How to get rid of the headache called skills gap?

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How to get rid of the headache called skills gap?

How to get rid of the headache called skills gap?
  01 February, 2023   Dr. Preeti Adhav

The world of business is an ever-evolving one. Being at the top is a constant battle with competition being fiercer than ever.Being at the top requires newer strategies and the best talents. The dynamic nature of the corporate world demands an update of skills almost regularly; otherwise, the company risks falling behind. Confronting the skills gap is therefore of utmost importance.

A skills gap is a difference between the skills that an employee possesses and the skills demanded by the job. The widening skills gap is a headache for everyone. Most business leaders agree that they need their teams to acquire new skills to better meet their goals. Even if they have hired the top talents in the past, there is a chance that the skills they possess are no longer a fit for the current demands. Regardless of how talented they are, your employees' skills can become outdated over time.

A significant number of business leaders are aware that there exists a skills gap within their organization. If not addressed as soon as possible, this can harm the organisation in the long run. Employees need to be skilled, agile and updated with the latest developments in order to reach business goals. Due to COVID-19, we have been forced to redefine our goals and rethink our approaches to achieving those goals. The world is changed in such a way that many of the traditional approaches to our work no longer work. Employers are seeking new skills that are more suited to the new world. Many employers have reported that closing the skills gap in their workforce has become a higher priority since the pandemic began.

Upskilling or reskilling is the best way to bridge the skills gap. Without it, the employees risk losing out to a newer, more updated workforce. According to a McKinsey report, 30 percent of hours worked globally will be automated by 2030. This means that employers will regularly need to update their skills in order to remain in demand. The world of technology evolves rapidly, and employers need their team to keep up with the latest skills. Technological skills are more likely to become obsolete than other skills.Most business leaders agree that tech skills require refreshing within two years. Employing a new batch of employees every few years is not valuable. Therefore, reskilling and upskilling the existing workforce is the way to go.

Thankfully, there are many different ways through which employers can effectively motivate their workforce to help them succeed at their jobs.

The first thing an employer needs to do is identify the skills gap in their organisation and determine what specific skillsets the employees are lacking. Tracking progress and work activities can provide valuable insights in this regard. A skills gap analysis will reveal what skills the employees possess and what skills they require. Companies can then proceed to come up with strategies to overcome the skills gap.

Providing training for employees is a great way to overcome the skills gap. Employers can organise employee training to refresh the core skills required by the workers and equip them with any technical or soft skills they might be lacking. This option is especially effective because employees may not have enough time or resources to improve their skills. If internal resources alone are not enough to overcome the skills gap, companies can enlist the help of mentors and external helpers. Companies can join forces with universities and institutions for coaching and mentoring programs to obtain proper guidance.

According to many, soft skills may be more important than technical skills. Soft skills like communication, organisation, teamwork, and flexibility help people collaborate and work together to achieve a common goal. It is very important to develop social and emotional skills. Upon employment, companies can train employees in these skills to improve their skill sets. On-the-job learning can help them develop various skills like problem-solving abilities, leadership skills, empathy, and teamwork.

Introducing new learning formats is a great way to attract the interest of employees. Digital learning has become increasingly popular, especially post-Covid. Companies can organize virtual as well as on-site workshops, collaborative assignments, fieldwork, experimental learning, feedback and support, and expert coaching from which employees can take their pick. People appreciate options. They can take advantage of the many tools made available by their company. Companies need to provide opportunities for employees to develop new skills. They can be assigned tasks outside their area of expertise. This will enable them to gain a new skill and perhaps explore another avenue.

It is essential for employers to follow up with the workforce and monitor their progress. Otherwise, it will be difficult to learn if the upskilling and reskilling efforts have been working at all. Assessment and monitoring can help business leaders understand what areas have improved and which areas require further improvement.