Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

Mad Skills – The Skill-Centric Approach

In the marketplace, you will find that there is a wide variety of people who are fulfilling the same role; however, at the end of the day, not everyone is capable of the same outcome. At least, not now, in their current point of training. In a skill-centric program, Organizations can identify traits and aspects of successful members of their current competencies and roles, and address the precise capabilities that need to be established to excel within those positions. The same organizations can weigh deficiencies exhibited by members in those roles, in order to create a more efficient workplace. Once these needs are identified, then, training can be developed that specifically suits the needs of the positions within a particular organization.

What do we mean when we say skill?

Skill is a fairly loose term within the Learning and Development community. A skill is defined according to Merriam-Webster as, “The ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice.” Our goal is not just to implement training for the sake of following an industrywide standard. Instead, the ultimate goal is to provide system users with the capability to obtain real-life practical and applicable knowledge that will not only aid in their immediate development: helping themselves and their organizations. But also to provide a repeatable, efficient, and amicable process, to be used across the entirety of an organization.

What is a skill-centric design?

A skill-centric design allows for a hierarchal overview of the entire learning process, with the end goal of creating learning objects that are not only practical but completely vital to members within the organization. Skill-centric design embeds the core competencies of an organization as the immediate end goal for users within the system, then allows granular control as to who obtains these skills and when. The process of formulating learnings primarily for the development of skills can address positional shortcomings and extend the reach of organizational learnings.

How do organizations benefit from utilizing skills?

By coordinating the users that receive skill-level training, organizations as a whole can be much more certain about the capabilities of their employees. This can create an environment in which skills are provided as needed to individuals within operations. As well as allow for the ability to develop reports to identify skill deficiencies and gaps of members of the catered workforce in order to further progress learners. A skill oriented firm can address work areas progressively and are often not victims to a reactive mentality the influences users away from their core responsibilities at inappropriate times. Organizations should take charge of their required skills, and task their Human Resource departments with performing the exercise of establishing current and future needs, obtaining the insights of leadership team members as to what exactly they need, and possibly consulting with a third party operation to determine effective areas which could become a boon to growth. With this inflow of skill information, organizations are awarded the ability to identify different roles and their functions, what needs to be done to make them better, and perhaps procedural components that are lacking within the current state of the organization. Human Resource professionals can now take this information and develop a roadmap for employees, and building actionable development plans with skill focus as the core offering.  


Skills are an essential component of the learning and development world. By utilizing a skill-centric design, organizations can fully recognize the potential of their individuals, prepare said individuals for more advanced positions, as well as lessen the impact of training requirements on new hires. When searching for an LMS, be sure to take into account the manner of which it is organized, as a skill-centric design may be just what your organization needs to establish a more effective learning program. As always, thank you for joining us here at the Gyrus Blog, be sure to subscribe at the top right-hand corner of this page (Bottom if you are viewing this via a mobile platform), in order to get this fresh content distributed directly to your email inbox as it is posted. As well as follow us on social media for new content, product news, and interaction directly from Gyrus.


Skill Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved October 27, 2016, from

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

What Business Application Training Accomplishes

In corporate training programs, often the focus is strictly on compliance. It seems that not everyone is hip to the idea that there is indeed a utilization that can improve their personnel’s’ capabilities in competitively selected industries. Well, I am here to tell you that there indeed is. In modern times we expect a lot from our training and development programs, and it safe to assume that progression in our industry is strictly relational to a number of additional learning aspects we can obtain from our Learning Programs themselves. By instilling basic business skills courses within your program employees can quickly obtain the business skills they do not know they require to succeed in their roles.

I often think back to a sales seminar I was sent to, many moons ago. In that program, I learned many manners in which I could properly present myself in front of the customer, how to effectively summarize the purpose of my existence within a corporate entity, and most importantly a phone etiquette trick that has stayed with me until this very day. That etiquette trick is the simplest thing that one can do on the phone, but it goes a long way in aiding communication partner’s retention and appreciation of your call. As you have read this far, you are probably dying to know “what was the trick?” Well, I am more than happy to relay it here: when you call and you reach someone’s voicemail and are in the process of leaving a callback number. Speak deliberately (slow and assertively) and repeat yourself (the repetition is key, just in case they were unable to decipher your first rendition of the number). One of the most annoying things about communication in this digital age is that people ramble out their work numbers so rapidly, often you have to listen to the message five to ten times just to decipher the call. Things like this may seem like it is common sense, but you would be very surprised at the interactions your personnel has on behalf of the company. This blog will now focus on the list of generic business application training that will not only expand the learning and development program of your organization but will also enhance the competencies of your workforce.

