Puring foam into a coffee cup to create latte art

How to create a pro-active upskilling environment to meet the demands of new business challenges

Scenario

Even with a well-rounded staff at hand new projects or business opportunities will bring in new requirements to be met, and the questions arise:

  • Can we do that?
  • If so, who in my team is qualified?
  • If not. what does it need to enable us? Is it worth it?

SkillDisplay is tool that assists you in answering those questions.

Let’s take a look at the Sunrise Breakfast Hut, a bed and breakfast with a staff that excels at keeping the rooms tidy and preparing excellent breakfast. We have an established workforce and business is going well. But recently people started pouring in during the day for a cup of coffee. We can do coffee but limited to what’s expected with a breakfast – now people start ordering Cappuccinos, Lattes and more sophisticated coffee beverages.

Define requirements

What we need now is someone who can satisfy those desires – we need a barista of some sort. As a start we define requirements according to what customers are asking for most often: Espressi and derived recipes with milk foam. So required skill could look like:

  • Use Espresso machine with portafilter
  • Create microfoam from milk
  • Apply foam to an espresso
  • Apply latte art to the foam

SkillDisplay allows you to define Skills with clear learning goals and attached materials and set them in relation to each other. Applying foam to an espresso cup requires both creating foam and an espresso, and is itself a requirement to apply fancy latte art to the foam.

With those 4 skills identified and created, we can bundle them into the SkillSet “Sunrise Coffee Portfolio” which nets us an individual learning path for our requirements.

But there are also Barista Certificates offered from courses. So, we can take a look first if there are already predefined Skills available and pick from those instead of creating our own Skills. That allows us to match our requirements to industry standards.

Create awareness for the own talent pool

Now that we have requirements, it is time to check whether our team already has the skills to expand our coffee portfolio. Tanja, who serves breakfast and brews the coffee, knows how to foam milk and is confident in handling an espresso machine with portafilter.

Using Self Assessment on SkillDisplay, she claims that she has those two skills, signalling she could cover 50% of the task at this time and only needs to learn 2 more skills to be ready.

This puts her first in line of our staff to become the Breakfast hut’s new barista and we get a clear picture on what upskilling is required in house to fill the new requirements and whether training Tanja or hiring someone who already is a barista would be the way to go.

Define upskilling opportunities

Being confident in Tanja we propose her getting proficient in making cappuccino and café latte. Only needing to learn those two Skills with clear learning goals in hand Tanja estimates to be ready within a week.

Alternatively, she could attend a barista course going for two weeks, that would garner her additional Skills and an official certificate. She already has some of the Skills required for certification, would learn the Skills required for our needs, and some further expanding competencies on top of that with an official certificate in hand for her CV.

By creating structured requirements, matching them against existing competencies and certification opportunities we have created upskilling opportunities for Tanja that both support our business and motivate to learn.

Reward proof of competence

Tanja decided to go for certification, enabling her to meet the four Skill requirements defined in our SkillSet. After a week of using her new competencies and successfully selling Espresso, Iced Coffee, Cappuccino and Café Latte we have proof that Tanja has clearly learned the 4 required Skills from practical experience. We verify the SkillSet using the Practical Expertise verification and award Tanja a “Sunrise Coffee Expert” badge on SkillDisplay. 

Tanja’s CV now shows her barista certificate, as well as our Skill verifications as employer (and of course the nice badge). We helped Tanja to further develop herself based on her existing skills and sent a clear signal that we value and recognize her performance - an important tool for employee retention.

Company development through ongoing skill management

Learning never stops. The definition of requirements, learning paths and goals is an important and ongoing process for every company. If we know which skills are available and identify missing skills, we are prepared for the future and at the same time can motivate our employees to expand their competence portfolio for their own benefit and that of the company.