Today, the skills gap impacts almost every industry. Here are four ways to help your teams obtain the skills they need to be successful:
1. Conduct a skills gap analysis
Before you can effectively address any skills gaps within your teams, you need a clear understanding of which skills are most essential to each team's function within the organization. These skills could be technical in nature, or they could be soft skills like communication and leadership.
Once you've determined which skills are most valuable to your organization, conduct surveys and assessments to pinpoint weak spots. These will help you to create benchmarks so you can measure the skill levels of individual team members. With this data, you can begin to construct a plan for developing skill sets among your team members.
2. Identify key drivers of the skills gap
There is no one single cause of the skills gap. Depending on your industry and the unique needs of your organization, you may identify several drivers. For example, in the manufacturing industry, many organizations are facing a skills crisis as the result of retiring baby boomers. When these experienced professionals retire, they can leave companies with a lack of knowledge about key processes.
In other cases, the rapid advancement of technology may be to blame. Companies want to hire experienced workers, but some important technologies are so new that even recent college graduates have little experience with them. For instance, many of the machine learning technologies employed by major corporations are only a few years old, making it impossible to find someone with more than a decade of experience.
3. Get buy-in from leadership and employees
For training to be effective, everyone needs to be on the same page, from the C-suite down to entry level employees. Often, it is HR's responsibility to plan for skills training, but they can't do it alone. Getting support from leadership is a necessary step, because without it budgets can fall short and rules may not be enforced.
At the same time, training leaders also need to gain support from employees who may be resistant to change. It is very important to explain to employees why training is necessary and how it will benefit their careers. By looking at training as an investment, HR can secure compliance from all team members.
"Investing in internal talent is a key and often overlooked part of this process," says Matthew Glazier, Practice Manager for Beacon Hill's Associates Division in Boston. "Finding a qualified candidate to bridge a skills gap or fill a vacant position is a challenge, especially in a tight job market. To ease that problem, be aggressive in developing the talent you have and creating a culture that rewards achievement with new opportunities and professional development at all levels. Employees who lack training – or worse – feel stagnant quickly become candidates searching the market for a new challenge. Creating a transparent process for employees to achieve developmental milestones within their positions will encourage professional growth across the organization."
4. Assess your technology needs
Once you understand which skills are most important to your organization, have identified which teams need training, and gained support from all stakeholders, it's time to assess your technology needs. Solutions like multichannel educational content can support your learning needs. However, there are many solutions on the market, which can make it difficult to determine which will bring the greatest advantage to your organization. It can be helpful to enlist the aid of a technology consultant to help you identify the optimal solution for your unique needs.
Ready to explore your options? Contact a consultant from Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.
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