7 tips on tackling skills gap in a fast paced and time poor environment!

by Sharon on May 17, 2018



Today’s workplace is changing more than ever, with rapid advancements in technology, paired with an ageing workforce, building greater urgency for employees to develop and learn new skills.

Acquiring new skills and constantly creating opportunities for growth through clarity and education keeps employees motivated, engaged, happy and focused ultimately leading to staff retention. But in a fast-paced environment how do we ensure our team’s skills are up-to-date and constantly developing when employee’s workloads leave them so time-poor?

The 2017 Productivity Commission report highlights the importance of up-skilling, particularly with the uncertainty effects of new technology. The report emphasis various barriers from the ageing workforce to keeping up with the fast-passed workplace and time poor environments.

An article from In The Black depicts seven tips to make up-skilling more effective in busy workplaces:

  1. “Align Training to Individuals” – it’s important as an employer or HR manager to understand each individual learns differently and so a “one size fits all” model won’t be the most effective nor efficient approach. The best way to overcome this, is to initially understand each employee learning style through a 1-1 meeting or simple survey to tailor training sessions to the skill gap and learner. This will save resources as well!
  2. “Instil a coaching culture” – employers or HR Mangers need to play the role to be the role. As a coach you need to be giving constant and constructive feedback. Use personal experience to back up what you are saying and approach the learner positively. This should be part of your daily role as a leader.
  3. “Set up mentoring” – encourage employees to seek a mentor, whether it may be internal or external to the organisation. Someone who has years of experience has already been innovating and solving problems for a longer time. A mentor can challenge the way you think, the way you work and the way you act in a constructive way.
  4. “Break training into bite-sized learning” – 1-2-hour workshops is the perfect way to fit training in busy schedules. Additionally, people are more likely to retain information in portions rather in one big splurge i.e. a full day where focus will be shifted on the work they need to get done and deadlines they need to meet.
  5. “Ensure online learning will be effective”– incorporate online learning to cater to employees learning at their own pace. Ensuring these learning materials are interactive rather than just scrolling through a bunch of slides, employees will find it quite valuable.
  6. “Leverage internal talent” look for internal talent that can help deliver training to develop new capabilities an e.g. is using HR to support tech experts when developing training programs.
  7. “Don’t forget to debrief” – develop a “post-training action plan” to reflect on what’s been learnt. This can be done through quick 20-30 minute one-on-one meetings to understand what individuals need further support on.

The workplace is changing faster than ever. Training employees and getting them prepared is the best way to improve performance, confidence, understanding and most importantly motivated to remain productive.

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