How to identify and address your employee skills gap

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Companies like yours invest a lot of time and money in technology and human resources to train their employees.

Your training team's primary task is to address your employees' skills gap and train them. As a result, identifying training needs correctly will make or break your training efforts.

The goal of training is not to offer training and development for the sake of it. You need to offer the sort of training that's actually going to impact your business positively.

In this post, we will look at:

  • Why should you do skill gap analysis
  • Who should do it
  • How to do it
  • How to design your training to fill the gap

Four benefits of identifying the skill gaps

Identify and fix training needs: Which of your customer support executives are spending more time on an average handling calls (AHT)? Why are the sales executives giving deeper discounts than before to close deals?

When you ask such questions, you get a clear understanding of

  • who needs training
  • what do they need training on
  • what should be the outcome of the training

Now, isn't that a good starting point for planning your training.

Use your training budget strategically: Identifying skill gaps allows you to prioritize skills that need immediate attention, creating training programs, scheduling them etc. Thereby channeling your resources optimally.

Develop and retain employees: When you help your employees develop skills that make an immediate impact on their jobs, they are more likely to perform better, grow their career and stick around working for your organization for a long period.

Plan your hiring strategy: Identifying skill gaps not only helps you bring your employees up to speed, this can also guide you through recruiting candidates who already master those specific skills. This way, you will create fully-equipped teams with a wide range of skill sets.

A major advantage of having employees with a range of skill-sets is that you can move experienced employees to fill gaps internally.

Who is responsible for conducting the skill gap analysis?

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A good starting point is to figure out what kind of skills you want to measure and which groups of employees you want to evaluate.

You will have to look at the skill gaps at individual, team, and at company level.

At an individual level: Your team leaders are responsible for identifying individual skill gaps. Typically, this is done only at the end of the year in annual performance reviews. You should encourage team leaders to have frequent 1:1 meetings with each sales executive to discuss their performance, identify skill gaps, and set goals for a quarter or a six month period.

At the team level: Your department or project managers are responsible for identifying the skills gap at the team-level. For example, you want to improve customer satisfaction across the org, so sales, marketing, and support team leaders conduct a thorough skills gap analysis to identify areas for improvement in their teams.

At an org-level: Your HR and training teams will identify org-wide skill gaps. A simple example here is when your HR wants to offer management training to team leaders, so they analyze how team leaders currently perform when it comes to team management, coaching, conflict handling, etc.

Once you figure out who is responsible for analyzing the skills gap, how do you start the process?

Here are four steps to get you started on how to identify skill gaps

1 - Let your organizational goals guide you to identify skill gaps

A growing business needs a continuous upskilling of its workforce as its business offering evolves or because of new hiring.

Analyzing skill gaps from the vantage point of the company's goals helps you break down and articulate what your employees need to know, understand, and do at the end of training to meet your stated goals.

Essentially, the top-level objectives will guide you to focus and optimize your training to improve business outcomes.

2 - Analyze what your employees already know

Make a list of skills, and abilities your employees need and determine where on the spectrum your employees lie.

As the fundamental goal of any training is to teach employees what they don't know, you may want to:

  • Conduct assessments to give your employees a chance to showcase what they know.
  • Or conduct a simple survey among your employees,
  • Or observe their work and performance over a specific time period to understand what they already know before redesigning your training programs.

3 - Ask your employees where they need help

Take the time to ask employees what they need to do their jobs better.

Are they able to deliver at work, if not, what kind of training can help them sharpen their skills?

It will be ideal if department managers or team leaders are tasked to talk to employees and not the HR in this scenario.

Here, the goal is to set objectives for training that match employee needs.

This can help you find deficiencies you would have never thought to check.

4 - Ask managers to identify opportunities

Your managers are the bridge between executives and workers.

They have a unique perspective on how things are going in the boardroom and on the office floor.

Talk to your managers to see what they feel can be improved, which training needs they want to prioritize, and what can be put on the back burner.

Now that you have a step-by-step process to identify skill gaps, the next question is - how do you start addressing them?

How to address your employee skill gaps?

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Start by assessing your current training resources and capabilities.

Once you figure out what your employees know, it is time to see if your training resources are already in place to support progress towards your objectives and what needs fine-tuning (or scrapping altogether).

You might want to focus on delivering the following:

  • Experiential learning: Whereby you allow employees to learn by doing.
  • Microlearning modules: where you break down learning into detailed, byte-sized programs that enable your employees to channel their concentration and focus on learning in short bursts.
  • Mobile learning: where you enable employees to learn anytime by accessing training material anywhere and on any device.

Is your current training system capable of making this transformation?

Let us address the elephant in the room - your training tech.

Your training team is only as good or bad as your training tech.

As you identify skill gaps, your training team has to address the training needs quickly and swiftly. This is where your training tech plays a crucial role.

If your training team hasn't got a sophisticated training system, they will find it hard to identify and plug the skills gap.

That's why we built Nittio Learn LMS, an all-round training tool built for training teams to:

  • Create assessments like tests and quizzes within minutes that help you test your employees and assess their skills.
  • Create training programs from scratch with multimedia material within hours.
  • Create simulated environments such as software or scenario-based workflows to guide employees to learn through observation and interaction.
  • Transform your existing courses into byte-sized programs along a learning path or create brand new microlearning programs in no time.
  • Conduct blended training, where self-paced online programs allow employees to learn independently and allocate instructors to lead training where their presence is required.
  • Transform your existing training material into mobile-friendly programs or create brand new mobile-friendly programs from scratch and deliver them within hours.
  • And so much more.

If you want to assess further if our LMS fits your purpose, visit www.nittiolearn.com to learn more.


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