March

26th

2019

Narrow your Skills Gap to create a more secure future for your business

By

As we’ve discussed in our last blog, value in business isn’t always monetary, aside from valuing your customers, what about your staff? News outlets have recently highlighted a skills gap crisis, with automation on the rise and employees not developing their abilities. What does this mean for your company?

What is the skills gap?

With technology advancing in leaps and bounds, it’s vital that our skills in the workplace adapt accordingly. Take last year’s GDPR regulations as an example. By changing the way EU businesses record and store data, there were new processes to learn to ensure compliance.

Fewer adults are in education or training with figures falling year on year, and last year hitting the lowest figure on record, according to the Department for Education. The skills gap crisis is heavily focused on those within Cyber Security, yet it’s a wider issue that all businesses can address.

And let’s not lay blame on millennials entirely, technology has certainly played it’s part with the demise of the phone call being one example.

What are the implications?

Figures from The Open University’s 2018 Business Barometer report unveiled that the skills gap is costing private sector businesses an estimated £6.3Billion each year. The skills gap crisis is not just something your employees should be concerned about but something you need to address as a business owner.

Brexit has also been on the minds of those concerned about the impact leaving the EU will have on our workforces. The Office of Budget Responsibility estimate that the UK will lose “50% of its EU national workforce after Brexit.”

How can we close the skills gap?

Certain industries, such as healthcare, heavily invest in CPD (continual professional development), requiring staff to attend training days or complete modules alongside their work. The same dedication and concern for development should be offered to employees in any work environment.

Founder of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford once said; “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”

Investment in training and development is crucial to ensure your company can stay afloat in future. If your competitors are dedicated to narrowing the skills gap of their workforce, you won’t be able compete. Unless you do the same. A development programme will build the expertise of your current workforce. This will also help in attracting better candidates when you are looking to recruit. But it doesn’t have to be expensive, there are plenty of affordable online training options on most topics.

Valuing your employees, their work ethic and wellbeing goes a long way in improving employee loyalty. By offering continual training, you are investing in your employees. They are then in turn investing in your company and your customers. It’s also likely to increase staff motivation, productivity and loyalty.

Closing the skills gap should also reduce staff turnover. Recruiting to replace staff who have left your company is not only costly but can be incredibly disruptive for a team. The more loyal your staff are, the less likely they are to leave. Setting out a progressive career path within your company shows that you are thinking of your employees as a long-term part of your company’s journey.

Kickstarting Productivity

The productivity levels in the UK have remained at a static 26.6% for over 10 years. And it’s not just in the UK, 40% of employers across the globe are struggling to fill roles due to a lack of skills. The impact of this on our economy and innovation is huge. What kind of skills are needed to get us back in gear? Problem solving, critical thinking, technological skills all need development. Let’s not forget about the skilled workers such as electricians, plumbers, bricklayers or they will see the same sort of demise as our more traditional craft skills.

The responsibility doesn’t solely lie with business owners of course. The education system and government need to invest in our current and future workforces too.

The skills gap will likely never fully close, due to the ever-enhancing landscape of businesses. But if bridges aren’t built, we could see the majority of once skilled workers get left behind.

To begin building those bridges, discover where your company currently sits on the Value Builder score. This looks at 8 key value drivers, including Growth Potential and Customer Satisfaction. We can then look at where you want your business to be and how to get it there.

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