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Workplace skills gap


You know that feeling when you're at work and you realize that you have no idea how to do something that seems important to your business?

You may be trying to run your team, or trying to find qualified candidates to fill vacancies as you note that there is a mismatch between the skills people have and the skills companies need. It’s that deep feeling that there are some missing skills in your team! The truth is, you’re not alone!

There is a huge and growing “skills gap” in today’s workforce, between the current skills that people possess and the skills that have grown in demand in the labor market. The skills gap is not a problem for new university graduates, but also for experienced staff. It is therefore a problem of concern to all segments of society, and it will be further aggravated if we do nothing about it.

The skills gap has great implications for both employers and employees!

For companies, skills gaps are likely to hurt company-wide productivity as employee average productivity is likely to be lower with significant skills gaps. Skills gaps will also inflate average staff costs as companies require more staff per project.

Furthermore, delays in detecting skills gaps can result in the loss of valuable staff who may be looking for other opportunities due to lack of progress as staff are frustrated by their inability to meet job requirements and seek employment elsewhere.

For individuals, lack of required skills limits employment opportunities. It is estimated that by 2030, nearly 20% of the workforce will be significantly ineligible for their jobs. As a result, many may find themselves less productive in their work, or even completely unemployed.

Developing and refining skills is therefore critical to ensuring long-term employability. Read on to see what the skills gap really means and what you can do about it.

What is the "skills gap"? Why is it important to reduce it?

The skills gap indicates the difference between the skills employers need and the skills employees have. As technology and jobs evolve, new skills are needed, but staff may not always keep pace. Based on this skills gap can make it difficult for companies to fill positions and for people to progress in their careers.

The skills gap may affect companies, employees and the economy as a whole. 70% of hiring managers report a skills gap. It is also important to address the skills gap, refine the skills of the enterprise’s workforce and restructure them according to emerging trends and techniques in the corporate world. More broadly, the skills gap may slow economic growth.

What are the downsides of the skills gap in the workplace?

Generally speaking, your company’s skills gap can lead to many problems. Here are some of the main problems:

  • Low productivity:

    When companies cannot find employees with the right skills, it hampers their ability to work efficiently and productively. Companies struggle to develop, improve and market products and services. This could cost her a lot of money and slow her economic growth. Some jobs may also remain vacant for several months, and companies must divert resources to recruit and train new employees.
  • Higher costs:

    The skills gap also increases costs for companies. They have to pay higher salaries to attract scarce, highly skilled talent. They should also invest more in training programs to upgrade staff members’ skills. As a result, these additional costs may affect companies’ final results and their ability to expand.

  • Difficulty of innovation:

    Lack of technical and personal skills hampers innovation. Companies need employees with sophisticated knowledge and capabilities to develop new products and services. They also need staff who can collaborate, communicate, think critically and solve complex problems. Without these skills, companies struggle to compete and progress.

How to identify skills gaps in your workplace?

Identifying skills gaps is the first step to developing a training program that will enhance your team’s potential, improve performance and achieve better business outcomes. To refine your organization’s skills gaps, you first need to locate them.

Here are some ways you can detect shortcomings in staff capabilities:

  • Performance Audit:

    Find feedback about each employee regarding areas where they need further improvement or training. You can use Upskillable’s IMX assessment, which is an advanced way for many companies to measure employee efficiency and assess employee behavior.

  • Analysis of project results:

    Examine any unsuccessful or stalled projects to determine whether the lack of skills contributed to their disruption. Try to see if additional training might help achieve better results.

  • Evaluation of key metrics:

    See key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to detect shortcomings. For example, if customer satisfaction scores are low, they may indicate poor customer service or communication skills. If productivity decreases, this may indicate shortcomings in technical or time management capabilities.

  • On-the-job employee monitoring:

    Nothing is more valuable than direct employees observation, inspect their daily roles and interactions to see any skills gaps first-hand. Make feedback on specific areas that can be improved or enhanced through training.

How to reduce the skills gap in your workplace?

Addressing the skills gap in your workplace is critical to the success, growth and development of your skills and those of your employees.

So here are some strategies and solutions you can try:

  • Invest in employees training:

    Provide opportunities for your employees to strengthen their current skills and develop new skills through ongoing training, education and mentoring programs. This can include both formal and informal options such as online courses at Udemy or Drops. workshops, training etc.

  • Strategically employing talents:

    When hiring new employees, find candidates with a growth mindset who are eager to build their skills over time. So consider hiring for potential and passion, not just experience.

  • Competitive incentives for employees:

    Award salaries competitively based on skills and performance to retain the best talent. Accordingly, consider providing additional incentives and benefits for highly skilled employees.

  • Encourage cooperation / collaboration:

    Create an environment where employees are encouraged to collaborate, communicate and share knowledge. This can help address skills gaps and promote an atmosphere of continuous learning.

  • Create career paths:

    Instead of locked jobs, provide opportunities for career growth and side moves. Create career paths, job rotation and comprehensive training programs. This makes jobs more attractive and helps staff acquire new skills. It also builds a more flexible and diverse workforce.
  • Assignment of new tasks:

    Assigning staff to difficult and short-term tasks in areas beyond their normal responsibilities helps them develop new skills and expertise. These “extended tasks” can include leading a new project, mentoring others or participating in recruitment decisions.
  • Provision of on-the-job training opportunities:

    Do not expect to find the “perfect” candidate. Be ready to invest in continuous staff development and continuous education. On-the-job training, mentoring programs and skills training can help make new employees up to speed. This also promotes employee satisfaction and retention.
  • Use skill assessments:

    Degrees and certificates do not always reflect someone’s abilities and potential. Find candidates with skills that translate across functions such as communication, critical thinking and problem solving.

By evaluating the personality and skills already within Upskillable’s services, we can help develop existing staff members’ careers and improve retention rates while identifying the competencies and expertise required of new employees.

Ultimately, following these strategies will help you ensure your business has the skilled workforce you need to succeed now and in the future. Investing in your employees and strategically hiring is also one of the most influential steps you can take to fill the skills gap. With time and effort, you can build a team of highly skilled staff.

In the end:

Although the disadvantages of skills shortage are significant, by using the right strategies you can change things and prepare your business for long-term success. Focus on developing your employees, adopting new ways of working, and fostering an environment where everyone can reach their full potential.

The skills gap is a systemic problem that requires a coordinated solution. Companies need to invest in improving the skills and rehabilitation of current employees. Likewise, educational institutions must better align programs with labor market needs.

Individuals must pursue lifelong learning to maintain their skills and keep abreast of labor market developments. The skills gap will not fix itself. But by working together, companies and individuals can develop the talent needed to fill key roles, boost productivity, stimulate innovation and stimulate economic growth.

Continuous education and advanced scientific research are the driving force of social and economic creativity. Thus, investing in the education of the individual and society is an investment in human capital, which is the real wealth and knowledge we seek and urge to move towards and achieve the Saudi Vision 2030 in the Human Capacity Development Program.

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