps

Identifying skill gaps is another fundamental aspect of employee skill development. A skill gap is the difference between the skills required for a specific task and an employee’s current skills. Addressing skill gaps is essential for ensuring employees can effectively contribute to the organization’s success.

Organizations should consider implementing a systematic approach to identifying skill gaps, such as skill inventories, gap analysis, and competency frameworks. This approach allows managers to work collaboratively with employees to pinpoint areas for improvement, develop skills, and align individual career goals with organizational objectives.

Once skill gaps have been identified, organizations can create targeted learning and development programs to help employees close the gaps and enhance their capabilities. For example, blended learning programs combining online courses, on-the-job training, workshops, and mentoring can effectively upskill employees and meet their learning needs.

By focusing on these fundamental aspects of employee skill development, organizations can create a supportive working environment that nurtures talent, encourages continuous learning, and drives overall success.

What are some effective employee skill development strategies?

Effective strategies for kill development are vital for organizations to enhance their employees’ knowledge, abilities, and competencies.

Training programs

One effective strategy for employee skill development is implementing training programs. 

Training programs should be developed for the specific needs of the company and its employees. Training should have courses and workshops aimed at improving skills and knowledge.

A training program helps employees take charge of their careers by helping them stay relevant and up-to-date in their field. According to many employee talent experts, upskilling and reskilling are top global priorities for learning and development programs.

A lack of training and career development opportunities often encourages employees to move on and find another employer. Companies that provide these opportunities to their employees are taking proactive steps to engage them and preserve their staff.

Mentoring and coaching

Mentoring and coaching are other valuable ways to facilitate employee skill development. Organizations can encourage a culture of continuous learning and professional growth by pairing experienced professionals with those looking to improve their skills.

Mentors and coaches can help employees create and achieve short and long-term goals. They can also provide guidance and support as employees develop new skills.

Effective employee skills development starts with managers who can actively engage with their team members and help them grow.

Job rotation

Job rotation is a skill development strategy that can expose employees to various organizational roles. This enhances employees’ understanding of different job functions and encourages them to develop new skills by working on diverse projects.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, or SHRM, job rotations have successfully helped organizations upskill their workforce, with more than 65% of learners pivoting to new data and digital roles within a few months of program completion.

By implementing job rotation programs, employers can ensure the continuous development of their employees while increasing their adaptability and versatility within the organization.

Technology and employee skill development

Technology is crucial in employee skills development, increasing accessibility for all skill levels, creating space for specific development needs, and helping employers control training costs.


E-learning has become an essential aspect of employee skill development. It allows employees to access training materials and courses at their own pace and on their schedules, making it a flexible and convenient option for skill development.

Many organizations leverage learning and development platforms to offer various courses catering to various skill sets and industries. This can help employees continually expand their knowledge and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

More than this, e-learning courses often incorporate interactive elements, quizzes, and assessments, allowing employees better to evaluate their progress and understanding of the subject matter.

By utilizing e-learning, organizations can better prepare their workforce, with studies showing that involving the learning and development function can increase skill preparedness by up to 28% over self-service development.

Mobile learning

Mobile learning, or m-learning, is another growing trend in employee skill development. Devices like smartphones and tablets now allow employees access to learning activities anytime and anywhere.

Mobile learning takes advantage of the portability and familiarity of mobile devices to offer a more accessible and efficient learning experience for all employees.

Mobile learning applications can include features like short video lessons, quizzes, and interactive games, which can benefit skill reinforcement and easy retention. This format allows employees to learn in bite-sized chunks during their spare moments, leading to more consistent and effective skill development efforts.

Virtual reality training

Virtual reality (VR) training is an innovative and engaging approach to employee skill development.

By immersing employees in completing tasks in a virtual environment, VR training can offer a more realistic and hands-on learning experience. This is especially useful for skills that involve complex processes, spatial awareness, or physical actions, such as equipment operations or medical procedures.

Using VR headsets and controllers, employees can practice new skills in a safe, controlled environment without the risk of real-world consequences. This interactive experience not only increases engagement and retention during the learning curve but also allows learners to make mistakes and learn from them without impacting their work or personal safety.

As connectivity advances, technology has played a larger role in enhancing employee skill development, transforming how employees learn and grow their skills. Today, employees can develop their skills through e-learning, mobile learning, virtual reality training, and other technological advancements. 

The development options transform how employees learn and grow their skill sets, ensuring that organizations can keep up with the ever-evolving demands of today’s dynamic business environment.

