I wrote a couple of posts last week about the importance of training, as part of diversity and for retention, but the article below points out one of the real needs, as so many employers see an existing skills gap in their workforce:
“Organizations continue to face critical skills shortages, according to new research from ATD. Currently, 82 percent of employers report a skills gap. As defined by ATD, a skills gap is a significant gap between an organization’s current capabilities and the skills it needs to achieve its goals and meet customer demand. When an organization has a large skills gap in its workforce, it risks not meeting customer expectations and demands.”
There are a few reasons given in the article below, and you can get a copy of the whole report as well, but let’s break down a couple of the key things that I found interesting.
– The skills gap around things like critical thinking and problem-solving indicates to me that far too many people are not picking up these skills in college or early in their careers. That, to me, is a failure. As a business though, while I might want to try and do something about that by appealing to educational institutions to do better, I also have to deal with the reality that exists right in front of me now. This is why what we often think of as a “training department” isn’t enough. Having a few technology trainers to help people learn our technology and systems is nice, but it’s not going to fill in this gap. This is a different kind of resource and a different kind of training.
– They also point out that technology changes and the challenge of keeping up with those changes also lives with your trainers. Are you giving them the resources they need to not only keep up with technology but ways for them to then communicate those changes to the rest of your company?
Training to meet the skills gap in your workforce is a never-ending challenge. This is not a one-time set it and forget it type of task. It is an ongoing task that will always need updating and tweaking. Have you planned for keeping everyone on your team up to date and continuing to develop the new skills you’ll need year after year?
A gap doesn’t get created overnight, and it won’t get fixed overnight. Even if it did, a few days later you’ll have another gap. The world changes every day. Don’t assume your people can change with it without any assistance from you.