Search
Close this search box.

Closing skills gaps from within

It’s no secret that talent shortages are a growing issue for UK businesses. Currently, 87% of companies report either existing or emerging skills gaps, and this is only made worse by the ongoing economic downturn putting pressure on businesses to do more with less. With competition for talent becoming increasingly heated, organisations are looking to reskill their existing workforce to plug the skills gap.

Talent shortages are a growing issue for UK businesses. Currently, 87% of companies report either existing or emerging skills gaps, and this is only made worse by the ongoing economic downturn putting pressure on businesses to do more with less. Shrinking budgets and recruiting challenges are becoming more prevalent, and if not solved, will have a major impact on business continuity and resilience.

Competition for talent is increasingly heated, so organisations are looking to reskill their existing workforce to plug skills gaps. Recruiting challenges are driving a reported 43% of UK C-suite executives to focus on upskilling and reskilling their existing workforce.

Providing training to ensure teams have the required competencies for their job roles, whilst also upskilling to proactively fill existing and projected skills gaps, is a sound futureproofing strategy. But how does a business develop and deliver these programmes in the most effective way?

Putting skills under the microscope
To incorporate skills-led learning and development (L&D) programs, HR teams should first identify the roles and competencies most crucial to the organisation, then define what’s currently lacking. Proactively identifying and filling these skills gaps helps keep organisations on the front foot when it comes to growth and innovation.

For this process to work, it needs to be precise. HR teams need a global, fine-grained overview of the skills and competencies that exist within their workforce – from highly specialised technical knowledge to general problem solving or communication. Automating the development of this overview helps identify teams or employees that will benefit most from upskilling in certain competencies, or where recruiting should be more of a priority.

Modern competency-based learning systems can provide HR teams with such a complete view of workforce skills, making it easier to develop regular, personalised training journeys – a practice which not only makes training provision more targeted and efficient, but has also been shown to boost employee engagement by 50%.

Getting employee buy-in
L&D is key to keeping employees engaged and improving retention. In fact, a lack of career development and advancement is the second-most cited reason for workers in Europe leaving their jobs. We all know that innovation comes from teams who have the skills needed to carry out their roles effectively, giving them the bandwidth to think outside the box, upskill, and revolutionise. By fostering a culture that embeds new skills acquisition in everyone’s job role, talented people are less likely to conclude they have to move on in order to flourish.

Building an upskilling-focused, continuous learning culture is a critical step for HR teams out to close skills gaps and level up their workforce. But success pivots on employee commitment, too. HR teams should engage with employees to develop L&D programmes that are bespoke, targeted, and have a clear value-add. Make engaging experience design a priority.  Modern features such as gamification, multimedia, collaboration, and analytics help ensure appropriate content is delivered – and remembered.

Targeted training
Once HR teams have built a granular view of the skills needed in their workforce, and developed a programme that is going to work for learners, how is it best implemented?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to effective skills development. Each individual employee has unique skills and learning style, so a big part of the answer is personalisation. A modern learning platform can deliver bespoke, targeted training to each employee – and it can do it at scale. A platform that uses automation to map out skills, recommend training specific to a job role, and deliver bespoke training based on individual learner style can foster human connections, enabling mentorship that bridges the online and offline world.

With learning at the heart of innovation and progress, the right learning platforms can unlock huge potential for businesses.

Plugging the gaps
Ingraining skills development into organisational culture will without doubt improve business resilience and employee retention. Businesses can realise formidable gains from upskilling their workforce — but truly targeted, skills-focused training programmes take a lot of work. Supporting them with appropriate technology frees HR teams to focus on the strategic direction of the business and be confident that their workforce are primed to support current and future goals.

    Read more

    Latest News

    Read More

    Building resilience is more than just yoga and mindfulness sessions

    19 April 2024

    Newsletter

    Receive the latest HR news and strategic content

    Please note, as per the GDPR Legislation, we need to ensure you are ‘Opted In’ to receive updates from ‘theHRDIRECTOR’. We will NEVER sell, rent, share or give away your data to third parties. We only use it to send information about our products and updates within the HR space To see our Privacy Policy – click here

    Latest HR Jobs

    The University of Manchester – Director's OfficeSalary: Competitive

    Work with directors and teams to develop and deliver the EDI strategy. Ensure directors and teams are trained and confident to champion EDI across all

    Role: Human Resources Director Location: London Salary: Up to £85,000 Bonus & Benefits An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced HR Director to join

    Moulton CollegeSalary: £30,203 to £34,022 pa

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE