This post was originally published by Jenny Boling on lessonly.com.
Hey there leaders and trainers, I’ve got a question for you: Are you wondering how to improve your team’s skills? If so, do you also find yourself staring at spreadsheets and manually tracking skills across your workforce? If these situations ring a bell, you aren’t alone.
But, it’s time to stop settling for this subpar method of skills tracking. There’s this valuable, yet underused tool, known as a skill gap analysis via the magic sauce known as skill software. And as it turns out, it’s one of the most effective ways to identify the skills that your team is missing as well as the employees who need upskilling and reskilling to help your organization keep up with the speed of business.
What’s a skill gap analysis?
A skill gap analysis is a way to determine what gaps exist between employees’ current skills and the skills they need to reach individual and business goals. Skills management software creates the benefit of catering to your company’s specific needs in a more efficient way. As a result, this helps you establish what training or hiring requirements are needed to fill apparent skill gaps.
5 ways to identify skill gaps within your teams and employees
1. ID your company’s objectives
While it might seem nice to have well-rounded employees, ultimately your business or specific department probably needs one skill more than another. By identifying your company’s goals first, you can easily identify what skills based courses your employees need right now and in the future.
2. Break down skills based on the job role
Not every single person on your team will be completely well-rounded in the same way—where some will have strong skills in one area, they might be lacking in another. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you aren’t training your employees in the wrong areas, which is where identifying their skills and breaking them down comes into play. Once you’ve categorized your positions, you can now move on to skills tracking and prioritising skill-based learning at the job-position level. For example, a senior sales rep may need expert-level skills on a specific subject or area while a brand new rep may need additional training and coaching on some of the more foundational skills.
3. ID your employee’s skills
Evaluate if the people in their positions are equipped to do their jobs and do them well. Sorry guys, but you can’t assume that your employees know everything that they should. Even long-time employees may have skill gaps due to not needing certain skills on a regular basis or because their job has become more specialized.
4. Crunch the data, the analysis, and comparison
For all you mathematicians out there: skills needed – skills possessed = skills gap. Now, it’s time to analyze these items in your review process:
- The list of skills your team is lacking and what employee skill database and/or training is necessary to address these gaps
- Which skills are needed for future positions
- What training is required for different groups or teams
- Which employees show exceptional skills and can be promoted or help other teammates develop those same skills
- Who has critical skills and how many of these people there are? What percentage is there and can their skills possibly be used to help train others?
- What skills will be needed in the future and how can skills tracking software help you monitor growth?
5. Close the gaps
And here’s the good news. By using the right data, putting people first, and leveraging technology like skills management software you’ll be on the path to success. Because of the time and expenses associated with training, we suggest you start with closing the most crucial gaps first before building a complete skill matrix for workers. Each plan should include reasons why employees need to improve these skills, the best ways to address the gaps, what support is needed, and a date when the training needs to be completed.
Identifying skill gaps is crucial when it comes to building effective and focused training programs. All too often, companies launch programs without understanding where the skill gaps exist with their teams. And that leads to some pretty poor results. Think about it: it doesn’t make sense to overhaul your customer service training or sales training program when you don’t even know what skills they excel at first, right?
Manage and level up your team’s skills
There might be many other gaps among your team depending on the industry and business. The important thing is to have the data and tools to help you take a skill-based approach that identifies and uncovers any gaps. With skills management software that caters to your company’s specific needs, you can get more done with less effort.