In today’s competitive environment, a skill gap in any workforce talent hinders your company’s ability to grow. A skill gap is a difference between the skills you need for a job in comparison to the skills possessed by your workforce. Employees are increasingly retiring, taking with them valuable skills and a vast life experience out of the workplace. The high mobility of talented people in the information economy is also to blame for the increased skill gap. As a business owner, you face a lot of challenges that require specific skills, but you find your employees falling short.
What can you do about it?
Some business owners, as well as HR managers, believe that the answer rests in hiring outside talent. It does seem like the obvious choice assuming you have the budget to hire new talent and provide proper new hire training. The truth is such a step overlooks the opportunities that may already exist in your workforce. It is thus important to also consider cultivating new skills from within your workforce before employing a new outside talent. Current employees who are trustworthy and committed offer a sound investment.
Through proper training, high potential employees can grow into vacant roles in your business. A learning management system can help create the talent your business needs. Empowering your workforce bridges the skill gap that exists in your company. Here is how a learning management system will help you solve the gap skill puzzle in your business.
Identify the skill gap
Before embarking on a plan to address a skill gap in your business, you must first carefully identify the gap. This is done by identifying the skills needed in your business and the available skills. You should understand what issues are falling into the gap and how big the gap is, is it a crack or a chasm?
Identify the skills that your employees need to be successful on the job to come up with a successful training program. Creating an inventory of the available skills helps you form the basis of your training by projecting the what your business needs. This stock taking helps you choose a learning management software that best suits your learning process. You can inventory the skills already in your company through surveys, assessment tools or discussions.
For the training program to be truly effective, you must consider all aspects of the skills needed by your employees. For example, do your employees need to develop tech skills, leadership skills, trade skills or soft skills? For you to build a succession pipeline for your business, you must identify the immediate needs of your business, a growth projection, and your long term goals.
Map a plan to fill the gap
Before taking any action, it is imperative to map an action plan. Your plan should be sound and realistic. This is where you consider the key factors in achieving a successful learning process. In your plan, identify which skills suit different employees. This can be done by learning their career aspirations. Different ambitions call for different training. For example, while some of your employees are suited to leadership skills, other are best suited to customer relations skills.
Workforce planning makes it more efficient to use a learning management software in skill development. Identifying the set of skills, your workers aspire to gain helps you map out a strategic approach to the learning process. After formulating your plan, it is advisable to make a big deal about it internally. All levels of your business should support your plan thus encouraging your employees to be a part of the process.
Execute the action plan
After mapping out your plan, it’s now time to execute it. This is where your learning management system plays a critical role. Training methods offered through LMS platforms include online learning courses, seminars and community forums. Through this platform, you can record your employee’s skills and qualification. This helps you identify any new responsibilities they are qualified to assume. You can also measure the returns of the learning investment you just made and make changes where necessary.
Put the skills to use
After planning and executing your learning program, you must put the knowledge and skills of your workforce to use otherwise the bridge meant to close the skill gap will eventually crumble. Put the newly learned skills to use in the relevant scenarios. In so doing, you will promote problem-solving, innovation as well as creativity in your workforce.
The results of such a learning process may not show immediate results, but the long-term results will have a potentially huge payoff in your business. A learning management software incorporates teaching skills as well as providing a discussion of application.
Every business lacks certain unique skills that create a gap. A skill gap can, however, change in width through a proper learning or training process. By actively working to build bridges that span skill gaps, your business will always make progress.