It is important to consistently review the skill gaps in your business. As technology develops and markets change ensuring you are ahead of the competition is vital for a successful business. 
Successful teams drive a successful business. But how can you monitor this and ensure it is not too time-consuming.? 
Implementing a skills gap analysis should be part of your business strategy. Once you have identified your goals as a business you can then review the existing staff and their skills, and this will reveal the gaps in your business. 
The bigger the company the more work will be involved. A larger company will need to look closely at each department. A smaller business will find this exercise much easier to do. 
How to complete a skills gap analysis 
Skills gaps need to be reviewed in two parts. One is each employee and their job role and the other is each team/department. 
How you conduct this will very much depend on your business, its market, the size and objectives. 
Plan your skills analysis by using the following checklist to help you. 
1. As a company what skills do you need to ensure you are maximising technology and being as efficient as possible with your processes? 
2. Compile a list of the skills and knowledge required to perform each role in your company. This can be done on a spreadsheet by listing the tasks required to carry out the role and the skills and knowledge required. 
3. Review each job role and ensure each employee has the required skills to carry out their job functions to the best of their ability. If new technology will make them more efficient look at training. Include skills such as communication, teamwork, creativity and leadership. 
4. Rate each employee – entry-level, experienced and highly knowledgeable. 
5. Create a staff survey and ask your employees about their thoughts on training, development and skills gaps with their department. 
6. Check that each team/department has the right balance of knowledge and experience and identify any gaps particularly around leadership. 
7. Ensure you are conducting effective appraisals in your business. See our blog on this. 
8. There are several software packages for skills analysis available, but you can do this on a spreadsheet. 
9. Prepare your report from all the data collected. 
Skills gap report 
Once you have identified the skills gaps you can compile a report. This information will then help you to create a training plan. In this plan, you can include how the skills gaps will be filled and you can review costs and implementation. You will need to consider if the training required be externally or internally. Or you may wish to look at recruiting new staff. It may be a combination of all of these. 
Some of the questions the report should address are– 
1. What areas do existing employees need further training in? 
2. Do we have skills in the business in other areas which could be utilised to upskill other departments? 
3. Could skills gaps be filled by changing team members around into other roles? 
4. Can we improve the onboarding of new employees and provide better initial training? 
5. How much will improving the skills gaps in the business cost? 
It is important to involve the staff in the plan and give them a chance to input ideas. When implementing the plan all staff should be involved and take ownership of their training and development. 
Skills gap analysis is ongoing. 
A skills gap analysis should be an ongoing process. If you have never done this in your business the first review will take time. After reviewing this initially complete on an annual basis. Include the heads of your departments in this as part of an ongoing process. 
Ensuring your company has a diverse mix of skills has never been more important. Most industries are highly competitive and to deliver the very best to your customers requires a well skilled motivated workforce. People perform at their best when they feel valued and their training and development is well supported. 
If you need more help and advice in this area do contact us. 
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