You are rolling out a new product launch, but does your current team have the skills needed to pull it off? Or do you need to hire more or different team members? Or do you need to add additional team member training before this new project is initiated? These are just some of the many scenarios where a skill gap analysis for employees makes sense. Other examples may include changing job roles, requiring an employee to take on new responsibilities or shifts in required skills due to new company technologies.
So what exactly is skill gap analysis? It can be defined as comparing the necessary skills and knowledge required to complete a task with an employee’s current skill level to meet the task requirements. After analyzing the gap between the two, team leaders can work with employees to create a plan to fill the gap in skills.
Benefits of initiating skill gap analysis
Now that you know what skill gap analysis for employees is what are some of the benefits to managers and organizations?
- Identifies employee weak spots
People have strengths and weaknesses. While you may have a marketing department equipped with communication skills, one team member may be a better editor while another may excel in design skills. By performing a skill gap analysis, you can identify where employees may need additional training to bring everyone up to the same skill level.
- Offers professional development
If an employee feels they are lacking a certain skill, they may not always speak up about needing additional training. Or, an employee may know or want additional training on certain skills and feel their company is not offering this training. They then become disgruntled and even mentally “check out." Then, they start looking for a company who cares more about their career path.
So it’s important to perform a skills gap analysis for employees. This will determine a personalized development plan for each employee. It will show your employees you value training and development. Plus, that you want to equip each of your employees with the right skills in order to be successful.
- Helps human resources
By performing a skill gap analysis, it will help your human resources department. Why? Because they will understand what skills are needed for a certain role. This helps HR write well-crafted job descriptions leading to better candidates and ultimately stronger new team members.
- Path for promotion
Managers will also benefit from a skill gap analysis. Because it will show what skills are needed for each level within their team. If a senior member leaves the company, it will be apparent as to what skills more junior team members will need to gain in order to move into these advanced positions.
- Increased productivity
Probably the most important benefit of skill gap analysis is productivity will increase. When you identify the skills needed within training, your company will become better at time management, work planning, and stay on project budgets more effectively. All these factors make the company stronger as a whole and better at achieving goals.
How do you begin the skill review process?
Skill gap analysis for employees is beneficial to any organization. That’s why it’s important to have a thorough review of the skills your employees have versus what skills are needed. Here are some steps to take when performing a skill gap analysis.
1. List company objectives
Before you begin your analysis, you’ll want to list the company and/or department objectives. Your objectives will determine what skills you are looking to gain from your employees. Plus, it will help prioritize what skills are most important to the company. It will be easier to plan your training and get employee buy-in by identifying why a skill gap analysis needs to be done.
2. Skills needed
Once you review your objectives, determine what skills are needed to meet these objectives. This should be broken down by job role. In other words, what specific skills are needed for every job description within your company. You may say communication in the workplace is a top skill across your company. However, this may be vital for a role like customer service, but maybe not as important as learning how to use a new CRM database for your sales team members.
One way to simplify this step is to group similar job roles together. For example, even though your marketing team may specialize in various roles on the team, writing is important for the entire team. So by grouping like job roles within your organization this will help identify what strengths you would like each department or team to possess.
3. Measure skills
Next, you'll need to measure the skill level of your current employees with the skills you have identified as being most important. One way to do this is to rate either on a numerical scale, one to 10. One being the employee does not have much knowledge of the needed skills and 10 meaning this employee is already proficient. Or another way to measure is using high, moderate, and low to indicate how strong a person is in a particular skill.
4. Learn needed skills
Once you have identified the skills needed, it’s time to look at your current employees. You can take two different approaches. You either choose to train and develop your current employees. Or, you look to hire employees with the needed skills you have identified.
- Train current employees
With this option, you will not be adding the time and expense of hiring new team members. However, you will need to devote thought and energy into how to train your existing employees. A great way to do this is using a learning management system provider. They can craft training materials and form a method to roll out company training. This provider can incorporate blended learning, peer to peer learning, and gamification in training to motivate and develop your team successfully.
- Hire new employees
If you choose to hire new team members, just remember to incorporate what you’ve learned during your skill gap analysis for future employees. This should include things like:
- crafting detailed job descriptions
- incorporating the needed skills identified
- asking for examples during the interview process of how a candidate has demonstrated these skills on past jobs.