While many companies are currently enjoying the benefits of a surging economy, many businesses are having to cope with a lack of skills within their own workforce, preventing them from taking full advantage of the existing economic climate.

This so-called ‘skills gap’ threatens the growth and sustainability of companies around the planet, and while a large portion of the abilities gap is a lack of people skilled in the science, technology, education, and math (STEM) fields, there also is a skills gap for so-called soft skills like leadership ability.

At its root, the skills gap across the greater economy is an education issue. There is often a mismatch between what is taught in schools and what the labor market demands. Moreover, the advance of technology is rapidly outpacing expertise. For instance, smartphones became an integral part of business in just a few years, revolutionizing communication, transforming habits and altering expectations.

Regardless of the reason behind it, you company must address any skills gaps as soon as they are identified, in order to minimize their impact on your bottom line.

Small Scale Fixes

A skills gap isn’t always and organization-wide lack of ability. Sometimes, a skills gap is so small and basic, it can be easily addressed.

In some instances, inadequate productivity is a case involving people doing the skill over and over, and bad habits creeping in over time. If that’s the case, coaching and constructive feedback can be used to get employees back on track. Other times, poor productivity is due to a skill that employees don’t use very often. This can be addressed with some remedial training, practice and feedback.

From time to time, a productivity shortfall could be due to one or more workers simply being incapable of carrying out the desired task. If that’s the case, you may want to think about transferring the worker or workers to another position where they are better suited.

Big Fixes

Sometimes, a major skills deficit is caused by problems with a company’s hiring practices. If your company is having difficulty staffing key jobs, it could be because the skills and experience you are looking for are too high or particular. Many companies are having success hiring people with a good work history and academic background; then training those folks in the skills that are needed. Simply put, the HR strategy must be aligned with the company’s overall business strategy.

Your company should also embrace a robust and flexible workforce development program with a multitiered approach that allowed entry-level, mid-career professionals and upper management alike to be able to stay up-to-date and get skills that will serve them in the years to come.

A good workforce development program includes cross-training options and financial support for those looking to take classes and grow their skill set. You company can also benefit from bi-lateral partnerships with local educational institutions, where students can learn real-world skills through your company, and your company can influence school curriculum.

At Action Group Staffing, we help companies address their skills gap by providing them with custom talent acquisition solutions. If your company is currently looking for a staffing partner, please contact us today.

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