Saturday, May 1, 2021

Identify, Analyze, Fill Skill Gaps

The trick is understanding that moving out of a comfort zone leads to the creation of a new comfort zone which in turn will require you to move out "of" it again. 

Business environment today is dynamic and uncertain, with exponential growth of information and increasing pace of changes. The challenge is about applying digital management philosophy, building differentiated capabilities, tuning flexible structures, and developing the best and next practices in running a holistic and high-performing digital organization.

People are the center of running contemporary business, it’s important to identify, analyze, and fill talent gaps and define technical/functional competencies required to achieve long term business goals.

Identify the gap:
Due to rapid change and abundant information, the knowledge life cycle is significantly shortened, outdated thoughts, knowledge and skill gaps are the reality. It’s important to identify the gap between the talent for tomorrow and skills for today. Because the speed of change is increasing, and information is only a few clicks away in the age of digitalization. There are few and few “comfort zones” for business professionals across industry sectors these days, it’s not ok if people who are in the operations and think what they learned a decade ago is sufficient for a lifetime. Learning agility is not “nice to have,” but must have abilities to build their professional competency. The trick is understanding that moving out of a comfort zone leads to the creation of a new comfort zone which in turn will require you to move out "of" it again. This continuous moving "out" of your comfort zone is complemented by the cycle of self-awareness and self-development.

In reality, from a business management perspective, talent shortages do exist in point professions but rarely across the board. Over the years, professional works have continuously been transformed, mainly as a result of emerging technological advances. This would be easily observed because you can check directly and immediately after the training is completed. What takes time is more on the soft competency such as leadership and culture shaping. Coaching and 360 degrees might be one of the tools to provide feedback to employees if s/he has implemented correctly.

Analyze the gap: Besides “hard skills,” the talent gap is perhaps caused by misunderstanding or miscommunication (lost in translation) between talent requests and the organization’s searching mechanism. There is also a gap between the traditional way to recruit and manage talent and the digital pipeline for talent identification and development. Most of the time, it is a combination of the multiple factors: lack of a solid recruitment strategy, poor candidate research, wrong communication channel, or weak employer branding are all big obstacles to attracting the right talent.

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. Many say, talent shortage is artificial, the talent managers have to open their own mind, to discover talent via the wise eyes, to well craft a robust and integrated talent strategy, to leverage the latest digital technologies, in order to hire and engage talent in the digital way. There's misunderstanding or miscommunication (lost in translation) in between talent request and HR's searching mechanism, also, there's disconnect of short term staff needs and long term talent perspectives; From talent management perspective, how to encourage professional in either category step out of comfort zone, continue to learn, continue to innovate, and update performance management practices by assessing both quantity and quality result objectively.

Fill the gap: 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.

Higher levels of employee engagement come from recognition, feedback, growth, and opportunity. With an unprecedented level of digital convenience brought by digital technology, organizations should continuously monitor employee engagement through social communication channels with people at all levels, build a sense of purpose and mission, and shape a strong corporate brand to attract top talent. The goal is to shape the digital workforce and workplace in the way people can relate to themselves and to their experience of their environment and others around them, create fresh ideas, unleash collective potentials, and achieve higher than expected performance results.

It’s strategic to build a highly adaptive organization in which information and technology are the backbones, knowledge and ideas can flow frictionlessly, people can learn and develop themselves, and the business can unleash its full potential. Today, people are the most invaluable asset in any business. From talent gap identification to talent management goal setting and measurements, the combination of elements in a holistic talent management approach enables the business not only perform well today, but also maximize their potential for gaining long term business advantage, encourage business professionals in either category step out of their comfort zone, continue to learn, continue to innovate, and update performance management practices by assessing both quantity and quality result objectively, in order to adapt to the fast-paced business new normal.


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