Measuring the effectiveness of skill development initiatives

Employee skill development is crucial for both the individual’s growth and the organization’s success. To ensure that your development initiatives are effective, measuring their impact through various means is important.

Key performance indicators

Key Performance Indicators, commonly called KPIs, help determine the success of skill development initiatives. Some important training and development KPIs include:

  • Training attendance rate.
  • Course completion rate.
  • Average time to completion.
  • Post-training assessment results.

Tracking the completion and satisfaction rates of those taking courses can also indicate whether employees find the training beneficial for their personal growth and development.

Employee feedback

Gathering employee feedback through surveys and interviews using online customer feedback system is vital to measuring the effectiveness of skill development initiatives.

Surveys enable organizations to receive direct feedback from employees on their experiences, perceptions, and feelings about the training.

Interviews can provide insight into specific aspects of the training, such as its relevance to their job or its impact on their performance, as well as suggestions for change.

Return on investment

The return on investment, commonly abbreviated as ROI, can be used to measure the financial impact of skill development initiatives on the organization. A company can calculate its ROI by comparing the cost of the programs to the benefits gained, such as increased productivity, reduced turnover, and improved employee engagement.

A positive ROI indicates that the investment in employee skill development contributes to the organization’s success and growth.

Evaluating the effectiveness of your skill development initiatives involves tracking KPIs, collecting employee feedback, and calculating the return on investment. This information is needed to make informed decisions about allocating resources to improve your company’s training programs.

Long-term benefits of employee skill development

Employee skill development is an essential aspect of any business strategy. Here are some major long-term benefits of investing in employee skill development:

Higher employee retention

By providing employees with professional development and advancement opportunities, companies create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and engaged. This leads to higher employee satisfaction and, in turn, lower turnover rates.

 When companies develop their internal talent pools, they save on recruitment and onboarding costs while maintaining organizational stability.

Increased productivity

Through skill development programs, employees gain valuable experience and knowledge. This translates to higher productivity as they can work more efficiently and effectively. These improvements also contribute to increased revenue and profitability, making employee skill development an important investment.

Greater adaptability

The business world is changing faster than ever, and adaptability is crucial. When companies help their employees gain diverse skills, they can develop a multi-faceted and balanced workforce. A versatile and agile workforce can better navigate shifting job market trends, faster adapt to new technologies, and respond to emerging opportunities.

Planning for the future

Investing in employee development is a forward-thinking approach to creating something that demonstrates a company’s commitment to its future success. In addition to improving current workforce performance, skill development programs help to build potential for advancement within the organization. As employees grow and acquire new skills, they are more likely to be positioned for leadership, promoting a culture of internal innovation and long-term business growth.

Best practices for implementing employee skill development program

Effective implementation of employee skill development programs requires careful planning and execution to get the maximum benefit. Some practices to consider:

Management support

To implement successful employee skill development, management should be fully committed to supporting these initiatives. This includes allocating resources, setting clear employee expectations, and promoting the benefits of these opportunities.

Regular follow-ups and progress assessments must be conducted to ensure the skill mastery program’s effectiveness and address any issues. A supportive management team can create a positive learning culture and encourage employees to participate in skill development opportunities actively.

Personalized learning plans

Not every employee learns at the same pace or has the same learning preferences, so creating personalized learning plans that cater to individual needs is essential. This can be accomplished by conducting assessments to identify each employee’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Based on these assessments, learning pathways can be developed, providing employees with relevant training resources and ensuring they receive guidance through tailored training programs. A dynamic approach to skill development increases employee engagement and maximizes the program’s effectiveness.

Continuous improvement

It is crucial for the growth of both employees and the company that continuous improvement is viewed as an ongoing effort, not a singular goal. Frequent reviews and updates of training programs will help companies keep up with industry trends and technological advancements.

Here are some ideas to encourage continuous improvement:

