Every CEO desires an army of capable and skilled employees who can produce outstanding work. Yet in reality, companies have a “mixed bag” of employees with varied skill levels. Research further suggests that a very small percentage of the workforce is skilled enough to handle their workload. And to add fuel to the fire, technology’s ability to quickly become obsolete furthers the gap in skills.
With all this hindering the success of a company, how can we improve the performance of more employees?
Discussing people’s deficiencies is not the most pleasant conservation. Immediately, an employee’s thoughts dash off to thinking that they will be terminated. So obviously the attitude that you adopt to tackle this issue is imperative.
“We’re all in this together” is the wisest strategy to adopt. Employees should know that it’s not just themselves that need to work on gaps in skills. From the CEO to the newly-hired employee, everyone needs to be on the same page.
Here are a few ideas to help everyone close the skills gap:
Auditing the company – To determine what skills employees lack, perform an in-depth investigation. Make employees fill out surveys to discuss shortfalls, analyze exceptional employees to see what skills all employees need to have and get feedback from upper and middle management to identify essential skills as a good benchmark to start narrowing down where problems exist. Human resources can also conduct research to see what the current and projected in-demand skills are to better prepare employees for the future.
Solutions for skills gap - Provide opportunities for education and training. To further support the idea of ongoing training while working, the company could create a training department that provides valuable resources. Also supporting additional schooling is a great way to help employees further their skills. When you really boil down the issue of inadequate skills, it’s often just a matter of education.
Checking in - When companies invest so heavily in their employees, it’s natural to expect a return on their investment. To ensure employees stay the course, they need to be assessed. Testing employees to see if they have improved their skills is necessary to measure their progress.
When you provide the motivation to grow and be a better worker, you can turn the skills gaps that become the company’s pitfalls into pluses because companies that invest in their employees’ education often find that they bring not only new and improved skills, but a fresh perspective.
Where do you see the biggest skills gap in your organization?
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