Problem Solving

General problem-solving skills, as well as company specific troubleshooting standards, can go a long way in preparing the workforce for elements of the job they do not anticipate. When issues arise, it is best to prepare your students with a manner to evaluate the issue and determine a course of action, in order to best respond to the issue.  By doing so, employees are outfitted with the tools needed to accomplish these challenges with the least possible hindrance to daily work life. General problem-solving techniques can also prevent intervention from senior members of your workforce, allowing focus to remain on more taxing efforts within your organization’s workflow.


With the importance of email correspondence in modern business, writing and grammar skills are more important and meaningful than ever. Nothing turns potential consumers off quicker than an initial correspondence that makes them feel as if they are speaking to someone unable to process their business language. By including written and grammatical skills in your learning plans, you can further the reach of your organization’s unique brand, ensure a universal business voice, and further, extend the capabilities of your staff.

Communication Strategies

How does your company want you to communicate with established users, consumers, and stakeholders? Is there a specific channel? Tone? The point of view? Emotion? Or brand identity that your personnel is required to comply with? This is a very important aspect of the learning mix to approach. The existence of your learning platform can determine the communication efforts of your employee base. By providing a general outline of what the first encounter with an outside agency should be, as well as additional communications throughout the newly established relationship. A learning in the category can also go a long way in informing users as to where additional resources in the categories may be located (resources such as organization branded forms, emails, presentations, and letterhead).  

Presentation Skills

In continuing with communication strategies, public speaking is quite the task for individuals. Not everyone can go up in front of a group of people and talk about the functionalities and benefits of certain aspects of their business. This is your opportunity to instill the unique brand qualifications of your organization. Disseminate what a public speaking engagement could and should look like, as well as notify system users of established approval process the may need to adhere to.  

Time Management

Perhaps the most difficult component of a new job is figuring out how to appropriately manage one’s time. A concise learning on time management techniques can go a long way in making an employee feel as if they do not have to reinvent the wheel, as well as aid in the amount of time you or additional individuals within your organization will have to spend to get them up to speed. With individuals within organizations taking on so many responsibilities nowadays, Time management skills are crucial in rounding out the offerings of a learning system.


These skills and countless others can be the foundation of your learning program going forward. Allowing you to augment your platform to be more than just a compliance tool. Creating an immediate impact on your organization’s personnel. By introducing alternative business skills, and skills like the ones listed above, you are taking the first step in cultivating the abilities of your employees and getting the most out of your learning platform. Be sure to tune into this blog channel as we further explore the learning industry and advancement trends a few times a week. Also, do not forget to subscribe to this blog in the top right-hand corner (bottom of this page if you are viewing via a mobile connection), for the latest posts directly into your email inbox.


How We Learn - Capitalize On Knowing

How We Learn – Capitalize On Knowing

How We Learn - Capitalize On Knowing

How We Learn – Capitalize On Knowing

Before I start, it is best to issue a few disclaimers:

  1. I am not a neuroscientist; this blog post is not written with appropriate scientific method.
  2. This post is written based on my personal understanding and could reflect deficiencies experienced in my own personal learning process.

To begin we should evaluate what a younger version of myself experienced in the learning process. As a child, picking up certain ideas and applying them just sort of came naturally to me. Whereas other ideas were best suited for the minds of my friends. But why? I used to think it was based on my ability to learn. Teachers used my IQ to recommend me for advanced courses, and such avenues awarded me the ability to attempt learning more difficult topics. But even then, I often felt my mind drifting off in class, doodled on notes, or encountered moments where I was not motivated enough to attempt to process the course content. Our learning instruction we receive from youth into early adulthood is fairly regimented; teachers are taught how to convey information to students, and for the most part, they engage in the same methodology across their efforts. Do the one-size fits all approach not work? The answer is:  it’s complicated. People learn at different paces and best with very different methodologies. Some people are able to see something once, and commit that piece of knowledge into their memory for the rest of their lives. While, others must spend days scrutinizing a tidbit of information to determine its worth, write the virtual book, and shelf it in the library stacks in their mind. The best instructors and course developers are able to evaluate how their student’s learn and cater their offerings to get the best out of the situation.

