Monday, September 21, 2015

How to Fill Skills Gaps via Proper Trainings?

Training should be a means to an end for improving competence and increased workforce capability.

We live in a time of rapidly changing technology and business dynamic, the growth minds, the new skills, or digital capabilities are needed every day. From talent management perspective, more specifically, how do you identify skill gap issues (some are real, some are “artificial,”) and how to fill competency gaps via proper training?


Well identify the skill gaps and define the competencies required to achieve business goals. Before you can train you need to first define the competencies required to achieve your organizational goals at a technical/functional level, behavioural and attitudinal, core competencies including values, the generic and foundation skills/training that affect all employees and the management and leadership competencies. It's often the case that organization’s training without defining the value impacts what they are looking for. If you know what is done now, what the results are and have been, and you know where you need to be, you can plan for several options. The skills question is one that need to permeate into all levels of the company. You can acquire talent based on skills, train existing employees on these needed skills, or perhaps do a little of both.


Training should be a means to an end for improving competence and increased workforce capability. Often organizations have a training matrix at best, with no measure or assessment of the output, competence or the acquisitions of increased knowledge or skills. It is vitally important if organizations are to see a return on investment and objectively identify talent based on competence and capability, not just training attended. The budget should never be an excuse to not provide the organization with the skill sets it needs to move forward. Training doesn't have to be expensive to be impactful. Being able to succinctly identify what training is needed and deliver those necessary skill sets to the business are critical deliverables for organizational goal achievement. Get creative, find a way. Recruit with the intention to fill not only positions, but skill gaps. Look at recruiting and training budgets together - the better recruit, the less training. The less recruiting costs, the more money available for training. It's a basic make or buy scenario - are you going to grow your people or replace your people? Once you've found the answer to that question, then reassess the budgets with a truer picture of priority. Training budgets that increase without a solid understanding of the performance company leadership have articulated are as dangerous as those that assume performance is not an issue. Performance has to be at the core of any training budget.


E-learning would be efficient for knowledge approach type of training (hard competency). This would be easily observed because you can check directly and immediately after the training completed. What takes time is more on the soft competency such as leadership. Coaching and 360 degrees might be one of the tools to provide feedback to employees if s/he has implemented correctly. The question is to what extent that the trained employee wants or commits to implement what s/he has learned. Otherwise, it will be considered as a waste of time and money on the company side. It is not easy to calculate the ROI especially on soft competency.. it takes time to monitor and prove it. The condition at that time (politics, economy, and globalization) might play a significant role as well.

Every organization must address their common and unique skills requirements and map that out through some sort of skills/competency matrix within their organization. Too often, leaders are allowed to complain generically about what they mean by skill and competency gaps and often they pick the symptom, not digging through the root causes. As the say’s going -hire for character, and train for skills. The organization’s skill gaps can be bridged through futuristic  leadership, the culture of learning, effective training and innovation fostering.

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