For the uninitiated, a ‘skills gap’ refers to specific areas in your business where performance is lacking due to your team’s shortage of skills. Once you, as the manager, have identified a skills gap, it’s up to you to bridge it.
This may sound daunting, but fear not, you’re not alone. As many as 87% of companies are experiencing skills gaps as we speak or anticipate suffering from one in a few years.
Offering your current team training is the easiest way to plug these gaps. This is a surefire way of imparting the skills, knowledge and experience your workforce needs to excel at their jobs.
But, before we dive into that, let’s explore how to best identify skills gaps in your workplace.
How to Recognise Skill Gaps
To identify skills gaps, take a closer look at your employees’ output. The most accurate way to evaluate this is by gathering data on employee competency. With this information to hand, you’ll soon have a clearer picture of where staff are excelling and, more importantly, where there’s room for improvement – i.e. your skills gap.
What Data Should You Gather?
First things first, you need to set, monitor, and evaluate key performance indicators (KPIs).
Using a KPI software to handle this for you is the most accurate method of assessing for competency gaps. Plus, you eliminate any unintentional bias from your assessments too – win win!
Here are a few examples of KPIs you could set:
- Customer service competency
- Effective complaint handling
- Written communication proficiency
- Account management
…These are just a few examples, but you get the idea.
Pro Tip: Ensure you are interpreting the data accurately. For instance, everyone has a bad day every now and then. So, when reflecting upon the figures, don’t take an isolated incident and blow it out of proportion. Instead, speak to the employee and figure out whether any intervention is necessary.
In contrast to one-off blips, it’s your employees’ overall performance trends you need to carefully review. Typically, these communicate deeper problems that need addressing, usually through staff training.
Interestingly, 56% of companies say that staff training is the most effective method of addressing skills gaps.
If you are unsure where to begin with professional development recommendations, opt for the experts. We would love to help you navigate this so drop us a line at email@example.com. There is a plethora of training out there that can provide your workforce engaging and effective:
- Training sessions (one-offs and entire courses)
On top of that, you may want to consider making the following resources accessible to your staff:
- Online courses and eBooks – so they can dip into training whenever it’s most convenient for them.
- Employee mentorship programs – here, your more senior staff members could help train younger, less experienced employees. Not only is this great for professional development, but it’s also an easy way of encouraging communication and team building across your staff – win-win!
- The opportunity to attend events and conferences pertaining to whatever skill you’re looking to enhance.
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