Scientists have embarked on the challenge of truly determining how we learn. This research may one day, reshape the conceptualization of the Learning Management System. The whole process is fascinating, and worthy of a quick Google search if you’re so inclined. However, for this post, my purpose is to let you know different ways in which people can learn and currently do. If you fall asleep on your book or learning materials, it turns out a magnet doesn’t fall out of your head and absorb the metallic printed material on the page. Also, the practice may aid in the process, but memorizing definitions for a quiz is most likely not going to yield long-term results. So, what are good practices we can instill in our corporate learning environments that will ensure the highest level of safety, the greatest output, and best compliance to corporate guidelines?

There are five major types of learning styles. People are said to either be an auditory (learn through hearing, can recollect a majority of information presented to them in lecture), visual (learn through seeing or reading, can recollect a majority of information presented to them in written/ presented form), tactile or kinesthetic (learn through hand’s on training, this is how a process is done from start to finish), global (big picture first – attribute detail when needed) or Analytic learners (Detailed oriented, like hearing or seeing as much information as possible in reference to processes or content). I personally am a bit of a hybrid, I start as a global learner and apply an analytical style of learning when I find topics that interest me. But I’m also very adept to visual learning. If I read or see something, then there is a good chance I will be able to recall important factors of what was presented. Knowing this has aided me immensely in my quest for knowledge. Knowing what style your employees are can yield unexpected positive outcomes in your business process. So how do we cater to these five major types of learning styles?

Know they exist

  • Be open to the idea that even in the corporate world, people are not going to be completely onboard with your style of learning.
  • Do not be afraid to survey your department: People know how they like to learn. If John in Marketing learns best via Instructor-Lead training, and Suzy in Document Control works best in an impersonal self-instructed pathway. It is best to accommodate their needs.
  • Work with individuals who need more personal attention. As the sum of knowledge in your department can one day be the difference in universal sales across channels, to observing breaks in the chain.

Use various forms of media

  • YouTube videos are easy, and often times, there is a great video available in relation to what you would like to instruct about.
  • E-Learnings can quickly instruct and measure user issues with content, and let you know what further actions may be necessary.
  • Images are a great way to reinforce verbalized and written processes.
  • Consider Instructor lead training to add the human effect of seeing learning styles first hand.

Convey teachings in a manner that doesn’t sound like a dictionary definition

  • Use language that relates to the user. Why do I care about 55 oranges and 16 coconuts?
  • Be able to write what you want the user to learn in a plain language. Testing on the definition of a compliance article does not ensure that the user understands that article of compliance.
  • Use gamification to incentivize users. Learning differences in some ways can be overcome via a great deal of effort. If users obtain results from appeasing their competitive streak, then, by all means, this should be incorporated in your learning designs.

Join me as I continue to tackle the realm of learning and best relate these processes and suggestions to the industry. Knowing how we learn, can only support our abilities to better serve our employees, clients, and stakeholders.

Is Your Organization Moving Towards a Skills Gap Crisis?

Skills Gap pictureSkills gap can be defined as the difference between an organization’s current competency, skills and the required skills it needs to achieve a goal. With rapid changes in technology, consumer market, business process, it is very important for organizations to have the right skills set among their workforce. The skills gap is widening across many industries and organizations are struggling to find people with right skills set despite the availability of a large pool of candidates.

