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  /  HR   /  The Skill Gap and what it means for your business
The business environment is changing at a rapid rate. The pace of technological advancements is a challenge in itself for all businesses, regardless of their size. While this new technology can improve your business performance, the flow-on effect is that more skill gaps can appear. 

Given that the climate of constant change is not going anywhere, it is important that your business has the ability to adapt and determine how to fill the skills gap within your current workforce or potentially consider taking on new team members, depending on the skills required. 

Build your team up 

When you choose to build the skills within your own team, you can ensure that they are learning exactly what they need to know in context with your business and its requirements. Upskilling is an investment in your business, and it means that the individuals within your team will become more well-rounded, competent and increase the effectiveness of your business. 

Additionally, giving your employees the opportunity to upskill can increase their confidence and entice them to stay in order to grow and learn more.  

A morale boost that improves retention 

Providing training and development for your team can result in your employees being happier in their roles. It can give the ability to see the potential in themselves and how their career can progress.  

Upskilling can be so much more than a morale boost; it also improves the retention rates across the board. Employees want to work in a business that invests in them. They want to know that they are valued enough to be a worthwhile investment. 

Happy customers 

Upskilling your team isn’t just about having happy employees, it’s also about understanding that when your team is valued, they will value their clients. When your team is content, they believe in what they are working toward and it turn perform better in their role. 

By ensuring that your team is up to date in their development, your clients are in safe hands. Your clients want to know that their work is in the care of a knowledgeable person who is clear on the most recent technologies, industry standards and regulations (depending on the industry of course!). 

And let’s face it, happy clients = happy employees = a happy business owner! 

New talent that is right for your business 

As your business grows, you might have the need to bring on new team members. The flow-on effect for upskilling your team is that they have a sense of purpose, your clients are happy with the work they are producing and the more they recommend your business and your brand. The good news for you is that this lends itself to your business portraying an image that people want to be a part of.  

How to get it right 

The initial goal is to determine what skills you will need in the future for your business. This should be based on your business plan and not just include the number of employees, but it should include what skills they need. This should be reviewed regularly to ensure that you are keeping ahead of the trends and requirements of your business. 

The obvious choice in providing upskilling opportunities is to those team members with high productivity and a positive attitude. However, it’s important to look laterally to ensure that opportunities for growth and self-development are an option for all to consider, and this could result in uncovering the unexpected jewel in your business! 

Let them lead 

Put your team members in charge of their own career path and development. It’s not just about offering training; it’s about guiding and supporting them to make decisions based on their own career path and creating ownership. It is their professional development after all!  

Remember that in every step of upskilling, recognising your employees’ efforts is a positive step in them building their skills and their career within your business. Positive recognition will always lead to a happier, more productive workforce. 

The skill gap doesn’t have to be a challenge for your business, you can choose to see it as an opportunity for growth and change. And if you bring your team along for the journey, you will see that opportunity become a positive ripple throughout your organisation. 

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WRITTEN BY

Samantha Russell | HR Consultant

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