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Taking a page from the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinsen never steps away from any challenge thrown his way.  His famous phrase, “Challenge accepted,” serves as a reminder that by pushing and motivating our employees, using triggers that they define as important, we can get the best out of our employees. By placing faith in our employees, we can drive them to become better employees through skills testing and training.

Skills testing can be used not only to recruit good employees but also to help retain talented workers who might be easily bored. According to Forbes, one of the reasons that that top talent leaves a company is because their company fails to offer great work. Good people want to be challenged. When companies aren’t challenging their top talent, the top talent leaves. An employee is one of the biggest assets a company has, and when the company culture is not employee-centric, bad things can happen.

Another issue to look at when motivating your employees is career development. High potential employees are crucial to any company that wants to be a leader in its industry. If you don’t have a clear strategy for advancement and career development for top-performing candidates, you won’t have them for much longer. Companies need to understand that skills testing needs to work as part of a holistic approach to career development. Focusing on skill development, rather than just corporate content is a sure way to motivate and challenge your employees.

Many people have the perception that they are unmarketable, due to their education level, training background, not having an MBA or other reasons, but this simply isn’t true. Skills testing has shown that employees who are considered to be lower- or middle-level performers just don’t have the motivation needed to get to the top. Skills testing will allow employees to close the skills gap in the office and they may even rise to shine above the top performers.

When a routine sets in, it becomes more difficult for employees to break the mold, and this disengages them. In order to combat this cycle, start by identifying the important skills that are functional and also transferable. Motivate your entire workforce by putting them through various skills testing exercises. In doing so, you’ll be able to cross-train employees, inspire them to exceed their current position requirements, and foster an environment of learning and advancement.

What types of skills testing have you used in your workplace to benefit and motivate your employees? Have you accepted the challenge?


  • Gus Treptown says:

    So I guess you motivate them by breaking the routine? Figure out what else they are good for, and just move them around doing new things… Sounds like a good plan, even though it’s going to be a logistical hassle for everybody involved. But, I guess it is worth trying if you are losing people just because they are not engaged in what they do anymore.

  • Miranda Kosta says:

    Sounds like a really useful and easy way to find people from within for new projects that the company is involved with. Rotating people on different projects, based on their proven abilities, could be one of the best solutions to keep people interested in what they do. They can even be used as a platform to handle employee requests to switch to a project they would feel they are more suited for.

  • Ron Dupont says:

    Even though I have never heard of skills testing being used as a motivational tool, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. I don’t 100% agree with the challenge your workers with skills testing approach, but I can see the use in an appraisal system, or even as a reason for career advancement.

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