A report by Deloitte Consulting LLP & Manufacturing Institute Skills indicates that “Over the next decade nearly 3 ½ million manufacturing jobs likely need to be filled. The skills gap is expected to result in 2 million of those jobs going unfilled”. One more industry, where skills gap is widening to a warning rate is nuclear industry. Retiring employees, lack of right training programs are two major contributing factors behind the growing skills gap in nuclear industry. Another report from American Society for Training & Development indicates that 84 % of people think there is a skills gap in their organization, 6.4 % think there is no gap while 9.6% are unaware whether they have the skills gap or not. Organizations across industries are failing to bridge the gap and train their existing workforce while constantly focusing on finding new employees from outside. And, even when a new workforce is hired, it is critical to provide training and guidance, for them to be as productive as the previous workforce.

Such situations can only be controlled if organizations take charge of their current workforce’s skills gap and find a medium to develop and engage them for their future needs. Let’s look at ways through which organizations can manage the skills gap crisis and create better sustainability for their business as well as workforce.

Start Identifying the Required Skills: The Human Resources (HR) or the Talent Development team should identify the current and future needs of the organization and see how closely it matches to the skills set of their workforce. They can start determining the required skills in each area of the business by consulting the leadership team, taking insights from industry reports or by taking help from a consulting organization. It is important to keep organization’s vison, objectives and strategies in mind when you are doing a skills gap analysis.

Start Building Skills Framework: Once you have identified the skills, it is important to see how they fit in to your company’s workforce structure. Are they needed on an individual level, job level, team level or at an organization level? Do two jobs have the same skills set requirements? The skills framework should promote balance development for employees by combining business, technical and leadership skills. A skills framework would help you to understand, assign and target right skills set for the right employees on a timely basis.

Make a skills development plan: Once you have identified the required skills and its framework, the last and most important step is to develop skills development plan. See whether your current training program can incorporate skills based learning. Think about all the in-house resources you can use. For example, see if managers can plan a training program for their sub-ordinates based on their experience and knowledge. A learning management system, which enables skills centric learning can be very useful to plan, execute and track skills based learning.

While skills gap is more dominant in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, energy industries, other industries and sectors of work are also witnessing this phenomenon. Organization across industries must gain a complete understanding of their skills supply, shortage, availability, which will enable them to make right workforce planning and learning & development measures. Skills gap crisis will soon become a threat to the economy, if organizations don’t foresee the situation and invest the right budget, technology, processes in to their training strategies and methods.

The Compliance Learning Management System (LMS)

the compliance lms smallLast week Gyrus Systems earned a “Top 10” award from Talented Learning in the “Best Employee Compliance LMS” category.  Gyrus Systems is pleased to have its efforts recognized by a well-respected organization like Talented Learning.  In 2015 we focused much of our development upon features that increased our customer’s ability to meet their compliance challenges, but why is compliance important?

According to Talented Learning, “You can’t get away from where LMSs started.  Employee and contractor compliance is a big problem for many organizations.  Federal and state and local jurisdictions enact training, safety and harassment regulations and then audit for compliance.  Non-compliance results in penalties and fines.  The more jurisdictions an organization does business within, the bigger the compliance management challenges they have.

Industries such as pharmaceutical, biomedical, manufacturers, transportation, energy, financial, retail and many others are all required to deliver mandatory compliance training and be ready to prove it to auditors at any time.  Compliance LMSs are admin focused and have skills, competencies, audit trails, electronic signatures, strong ILT management, facility and resource management, broad content support and powerhouse reporting.

Non-compliance with OSHA and other regulations costs money, as described hereherehere, and here.  Combine the monetary penalties with a predicted increase in criminal penalites (prison) and ramped-up enforcement efforts and you can see that non-compliance with OSHA regulations can result in serious negative consequences for employers.  On the other hand, compliance with OSHA regulations with an effective Training & Development program increases safety by reducing accidents and results in the decreased potential for civil and criminal penalties.

An important part of any Training & Development program is the Learning Management System (LMS) because of its ability to centralize management of all types of instructor-led, elearning, virtual classrooms, document and video-based training and to provide reporting and analytics on the back-end.  This LMS functionality enables companies to more effectively manage training over manual methods, which improves OSHA compliance.

By recognizing Gyrus Systems with a "Top 10" award in the “Best Employee Compliance LMS” category, Talented Learning has affirmed that GyrusAim's compliance features are on-target for companies that much achieve regulatory compliance. 

