The workforce of today is teeming with eager prospective employees and companies that want to expand on their company talent. There has never been a more substantial surplus of talent than there is in this modern era, and while that talent is seemingly leaking out of every facet and crack in society, employers are still claiming that they are unable to find people to hire. For every tale of an employer that says they cannot find good candidates, there are a dozen or more stories of qualified individuals that are fighting to even be noticed by prospective employers. However, once the lucky candidates are in the doors and become employees, one problem evolves into another. The skills gap in most companies. As companies ‘struggle’ to find the right individuals for the jobs they have available, they often hire out of necessity more than the confidence in having found the perfect person for the position. This is not to say that all confidence in their hires goes out the windows, but more that there is nearly always a lingering disconnect between who the job should go to, and who it ultimately ends up going to. This is in no way the employee’s fault, but it is something that all employers should be seeking to remedy.
Hiring the right people for the position and the company is first and foremost the key marketing strategy that all companies should invest time and money in. Companies can pay for all the training in the world, but none of it will make any difference if the employees genuinely do not want to be there. With that being said, the first (and arguably the most crucial) step to ensuring and employee’s ability to meet and exceed business goals and close the skills gap within the company relies on the employer’s ability to understand exactly what their expectations of candidates will be, how to achieve them, and how they want them to proceed should they get the job.
There is a disconnect between the expectations and needs of employers and companies in today’s economy, and the current skills of the world’s professionals. Ensuring training effectiveness requires consistent feedback models and methods and a drive from both employer and employee to better their work performance and the company as a whole. To close a skills gap in a company, employers must be willing to invest in the appropriate training to get their employees up to speed on the expectations and methods of success. This is especially important because as the world changes, so does the economy. As such, companies that want to continue to meet business goals and drive themselves into the future as relevant and stand out businesses have to adapt – and that means adapting the way that they train their people.
Employee engagement relies on company culture. Even the best companies cannot hope to be successful if the way they function does not take into account their own people. One aspect of company culture that is important in ensuring that employees meet and exceed business goals is that of open and honest communication. Just as employees must feel comfortable in being honest with their employer, employers should go out of their way to initiate and maintain a work environment that encourages and fully supports honesty – especially when that honesty is directed at them and how to improve the business. A similar approach should be taken in response to employee improvement and feedback.
When it becomes necessary to give feedback to employees and insist that they take the appropriate steps to improve their work performance, instead of simply telling employees that they need to improve their relative skills, it is crucial for employers and companies to be able to, and be willing to, outline why it is that these skills need improvement. Employers that do this find that their staff are more willing and able to adapt to feedback and better themselves and their professional performance, resulting in business goals being not only met but exceeded at times.
Shining skills are all in the lessons and training that individuals receive by their employers, but more than that, they are the key to the longevity and solidity of any company. No company can expect to continue to thrive if their employees do not have the skills to adapt to an evolving world. The skills gap in so many companies can be easily remedied by investing in adequate training tools and consistent feedback models to boost employee engagement and to ensure trust between employer and employee. Without the loyalty and dedication of the staff, even the best companies go under. For employees to achieve business goals and to close the skill gap in any given company, there must be training, determination, open and honest communication, and succession planning. If a company enlists in each of these strategies to close the skills gap and boost employee engagement, the continued and exceeding success of business goals – and ultimately the business – will be inevitable.