Skills Gaps – Strategy, Analyse and Identify 

Although we remain in the eye of the storm of the pandemic, with cavalry on its way with the vaccine, companies still face a torrid time to stay afloat, but equally do their best to look to the future. 

Key to that success and having an edge in terms of competition will be the Employee Value Proposition. The reason why staff work for you; feel empowered and motivated in the work environment to remain with you and above all give their loyalty to you. 

Therefore, it is vital that you can acknowledge the staff which you have and the skills they have to be able to develop and grow them within the company. 

However, our skills continually change through external and internal experiences. Through the learning we experience every day directly e.g training courses and indirectly e.g observing others. Equally the products, services and the business changes as time evolves – many have had to pivot their offering as the pandemic has turned the business completely upside down. 

To understand that you still have the right skills in the business for the future, and you understand the developing and changing skills of your employees, it is crucial that a regular skills audit occurs. Here we provide an approach to doing this: 

1. What is Current and Future Company Strategy and Plan The initial step is to be clear of your products or services and your future strategy around them. Is there a need to change or improve how the product or service is being produced or undertaken? If so, what are the timescales? Are you diversifying the business into new products of services, again what are the timescales? 

2. What are the Skills, Values and Experience Required to Support the Future plan Identify and record the skills, values and knowledge you require to support the future plan. What are the unique skills required – particularly when there is a need to transition to a new product or improved way of working. What levels of experience do you require – can this open up opportunities for apprenticeships and future succession planning of key roles. Have you defined the values of the business? 

3. Identify the Gaps 

A great way to identify the gaps is draw up a skills gap matrix – It does not need to be whizzy, even a basic spreadsheet will suffice. It will allow you to plot where people are in terms of their skills, experience and whether they show they are or can demonstrate the core values of the business. However, do ensure that you understand the skills of that individual. Take account of recent training, 1-2-1 discussions to ensure information is up to date. 

4. Closing the Gap 

Linked back to the Employee Value Proposition, this is where the skills gap analysis comes alive. Closing the gap does not mean an all-scale change programme with redundancies giving way to disengagement and anxiety within staff. 

However, it provides a company the opportunity to identify key people in the business and begin to have concrete plans of succession planning with the upskilling of employees. It provides the route to a strategic training plan to develop staff. It provides the opportunity for career and learning development, to establish and embed the values of the business – all are positive ways to preserve motivation and employee engagement. 

A skills gap analysis cannot be seen as a paper-based exercise. It has purpose, it can be a powerful tool towards creating loyalty and improved productivity. 

Contact us here at Bower HR, where we can support you through a skills gap analysis exercise and to assist you to enable it to be at the heart of your campaign for future growth and competitive distinction. 

Written by Serena Bower (MCIPD) 

Bower HR Consultancy 

February 2021 

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