Get In Touch for More Info

Gyrus Systems has helped many industries to comply with ever more complex regulations. The GyrusAim Learning Management System allows companies to deliver, track, and report on compliance training, which increases safety and decreases penalties. Leave your name and email address below, and a sales representative will contact you to determine how your organization can benefit from using GyrusAim.


Why is Skills Management Important?

skills small - whyLast week I defined skills management by referencing and summarizing an existing Wikipedia article.  This week I’ll explain why skills management is important and I’ll begin by repeating Wiki’s definition of Skills Management: “The practice of understanding, developing, and deploying people and their skills.”  Perhaps last week I put the cart before the horse though because I didn’t define “skill.”  Again going to Wikipedia, here’s how it defines skill.  The article’s first two sentences are: “A skill is the learned ability to carry out a task with pre-determined results often within a given amount of time, energy, or both.  In other words the abilities that one possesses.

So the bottom line is that a skill is an ability, and of course we know that companies hire people based upon their abilities and whether they match the abilities required for the job.  The hiring process gets the new employee in the door for a specific job, however the corporate work environment is a very dynamic place.  People and jobs come and go, job requirements change, and people’s abilities also change.  The reason for skills management is to apply some order to this environment both for the benefit of the employees and for the company.  So skills management has both a human component: managing the abilities of employees, and a corporate component: managing the abilities required for positions (jobs).

Thus, when skill management protocols are developed and implemented successfully, employee skillsets are expanded via training to not only more fully match their current job requirements but also to match the skill requirements of other job's within the company.  When an employee's skillset matches their job's skill requirements, it’s a “win-win” situation benefiting both the employee and the organization.  Employees are happier because they have the skills to perform their job, and the organization becomes more efficient and productive which helps the bottom line.

Other benefits of implementing skills management processes are:

1. Enhanced execution of business strategy by developing skills that support business objectives.
2. Improved competitiveness by producing superior products and services because of a better trained workforce.
3. Reduced costs by identifying true training needs that eliminates wasteful spending on unnecessary training.
4. Maximized workforce ROI by more efficiently aligning employee skills with job skill requirements. 
5. Mitigated operational risks and costs by identifying & eliminating skill gaps to reduce risk of non-compliance.
6. Increased employee retention and job satisfaction by improving employee development and utilization.

A computer system is not a requirement for this successful management of skills, however it will help, especially for organizations larger than a few employees.  Some Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are skill-centric, which means they manage training through skills, other LMSs are not skill-centric and manage training only.  If in the market for an LMS, evaluate the benefits of a true skill-centric LMS and strongly consider the advantages versus a non-skill-centric LMS.

What is Skills Management?

skills small

In several recent postings I’ve blogged (a lot) about skills and skill management.  So what IS skills management?  It being 2015 the first place I looked is Wikipedia (of course) and found this: Skills Management. Terrific, a Wiki about skills management! This means other people are interested in the subject as well.  The Wiki really does sum up many important elements of skills management:

  1. Definition: The practice of understanding, developing, and deploying people and their skills.
  2. Well-implemented skills management should identify the skills that job roles require, the skills of individual employees, and any gap between the two.
  3. Skills are usually defined in a skills matrix consisting of a list of skills, a grading system, and what it means to be at a particular level for a skill.
  4. To be useful, skills management must be an ongoing process where skills are regularly assessed.
  5. Benefits

    1. Employees

      1. The ability to review the list of skills they require, the skills they have obtained, and ultimately their skill gaps.
      2. A development plan may be provided to bridge skill gaps over a period of time.
      3. Employees gain from improved identification and understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses, from being able to set personal goals, and to understand the value they bring to the organization, which in turn can boost morale.
    2. Managers

      1. Enables knowledge of employee skill strengths and weaknesses.
      2. Allows them to search for employees with specific skills.
    3. Executives – A rolled up view of skills and skill gaps across an organization can enable its executives to see areas of skill strength and weakness. This enables them to plan for the future against the current and future abilities of staff, as well as to prioritize areas for skills development.


These benefits actually closely match with the points I made in my last posting about the “Benefits of a Skill-Centric Learning Management System.”  I guess that’s not too surprising though since the whole point of a Skill-Centric management system is to manage employee skills!

