How to Identify and Close a Skills Gap in Your Organization

How to Identify and Close a Skills Gap in Your Organization

07 April 2022

Training & learning | Employee experience

Macy’s recently announced that they plan to re-skill some of their employees as personal stylists. This decision was brought about by the discovery that offering a more personalized in-store customer experience would better position Macy’s to compete with competitors. Identifying skills gaps is critical to evolving and ultimately surviving as a business. Particularly during a hiring crisis, the ability to establish which skills your existing workforce are lacking and knowing how to build them is critical.

This blog post explains how you can identify skills gaps in your organization and ensure the durability of your business.


Consider your Business Objective

What service is it that you’re aiming to provide? 

What needs to happen to achieve this in terms of the skills that individual roles need to have?

For each role, rank the necessary skills in terms of importance and skill level required.

For example, customer service and upselling skills would be extremely important for wait staff working at a restaurant chain, less so for employees working exclusively in the kitchen. Or a store manager would need to be more competent at team management than a seasonal sales associate. A fitness club receptionist would need stronger email skills than one of the personal trainers on the gym floor.

Map out a picture of all the skills each role in your organization needs to operate at the optimum level.


Measure to what extent these standards are currently being met

Assess where the skill level of your workforce currently is compared to the perfect skill set you defined in the previous step. There are a number of approaches that you could take to do this, including reviewing the following workplace data:

  • Speed and accuracy of task execution.

How seamlessly are your teams able to work with the tools and processes available to them? Is there variation in compliance and efficiency?

  • Sales data by country, region and location.

Find out which skills are influencing each branch’s ability to make the most profit. To do this, look at training and operational data by location and ask yourself: what are high performing branches doing differently compared to lower performing stores?

Related: Why Retailers Need to Align Sales and Operational Data

  • Customer reviews 

Gather feedback identifying areas where the organization over or under performs in comparison with customer expectations. This should highlight which skill shortages are preventing the perfect customer experience from being realized.

  • Confidence-based assessment of learner knowledge.

The most effective workers are both highly skilled and confident in their abilities. Confidence-based assessments establish how much knowledge your workforce has, but also how confident they are in that knowledge.

  • Employee feedback

Speak to employees. Ask them where they feel they need more training? Would they benefit the most from developing their product knowledge, process competency or soft skills?

Related: Confidence-Based Learning: What It Is and Why Your Frontline Employees Need It


Closing the gap

Now that you’ve identified where your skills gaps are, it’s time to focus on closing them.

As much as it is important to ensure that your hiring process is tailored to bringing on board people with the skills your organization is lacking, this alone is not enough. In the current hiring climate, it can be challenging to bring on new external talent with the skills your business needs.

Your strategy for building a durable business must include finding where existing employees can be reskilled or upskilled to meet the needs of the organization. From onboarding onwards, ensure that training content is regularly updated and employees have the tools for continuous learning and skills development.

The process of building employee skill sets can be simplified using gamified mobile microlearning. This format means that employees can learn on the job, will retain more information long-term and will actually enjoy completing training.

Related: [Infographic] A Guide to Improving Frontline Employee Learning

Want to see how YOOBIC’s mobile microlearning solution is used by brands including Gant, TFG, Jules, UNTUCKit, BurgerFi and Petit Bateau to fuel growth and drive employee retention? Schedule a demo!