Overcoming Employees’ Skills Gap

Overcoming Employee Skills Gap

In my earlier post, we discussed how employee skill gap or skill gap on the job is defined as the difference in the skills required and the actual skills possessed by the employee(s) on the job. Also, I explained that for an evolving organization, its employees are also evolving; the expectation is that for a firm to evolve one of two things is happening to it, it’s either a change in employees/management or its employees are also expected to evolve by learning new skills, developing old skills, and learning to be proficient in all areas across the board.

For the benefit of all, we will be discussing how we can overcome skills gap and how to assess it in the simplest and easiest way possible. This will enable us all do it and forge ahead in our careers without having to be subjected to the ridicule of earning it from someone else (i.e. a team mate or a not so nice boss.)

Assessment of Skills Gap

A good skill gap assessment needs a multi-step strategy to propose solutions and identify training requirements. Analyzing typically involves defining the skills and knowledge required to complete a task and then comparing a person’s current level to that requirement. After identifying the gap between the two, management can work with personnel to create a plan to remedy the situation. The underlying causes of skills gaps usually include changing jobs and lack of appropriate education and training. Determining the required skill levels usually includes defining the job responsibilities when companies introduce new technologies or processes.

Skill Gap Analysis

According to mbaskool.com, Identifying skill gaps is essential for companies to ensure that the workforce is well trained, knowledgeable & better equipped to perform the job. An Employee Skill Gap analysis helps achieve the following objectives:

  • Helps one refine and define skills the agency needs, now and in the future
  • Make employees aware about the critical skills they’ll need to grow
  • Helps in recruiting efforts when current employees don’t have the skills or the interest

In terms of banking, an example of a skill gap could be if an employee lacked the ability to cash government bonds. Or in an ICT firm were the job role requires an employee to know a programming language and a database and the employee knows only one language. This means there is a gap in skills. The employee can improve this by learning the missing skill.

Courtesy of blog.eskills.com, below is a detail or how to do a proper Employee Skills Gap Assessment;

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is to see where your employees are at, when it comes to how well they perform their jobs. A perfect way to do this is to test them. Skills testing can provide a good benchmark, so that you can see where your employees are before you get started. Then, you can test them again after training and development has been completed. This will also allow you to see which employees are able to learn more quickly.
  • Secondly, you’ll want to invest in training and development. If you want to be the best company out there, you must provide continuous training to support your initiatives. Invest in seminars, conferences, speakers, and anything else that might help your employees be the best they can be. It’s very likely that your workplace has two or even more generations working together, so knowing what works best for each generation can save you time and money in providing the right training.
  • Once you’ve provided training opportunities for your employees, you’ll want to create an environment that recognizes the accomplishments and rewards learning that supports your organization’s overall strategic vision. When employees go above and beyond in their professional development, reward them. Their initiative and drive could wind up making your company millions.
  • So you may be thinking, now what? You’ve established a benchmark, invested in employee training, and rewarded their training, so what else is there left to do? Benchmark again to find remaining deficiencies. An employee of an organization that wants to be #1 in its industry must be able to adapt to the changing workforce and learn effectively. If your company is suffering from a skills gap and your current workforce can’t keep up with the changing dynamics, it might be time for a change in your staff.

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