Benefits of a Skill-Centric Learning Management System (LMS)

earth smallIn the 10/23/15 blog I mentioned, “Skills allow people to succeed at their job, not training.” Expanding on that thought, employees can attend training class after training class after training class, and even pass tests that show they’ve “learned,” however that does not truly mean that they can leverage the information presented in the class in the real world as skills.  As an example, a wannabe rocket scientist could take many rocket science classes, however until they build a rocket and put it into orbit, they don’t have rocket science skills.

A skill-centric learning management system (LMS) uses skills as the fundamental building block of training.  The individual’s development plan, the manager’s dashboard, and all other aspects of the LMS focus on learner skills, not just the training classes attended.  I would much rather be an astronaut in the rocket built by the person using a skill-centric LMS that gained actual rocket science skills rather than a person just attending rocket science classes.

An important tool within skill-centric LMSs is the exhibited assessment where a learner actually shows somebody how to build the rocket.  The exhibited assessment combines all of the classroom training and proves synergy: that the sum of the training is greater than the individual bits of training and results in a skill.  The benefit is that the student that passes an exhibited assessment really knows how to put an astronaut into orbit and bring them back safely.

Some other benefits of using a skill-centric LMS include:

Employees provided with

  • A better understanding of quality proficiency related to their jobs.
  • A clear view of current skills and skill gaps.
  • A learning and development plan comprised of job, organizational, and/or certification based skill requirements.
  • An inventory of skill records proving their competency.
  • Recognition of their skills and opportunities to use them in other areas of the company.


Managers benefit with

  • A clear picture of the skill requirements of their employees.
  • An understanding of their employees’ skills strengths and weaknesses.
  • An informed basis for career development planning discussions.
  • Ability to develop individualized learning and development plans.
  • Identification of subject matter experts.


Executives benefit by

  • Confirmation that their staff has the skills to meet current business needs.
  • Comprehensive and real-time insight of the organization’s capabilities to enable informed strategic decision making.
  • Proof the organization complies with regulatory requirements to avoid penalties and other undesirable results.

Competency Development Best Practices

HR Leaders and C-level Executives agree that developing competencies improves individual and overall organization performance. While most leaders recognize the importance of competency development to the vitality and sustainability of their organization, a recent poll showed that only one third currently develop competencies. It’s interesting to note that in the same poll, 45% of the respondents were also considering implementing a competency based training program within the next 12 months.

To achieve their desired goals, organizations that are currently developing or planning development should understand and build the five competency development best practices into their development process.

Competency Development Best Practices

  1. Development needs to happen on-the-job. There are many research studies that show development happens on the job. The US Department of Labor estimates that 70% or more of work related learning occurs outside of formal training. So it stands to reason that learning needs to integrate seamlessly into the employee’s daily work and on-the-job activities to leverage the natural way people learn.  The other benefit of designing development around on the job activities is the elimination of scrap learning. Scrap learning is training that was successfully delivered and not applied on the job. Some estimate that 50 – 80% of all training is scrap learning and is never applied. This means that five to eight out of every ten dollars of training budgets are wasted. When you add up the cost of formal training to include the cost to provide the training, travel expenses and the time away from the job, total costs are very high. Training and development leaders need to be more effective with their training budgets. By providing on the job competency development you eliminate scrap learning and increase your return on investment by as much as 80%.
  2. Chunked learning. Chunking refers to the strategy of breaking down information into bite sized pieces so the brain can better digest new information. The reason the brain needs this assistance is because working memory, which is the equivalent of being mentally online, holds a limited amount of information at one time. Dr. George A. Miller, the author of one of the most highly cited papers in psychology, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two” formulated the chunk concept in 1956 as he presented evidence that working memory is limited in capacity. So, how does this relate to learning and application of learning? Here’s an example. If you were given a string of numbers, say 19525456698, most people would have a hard time remembering the number a short while later. However, if you break the number into smaller chunks, 1-952-545-6698, you have a much higher ability to remember the number. A learner’s memory operates the same way. If too much information is presented at the same time, the excess information will drop out and disappear. Presenting information in small chunks prevents information overload as well as scrap learning.
  3. Videos. How people take in information has changed. For instance, people watch short videos to learn everything from how to tile the bathroom floor, to how to fly fish, to how to create a border garden, or prepare a crown roast. Learners are accustomed to learning new skills and capabilities by watching videos. However, in addition to videos, information needs to be presented in multi ways, such as written instructions and downloadable word documents, as one size fits all does not meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
  4. Self paced and self directed. For learning to be self paced and self directed, learners need to be able to access the information when they need it (just in time learning) and complete it at their own pace. Additionally, they need to be able to choose the training and development that best meets their needs. When these conditions are present, learners take more ownership of their learning and are more engaged in the learning process.
  5. Aligned to the organization’s competencies. Organizations spend a great deal of time and energy identifying the competencies that will drive individual performance and organization success. Many organizations build their competencies into their selection process, succession management, and compensation processes. If an organization is selecting job candidates, promoting and rewarding according to their competency model, it makes sense to develop current employees’ competencies. In fact, competency development needs to be tightly aligned to the organization’s competency model to ensure organizational success. Conversely, development that is not aligned to the organization’s competency model can result in developing skills and capabilities that will not drive organization success. Additionally, learners will see you are measuring one thing on their performance reviews, but developing different competencies in practice.  Learners need to see a direct relationship between what they are learning and what the organization has defined as important for effective job performance. The development of personal competencies specifically aligned to your organization’s priorities will lead to increased personal and organizational performance.

