Skill gaps can become a serious problem for an organization. When a team lacks specific knowledge, productivity will suffer. Workers may be unable to fulfill their duties or may do so using less-than-best practices. There also may be other concerns to worry about, like compliance.
Once you know what skills are missing from your team, you can start to close those harmful gaps. The next big question is how to bring in the knowledge needed to make it happen.
There are two ways most organizations close skill gaps. One is to hire someone from outside of the company to come in and handle that part of your business. The other is to train someone from within and move them into the needed role.
Many organizations find that nurturing existing talent is the best way to go. Promoting from within or expanding knowledge to help employees take on more responsibilities can have a positive impact in the long run.
Make sure your learning management system supports upskilling. The right platform will make it easy to enroll employees in courses and send reminders and suggestions for courses that could close skill gaps Visit LMS.org to learn more about LMS features.
Why is upskilling employees the best way to close skill gaps?
Skilled Employees Work Better and Faster
The more skills your employees have, the better and faster they will work. Knowledge is powerful in any industry. Knowing how to use best practices will ensure that workers handle tasks in ways that are safe and efficient. That means higher output and profits.
Employees who have a deeper understanding of their jobs are also going to make better decisions. That can lead to better outcomes later or allow them to prepare for future changes or adversity.
Investing in Upskilling is an Investment in the Worker
Investing in upskilling isn’t just about your business. It’s an investment in your workers. This sends a positive message to your team. It’s good for morale, which is also a strong productivity booster.
Employees who feel like their companies invest in them are less likely to seek jobs elsewhere. That means less turnover so you have to spend less on retention and new hires. The average cost to hire a new employee comes to around $4,000. The price may increase depending on the job role.
Instead of forking out cash for a new hire that may or may not work out, it is far better to instead turn to an established employee. If closing the skill gap requires a promotion or a move to a new job role, then it will be far easier and cost-effective to replace someone in a lesser role rather than hire someone for a role that requires extra skills and experience.
Training Creates Clear Paths for Career Development
While you are working on closing skill gaps, you may want to take a look at your career development resources. If gaps exist, then your training program may be missing some key elements.
This is a great time to review the paths your training offers for career development. Many organizations build curricula based on specific job roles. This establishes a defined path that a worker must take to reach a career goal.
Not only can this help fill skill gaps, but it also increases employee satisfaction. Today’s workers want opportunities for growth and promotion. Training is a good way to present those opportunities.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, try these 8 tips for building role-specific employee training.
Upskilling Makes Your Business Adaptable
Most industries see change at some point. New technology, world events, consumer behavior, and other factors can cause upheaval. Your team needs to be able to adapt when these things happen.
Employees who are well-trained and skilled will be prepared to navigate difficult situations on the job. They are better equipped to make decisions and provide advice or suggestions.
When you have a training program in place to upskill workers efficiently, then your team will be better able to adapt as a whole. When things change, you can quickly teach a new skill or updated training that will get them up to speed.
The sooner your team adapts after a change, the sooner you can get back to maximizing productivity and profits.
Collaboration Strengthens the Team
Upskilling may require subject matter experts to step in and share what they know. This type of collaboration will strengthen a team. You can recognize the people who have deeper knowledge, boosting morale and showing others where to go for help.
These individuals are a reliable source of information when upskilling. They can help you create new courses that are thorough, so you aren’t as likely to face another skill gap in the future.
Having employees come together to support each other builds a sense of camaraderie. It can promote positive interactions and help team members get to know one another so they are more comfortable working together.
Increases Employee Engagement
Training is a great tool when it comes to employee engagement and retention. Employees are more engaged when they are given opportunities to expand their skill set. Research shows that employees who are engaged are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable compared to those who are disengaged.
Businesses with high employee engagement have:
- Lower turnover rates
- Increased productivity
- Increased sales
- Lower employee stress
- Lower risk of employee burnout
- Less absenteeism
- Fewer errors made
- Better customer support
- Increased employee loyalty
Make sure you create upskilling opportunities that match their career goals. Learn how to personalize employee training and development to meet everyone’s needs while closing skill gaps.