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Staying up to date with market trends is the key to an organization’s success.  An organization’s growth is directly influenced by how skilled its employees are. When we talk about skills, we are not merely referring to academic qualifications. Today, organizations also consider creativity, problem-solving skills, and communication skills when hiring employees.

Some other essential skills that companies look for include: taking initiative, leadership, teamwork, and flexibility. Sometimes, there is a considerable difference between what companies expect and what employees deliver.

This performance deficiency is also known as the skills gap. In a survey, 14.9% of the employees said they acquired the necessary skills at work rather than at their educational institutions.

To stay on top of market trends, you need to update your technological and manual skills. It is also necessary to understand that out of the skills mentioned, which one is not a recognised key skill of management, such as writing skills.

What is a skill gap analysis?

Skills gap analysis is a method for identifying where there is a skills gap that must be filled to achieve the organization’s goals. Skill gap analysis can be performed by matching the company’s existing skills with the required skills. We can only find a solution once we find the problem. Following are the advantages of conducting this analysis:

  • Helps analyze the company’s existing performance and understand what resources are lacking;
  • Assists in planning the future recruitment strategy;
  • Results in higher productivity;
  • Equips the company to deal with new market trends and market competition;
  • Focuses resources and time where it is required. 

Ways to identify skill gaps in your workforce

Following are some ways to identify skill gaps in your company:

Identify the company’s key performance indicators (KPIs)

KPIs, or key performance indicators, are the quantifiable measurements of employee performance with the company’s objectives and goals. It determines how much an employee contributes to achieving the company’s growth. In other words, it analyzes their abilities. These can be anything from reducing costs, acquiring new customers, or achieving a set number of sales each month. Thus, you must first identify what your company’s KPIs are. Thereafter, examine these to discern whether the company is achieving them or lagging behind. This will also help identify the departments failing to achieve the goals, and you can direct your focus on them. 

Benchmark the top performances

Once you have identified the KPIs, benchmark the top performances as well. The top performances will help the organization be aware of what skills are required from all employees. Further, it will identify which employees are lacking. It will also identify what skills are required from future recruitments. 

Take feedback

It is also possible to identify any skill gaps in employees by taking first-hand feedback from their managers. Every manager oversees a team of employees. Instead of analyzing the entire workforce, consider the managers’ points of view. They will be able to provide an accurate assessment of employee performance. Additionally, they can determine how much initiative an employee takes on projects or how much of a team player they are. You can even ask colleagues for feedback on each other. 

Introduce employee assessments

One of the most popular methods to identify any skill gaps is to make employees take part in the assessment process. This can be done through written tests, short quizzes, questionnaires, one-on-one interviews, and much more. All these will help you evaluate if the employee’s abilities are aligned with the company’s goals. 

You can even do workplace simulations, under which you will be placing the employees in real-life work situations and analyzing their performance accordingly. This will help you identify if the employee will be able to cope with any new roles and responsibilities. 

Review each department individually 

To assess the required skills, ask each department to review its current performance. Post that, ask them to list the skills they need to fulfil their individual goals. During this, also ask them to analyze whether these skills can be developed in-house through training. Once you’ve identified the skills, you can work on tailoring workshops and courses for employee skill improvement

Analyze the market trends 

You can even research the in-demand skills. As with rising online businesses, social media and content creation are currently in demand. With digital transformation, some manual roles may be replaced with technology and become obsolete. The purpose of assessing the required skills is to make the company future-ready.

Be an observer 

When an employee knows they are being assessed, they will give their best. However, in reality, they may not be putting in their best efforts, or their attitude may not be right. In such cases, the best thing to do is silently observe how the employee goes through their routine roles. 

Research the experts in your field

Sometimes, to grow better, we require an outside perspective. Thus, if you are clueless as to where you need to upgrade your company’s skills, take guidance from the top-performing companies in your field. Try and understand the roles they have employed in their organization. Update yourself on new technologies, and research the companies that have employed them. This will give you an idea of where you are lacking.

In a Nutshell

After reading this article, you will have a fair idea of why skills gap analysis is essential and how you can identify skill gaps. According to a global survey, nearly 90% of the executives and managers of top companies stated that their organizations had skill gaps. With shifts in market and technology trends, each organization must prioritize this as early as possible. Sometimes, all an employee needs are little motivation to meet those skills gaps.

With the help of companies like Plum Insurance, you can design a customized employee benefits plan to build employee motivation and productivity.