Many industries and fields are facing a skill gap problem today. Despite the relatively employer-friendly job market statistics, the search for qualified personnel has led to many recruitment firms and HR departments coming up empty-handed. This issue is not solvable without addressing the underlying problem within organisations: the knowledge gap.
Regardless of industry, the only constant is change, and this is as true of necessary skill sets as it is of everything else. The skills necessary to succeed today will not match those necessary to succeed tomorrow; those learned yesterday may not be sufficient for today's needs. Setting skill benchmarks solely based upon past successes is a methodology destined for failure.
Learning from the past is important, but obtaining the education and knowledge necessary to move forward at the speed of change is equally important. While this has always been true, the breakneck pace of technological advancement over the past several decades has made learning more relevant than ever. Successful organisations are beginning to look to knowledge gaps within their organisation before they attempt to recruit people to fill those skill gaps.
The speed of technological change affects how skill gaps can be addressed successfully. In the past, it was possible to identify skills that an employee needed in a given position, facilitate on-the-job training, and move forward at a consistent, reasonable pace.Today, however, the knowledge gap has grown so rapidly that even identifying missing skills can be difficult. If every employee in a department shares an undetected gap in knowledge, they may feel as if they are playing a never-ending game of ‘catch up’. At the very least, those in leadership and management positions need to be in control of current skill benchmarks so that they can direct their teams effectively.
Why are organisations lagging behind?
One of the reasons why organisations are lagging behind and allowing knowledge gaps to form is the digital revolution. Another reason is that many companies use training methods that are inherently flawed.
According to a Gallup poll released earlier this month, roughly 73 million millennials live in the United States, and American millennials are struggling to find jobs that make them feel engaged at work. Millennials also prefer learning methods that deliver concise information via multiple forms of media. Their social habits do not focus on the break room or water cooler alone, but on social media sites, online collaboration, and networking. They do not leave their work (or their learning opportunities) at their desks. Instead of blocking off hours of time for outdated training, they prefer micro-learning models.
Although the problem is multi-faceted and solutions may not be easy, they are simple. There are two main issues to address:
- Training delays or backlogs for necessary skills.
- Outdated learning styles and models in organisations.
The first problem can be solved by organisational changes. Stopgap measures in current positions, of course, need to be undertaken. However, the primary focus in the organisation should be helping employees gather the knowledge necessary for their next position. They will naturally acquire the information needed to excel in their current position in the process. Knowledge and skill gaps will narrow as forward-thinking employees will be promoted from within.
The second issue can be addressed by embracing digital culture. EdCast offers companies a comprehensive suite of digital training and micro-learning solutions. The EdCast knowledge network creates learning opportunities that make millennials feel more engaged at work.
EdCast content is remotely accessible from all devices and platforms, so employees can incorporate professional education into their daily routines. EdCast users can even create personalised feeds for individuals, teams, or even departments, within a secure enterprise.
From Python programming to healthy nutrition, EdCast can provide an organisation’s employees with educational content that empowers them to transform into a high-performance workforce. In doing this, EdCast can offer an organisation a crucial competitive advantage in the rapidly changing knowledge economy.