How to Diagnose Skill Strengths and Gaps
Is your workforce primed to perform at its best? Are your employees’ skills up to date? Are they ready to take on emerging technologies?
How Do You Determine Where They Stand?
When it comes to identifying skill strengths—as well as gaps—it’s important to have an evaluation system in place. This will keep you abreast of where your workforce stands at any given time and in which areas they need to improve.
And when you realize there is indeed a skill gap, you’ll be able to determine if and when training is right for your team.
Here are some best practices you can start implementing today.
First and foremost, you need to clarify a baseline of skills employees are expected to have. From there, determine goals you want them to achieve, how they’ll get there, and how you’ll measure performance in order to know they’ve reached them.
These goals should be directly tied to your overall business objectives. Are you looking to decrease quote to order times? Improve customer satisfaction scores? What behaviors do team members need to adopt or skills do they need to develop in order to help your business achieve these objectives?
Skills, Knowledge, Gaps & Pain Points
Once you’ve aligned which employee behaviors will support business goals, break down those behaviors into skills and knowledge, tasks and talents. You can evaluate current competency levels by employing surveys, performance evaluations, self assessments, etc.
From such evaluations and tests, you’ll be able to identify gaps between the current abilities and desired abilities of your team.
Also make sure to identify pain points that are hindering overall productivity. Once you’re able to measure performance and skill gaps on an individual level, then you’ll be able to see if any trends are pointing to a more company-wide issue.
Creating a Course of Action
Now that you know what skill gaps exist, you can determine what training is needed in which areas and for whom. This means you can begin to implement training that addresses a business need, is focused on the correct competencies, and is delivered to the right employees.
The training itself can be deployed in a classroom, online, on-the-job, via mentoring, at conferences, etc.
Cost Benefit Analysis
Is your training program fiscally justifiable? Tally up the costs associated with the training program (the training method you choose will obviously be a factor here), how much the training will address the current performance gap, and the overall impact on business goals.
A few financial factors to consider include logistical expenses (travel, etc.), lost productivity, content delivery method, training time, etc.
Keeping New Information Top of Mind
Remember, your training program will only be effective if your team members retain the new information and apply what they learn on the job. This is why post-training evaluation is so important. How did the program improve competencies, performance, and objectives?
Ensuring new on-the-job habits are here to stay and not a passing trend will help you achieve a higher ROI for any training program.