So, how does a training and development professional develop their employees’ competencies taking into consideration the five best practices? GyrusAim LMS and Vado’s e-learning courses have the answer.

Our learning content is:

  1. On-the-job development providing a dual benefit – every course instructs the learner to complete an exercise on the job.  This provides a dual benefit: development occurs while real work gets completed
  2. Chunked learning content – videos are short, two minutes maximum, followed by the step by step Implementation Guide detailing exactly what to do on the job
  3. Self-paced and self-directed – we provide five development actions for each competency so learners can choose the learning content that suits their unique needs and situation. Additionally, learning content is delivered through your LMS or technology platform so it is available when learners are ready to develop.
  4. Aligned to your organization’s competency model – by mapping our courses to your organization’s competency model, definitions, and behaviors, we deliver the right set of development courses to specifically build your learners’ competencies.

What is Skill Centric Learning Management System (LMS)?

In a skill-centric learning management system(LMS), skills are embedded in many entities. They are associated with learning objects (an atomic learning node that teaches one skill at one level), jobs, assessments, organizations, certifications, business objectives, and training costs.

Hierarchical entities such as jobs and organizations provide even more power moving skills from being more general to more specialized simply by being associated with as part of the job or organization. In job hierarchies for example, skills assigned at the high level node apply to all jobs associated under that node. All electricians may need to know how to install receptacles, while a master electrician may need to know how to rebuild an electric motor.

GyrusAim, the new learning management system by Gyrus Systems, builds skill maps identifying jobs, courses, learning objects, organizations, business objectives, certifications, and people.

You can use your own competency library and rating schemes or integrate with a third party skill repository. Learning and retraining can be assigned based on job role, department, physical location or other attributes.

Skill LMS – A Welcome Shift for Human Resources?

The key to competitiveness today is the company’s ability to manage and develop the knowledge and skills of their people using competency management system.  If David McClelland were alive today, he would be pleased to see remnants of his motivational needs theory as a recognized function of corporate HR, Training and Education departments. A pioneer in workplace motivational thinking, McClelland once argued that competency-based assessments and tests are better than traditional IQ and personality-based tests. He believed testing for competence is the best predictor for successful job performance. Would McClelland be pleased to see corporations spending more time and money on human capital? You bet he would.

If your organization is beginning to understand that Competency Management System  is central to workforce development, then it’s time to take the steps to create the foundation that will lead to better staffing practices, targeted learning initiatives, focused individual development plans, disaster planning, improved project teams, succession planning, and every other workforce management activity from hire to retire.

If you need help getting started, contact your Gyrus representative (  We can help.

One good article

“Defining Human Capital Management”

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