Employees in any organization are hired based on the skills they possess and how well they use that specific skill. However, the capabilities of employees keep changing as businesses take different forms and skills get outdated. To counter this, organizations need to conduct a skill gap analysis.
A gap analysis will help the organization to identify the training the employee needs. It will also help the organization understand the current skillset and knowledge of the employees along with what skills are to be enhanced to bridge the gap and develop the organization. Skill gap analysis can also be used as a post-training tool to understand the level of skill and knowledge an employee has acquired during the training.
Benefits of conducting a Skill gap analysis
The strengths and weaknesses of the workforce can be analyzed. This information can subsequently be used for training needs. A skill gap analysis should be a continuous process to get meaningful results. It can help you to collect the following details –
- Identify and fix training needs
Are you bothered that your sales team isn’t closing more deals lately and feel that they need to improve? Want to know the exact skill they should get trained to grow? Does everyone need that skill or only a select few employees need it? All this information can be obtained from the skill gap analysis.
- Helps to offer personalized training
The organization should offer personalized training to each employee or a team based on their strengths and weakness. This will help in enhancing the correct skill set of each employee and help in the overall growth of the team. If the organization offers a common generic training to all employees it won’t be helpful.
- Develop and retain your people
Employees feel happy if the organization provides them with skill development training, as it helps in boosting their career growth. So when an organization performs skill gap analysis, it helps the employee identify their weakness and also get trained on a skill they are weak at.
- Plan your hiring strategy
Once the skill gap is analyzed, the organization can hire candidates who have the skill set that is missing in their existing employees. This will create a fully-equipped team with a wide range of skills.
Who conducts a gap analysis?
So far, we have seen what is a skill gap analysis and what are its benefits. The next logical question that might crop up in your mind is who conducts this skill gap analysis in an organization?
The answer to this question depends on what kind of skill you need to measure and which team you are evaluating. Typically, the organization collects individual employee performance from their manager, responsible for conducting skill gap analysis for their team. The department head will usually collect skill gap analysis data for all the groups in his department. If the organization wishes to collect data for the entire organization, the HR department will take responsibility for conducting it. But the important point is that every organization should maintain proper documentation about the skill gap analysis and perform it regularly.
Why conduct gap analysis?
By now you would have realized that skill gap analysis is a very time-consuming task. This is because details from every employee are collected and assessed by various department heads. However, this process can be simplified if the organization can standardize the process. This is where a skill gap analysis template helps. A skill gap analysis template helps the organization to save time, collect consistent information by using standard criteria for all the employees. It also helps to set the next steps based on the collected data.
How to conduct gap analysis?
Let’s now look at the step by step process of how to conduct a skill gap analysis.
- Create a list of skills you want to measure
Firstly, develop a list of skills that you want your employees to be trained in. Decide on whether you want to evaluate the overall performance of the organization or you want to evaluate an employee from a specific department.
Remember this – whenever you are choosing the employee and the skill to train on, select those for whom this skill will be helpful to the maximum extent. For example, if you want to develop leadership skills in your organization then choose managers or a senior employee who seem fit for leadership training. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to train very young employees like a junior engineer for this skill.
Also, be very specific about the skills you choose. For example, designing can be anything – 3D model designing, Rendering Designing, Process designing, etc. It should be a part of the job description of the employee.
- Rate the skill, based on their performance
All the skills in your list might not have the same importance for every team. For example, communication is a skill that a sales team would value more than technical teams. The skill you choose can also be based on the organization’s future business plans.
The skill gap analysis team should rate all the skills-based on their importance after consulting with department heads and team managers. The organization can also choose to ignore this step to speed up the process by considering all the skills as equally important.
- Evaluate employees against each other
In this step, the managers should evaluate each employee for all the skills on their list and give points to each employee’s performance on every skill. All the managers should primarily discuss on what basis they are going to evaluate what each point weighs so that all the managers will be evaluated on the same criteria.
- Identify skill gaps and set training priorities
Now that we have all the data, organize them in a single spreadsheet instead of several forms and notepads. If we do this, then we can start with the analysis in no time. Organizations can compare and analyze the data for each employee and see their strengths and weakness. The managers then can decide if employees require personalized training or the entire team needs common training. Through this analysis, the managers can also decide on promotions for employees with good scores.
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