Skills gaps will always exist. That’s a fact. It is the one thing that CEOs worldwide all struggle with, and they are more prevalent now than they have ever been thanks to the changing nature of the world of work; people today are doing jobs that didn’t exist in the near past.
So, how do you make sure that your organization is ahead of the curve and ensure that workforce skills gaps are kept at a minimum? By conducting an analysis of skills gaps is how.
What is Skills Gap Analysis?
Skills gap analysis is one of the most effective ways to identify the strengths and weaknesses within your organization’s teams, how they are performing, and where improvements can be made—it allows you to see where skills gaps and deficiencies exist within teams so that you can rectify them. A team that has all the right people with all the right skills for their roles will help bring your organization in line with now and the future rather than keep it firmly in the past.
By carrying out a skills gap analysis, your organization will benefit from:
- A clearer view of how it operates on different levels.
- Seeing the skills of each individual employee and how you could be using them better.
- Seeing where there is a potential skills gap that can be filled.
- Being better equipped to invest in suitable training or hiring new talent.
- Seeing where your priorities lay, and which gaps need to be filled immediately.
What are Skills Gaps?
You can’t look for something when you don’t know what you are looking for. Although there is no set definition of ‘skills gaps’ or what one constitutes, the general thought is that they are performance deficiencies caused by a lack of skills for a specific job role or a lack of training and development for it.
In the short-term, it is your organization’s goal to bridge these gaps by immediate interventions such as the delivering of training. In the long-term, it is to permanently address these gaps by improving and overhauling certain processes or restructuring departments, for example.
By conducting skills gap analysis, your goal is to see what is wrong and then embark upon fixing them to avoid instances of them happening in the future.
Identifying Skills Gaps
Getting started is the hardest part of conducting skills gap analysis. The very first step is to take a close look at employee performance so that potential skills gaps can be identified. Skills gap analysis is a heavily data-led process, so gathering and looking at it is of crucial importance. It allows you to determine competency gaps and find root causes that can be addressed.
There are numerous ways that can be used to gather data for a skills gap analysis. Here are four different approaches that you can use to gather it for assessment purposes.
1. Employee assessments
Assessments are great ways to identify skills gaps, and every method of assessing an employee will yield different pieces of data. Practical assessments, roleplays, tests, and quizzes are all potential means of putting your employees’ skills to task and finding out what they’re good and not so good at.
If you do choose to assess employees, make sure you do so based on real work scenarios to identify actual skills gaps. There is little point in performing abstract assessments that have no relation to your employees’ roles.
2. Mapping organizational structure
Having your organizational structure mapped out—for example, by using org charts—it is easier to visualize your organization’s workforce and see where certain roles are under-resourced or see which departments are missing specialists, for instance. It can also help you identify employees who may be overdue a promotion or who are yet to undertake a training course.
Using org chart software such as Organimi makes it easier to map out your workforce, too. It can be integrated into current systems for data importing and kept automatically updated as people join and leave, move between departments, or become more skilled.
3. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators help managers identify how an employee contributes to the organization. They also help with career progression, rewards and benefits, compensation, and retention, among other things. All in all, they are accurate indicators of workplace performance and overall competency for a job role.
4. Frontline observations
Data and numbers alone don’t tell the whole story or paint the full picture.
By spending time on the frontline of your organization, you get first-hand experience of what is happening in your organization’s work environment(s). This makes it a lot easier to identify obvious skills gaps and gather data that can be used for skills gap analysis later on down the line. Observing employees is the perfect opportunity to see how certain factors influence an employee’s work and their performance.
Plan First, Act Later
Before embarking upon data gathering for skills gap analysis, be sure to plan properly.
You and other involved parties need to decide on what it is you’re looking for, which employees need to be spoken to or observed, and what your organization’s goals for the analysis (and future goals in general) are.
Ask yourself questions like “Where is the organization going?” and “What skill sets are necessary for our employees?”, for example. It also helps to consider the future and potential work trends that may be on the horizon. Which jobs could potentially be automated or staffed remotely? Are there any roles that don’t currently exist but that you may need in the future?
There are multiple resources you may want to consider to find an answer to these questions, such as 100 Jobs of the Future.
If you do decide to carry out skills gap analysis, be sure to consider Organimi and think about how you could use it to your advantage. Our cloud-based SaaS platform is easily deployable in companies large and small and can be customized to a high degree to allow for seamless use with or alongside your company’s existing tools, processes, and workflows.
Want to see how you can make Organimi work for you? Sign up for a free trial today and begin charting your success.