Identifying and Handling Skills Gaps in your Business

Identifying and Handling Skills Gaps in your Business

Digital transformation is something no business can avoid in 2022. We’ve discussed digital direction our world is going in and this is leaving many businesses with a skills gaps they need to fill. The World Economic Forum reports that around 50% of employees around the globe will need reskilling by 2025 and many workers will see their core skills shifting dramatically. Businesses need to look closely at their workforce, find the skills gaps and move forward with the right strategies to plug the gaps before they become a problem. Let’s look first at identifying skills gaps in your organisation.

Identifying Skills Gaps in your Teams

The most obvious way to find the skills gaps within your teams is to speak to your people. Be upfront with them about your aim of finding gaps within their skillsets or within the team and give them the opportunity to share what they feel they’re missing or what could improve their team or department. There are several ways to do this:

Team Meetings

A team meeting is the perfect place to introduce the idea. You can tell everyone together that you have a company-wide goal to locate skills gaps and find solutions. Be specific and look at where the real problems lie and be sure to look out for:

  1. Skills your teams need but no one has any experience or knowledge in
  2. Skills that do not have enough qualified members to perform them
  3. Skills that employees are keen to improve and build upon

These different focuses allows you to tailor your solution. Collective skills development, recruitment and further training may all be necessary to fully solve the problem.

One-to-Ones

Individual one-to-ones help to ascertain the individual skillsets of your team, and where skills maybe lacking. You may have employees with some experience in areas you didn’t know about and others who need a little more training or support to reach their potential in particular skills. One-to-ones allow you to understand individual skills gaps and compare these against collective skills gaps within the team so you can plan the best forward action.

Filling Workplace Skills Gaps

There are three main ways you can solve the skills gaps problem within your workplace, with a combination of all three often the most effective solution.

1.    Outsourcing

Outsourcing to people already experienced in a skill you need for your business is a quick and effective solution. You can use individual freelancers or a specific service platform to aid your outsourcing and it can be a quick fix but you’re relying on individuals outside of your workplace to get things done. Outsourcing can lead to difficulties in communication and misunderstandings as those you work with do not understand your company’s ethos and practices quite as well as you own employees.

2.    Hiring

If you need a highly experienced data analyst – why not just hire one? The problem with hiring to fill every skills gap is the considerable cost and the time it takes. Finding the right person can take a long time and there is no guarantee the person you’re bringing in will be right for the job. Hiring new staff is always inherently risky but if you bring in someone with the right skills and experience, they can also be a great asset to the team and improve your team’s collective skillset.

3.    Upskilling

We are big believers in the power of upskilling. It is often the natural next step after taking the time to audit your teams and identify skills gaps. Upskilling could be offering new training courses, suggesting apprenticeship programmes or allowing partially skilled team members to shadow those already proficient in a particular skill. Upskilling is a fantastic way of showing your commitment to your team and there is a considerable cost saving. Your employees expect development within their career and using this as an opportunity to plug skills gaps within your organisation is a great move.

As the latest data shows, most businesses currently in operation need to shift their skills base and this means giving employees new skills and aligning themselves with the latest digital developments.