  1. Establish training and development programs.
    Create regular training sessions and development opportunities to enhance employee skills. Development opportunities will be different for every company, but they can include workshops, seminars, online courses, mentoring programs, and coaching sessions. These training programs should have individual and organizational goals to ensure relevance and effectiveness.
  2. Create individual development plans.
    Work with employees to create individual development plans, or IDPs, that outline their goals, areas for improvement, and action steps. IDPs provide a roadmap for employees to enhance their skills and competencies continuously. Regularly review and update these plans to track progress and adjust objectives.
  3. Encourage a learning and knowledge-sharing company culture.
    Cultivate a company culture that encourages continuous learning and knowledge sharing. Establish platforms and channels, such as intranets, online forums, or social learning networks, where employees can share expertise, ask questions, and collaborate.Encourage employees to attend conferences and industry events or join professional associations to expand their knowledge and network and to share their knowledge and experience with their teammates. This can provide a chance to develop public speaking, a soft skill commonly an area for improvement.
  4. Provide cross-training and job rotation.
    Provide opportunities for employees to gain exposure to different roles and responsibilities through cross-training and job rotation programs. This allows employees to develop a broader skill set, understand different aspects of the organization, and adapt to new challenges.
  5. Use 360-degree feedback for performance review and coaching.
    Regularly provide comprehensive, constructive feedback and coaching to employees. This helps them identify areas for improvement and develop action plans to enhance their skills. Encourage managers to have open and honest conversations with their team members, setting clear expectations and providing guidance on improving performance.
  6. Encourage peer feedback and recognition.
    Establish a culture of continuous feedback and recognition from managers and peers. Employees have hands-on experience with the tasks and challenges they face, so they are in a great position to act as sounding boards for each other, acknowledging their achievements and areas for improvement.Peer feedback and recognition should be ongoing, allowing employees to share knowledge and improve in real-time. Additionally, peer recognition is a great way to strengthen team bonds.
  7. Mentorship and coaching programs
    Implement mentorship and coaching programs to connect employees with experienced individuals who can provide guidance and support and share their expertise. These coaches should be seasoned employees who have been promoted.Mentors and coaches can help employees set goals, navigate challenges, and provide valuable insights for skill development. They can also provide real-world experience.
  8. Use performance metrics and data analysis.
    Establish clear performance metrics and regularly analyze data to identify trends and areas for improvement. Use data-driven insights to identify skill gaps, implement targeted training programs, and measure the impact of skill development initiatives.
  9. Encourage self-directed learning
    Promote self-directed learning by providing access to learning resources, online libraries, and educational platforms. Encourage employees to take ownership of their learning and pursue professional development opportunities that align with their interests and career goals.
  10. Recognize and reward learning and growth.
    Celebrate and recognize employees who actively engage in learning and demonstrate growth. Implement rewards and recognition programs that acknowledge employees’ commitment to continuous improvement, encouraging others to follow suit.

When companies use these strategies, they can create a continuous learning and improvement culture, ensuring that employees develop and enhance their skills to meet evolving challenges and contribute to the organization’s success.

Frequently asked questions

What role do managers play in employee skill development?

Managers play a crucial role in employee skill development by providing support, coaching, and guidance. They should identify employees’ development needs, recommend relevant training, and provide opportunities for skill application in their roles and future roles they may want to consider. Managers can also serve as mentors and role models for continuous learning.

How does employee skill development contribute to career growth?

Employee skill development enhances career growth by improving employees’ qualifications, increasing their value to the organization, and opening up new opportunities for advancement. Developing a diverse skill set allows employees to take on more challenging roles, move into leadership positions, and remain competitive.

How can employees take ownership of their skill development

Employees can take ownership of their skill development by identifying their learning needs, setting development goals, seeking feedback from managers, and actively participating in training and learning activities. They can also explore self-directed learning options, attend industry events, and share knowledge with colleagues.

In conclusion

Employee skill development is essential for individual growth, organizational success, and staying ahead in a rapidly changing world. It boosts productivity, engagement, and innovation while attracting and retaining top talent. A successful employee skill development program should have adequate management support, personalized learning plans, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Organizations can build a competitive advantage by investing in skill development and ensuring long-term success.

Jodi Mai began her career as a recruiter after college. She moved into an HR Generalist role and later, into HR management, working on such topics as employee relations, benefit administration, and payroll. Over the last 15 years, she has worked in the talent acquisition and management industry, and since 2018, Jodi has expanded to HR consulting and writing on HR and recruitment topics.

Learn more about TrueAbility—an industry leader in providing assessment testing and has experience offering testing, certification, and training to companies, such as Google, SUSE, VMWare etc.

About TrueAbililty 

TrueAbility is a trusted global performance-based technical assessment provider offering a community ecosystem allowing technical professionals and employers to collaborate and measure skill sets through AbilityScreen®. AbilityScreen is the only fully-managed performance-based technical assessment platform operating in a live, cloud environment that automates recruiting and hiring processes to definitively assess and qualify a technical professional’s technology experience.

TrueAbility has executed over 20,000 technical assessments logging more than 18,000 hours of live server practical skill evaluations. Employers have collectively hired hundreds of qualified technical professionals for specific job positions across an array of industries. Founded in 2012, TrueAbility is privately held and headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. For more information, please visit

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