It is impossible to not have “skill gaps” in an organization. It is present in every workplace and industry. But, in result-oriented businesses, where performance is of utmost importance, skill gaps are the biggest detriment to attaining business objectives. And when it comes to corporate training, the most important concern is, how to properly identify skill gaps and coming up with mechanisms to address them.
What are skill gaps?: There is actually no set definition for it, but the general consensus is that these gaps are caused by a lack of skills for the workplace or the lack of development thereof. Another definition could be an evident contrast between the required job performance and the employees’ actual performance. An organization can bridge this gap through interventions like training, development programs, etc. The goal is to mitigate the effect on business metrics as soon as possible.
How to identify skill gaps in the workplace?: The first step is to closely observe your employees to identify skill gaps. This can be done by gathering data and finding the root cause that needs to be addressed. As a side note, this process is also critical in the identification of training needs of employees.
Looking at the wrong data or administering the wrong approach can have severe consequences when it comes to your company’s training, development, and even operational processes and interventions. And for that reason, we would like to focus on data gathering methodologies when it comes to identifying gaps for essential skills for the workplace.
There are numerous methodologies that you can employ in data-gathering. The best approach, however, is to utilize at least three. Not only will it give you different perspectives on the issue, but will also provide you more insight on what the real issues and root causes are.
More importantly, multiple data sources can be used to cross-validate data, confirm analysis results, and ultimately, properly ratify and identify skill gaps.
For training professionals, determining competency gaps is one of the most effective methods of determining training needs. Not only that, it does not only determine what skills need to be trained or developed in the short-term, but it also affects T & D strategy in the long run.
Keep all bases covered: You will be quite surprised that there will be a lot of instances when the root cause of a skill gap is something that cannot be represented by numbers. Some examples of such root causes are: a lack of motivation, an incompetent manager, or a lack of equipment – the list goes on. It is always best to make sure that all bases are covered with sound data gathering and thorough analysis. Most, if not all, of the time – using multiple data sources will point you to the skill gap and its root causes without the need to dwell too much on data.
So, always make sure to keep all bases covered and implement the appropriate intervention based on