Our company, AtWork Group, is a top staffing franchise with more than 30 years’ experience in the industry. We pride ourselves in our commitment to listen to our franchisees from around the country, and our desire to stay on the leading edge of hiring trends and practices.
One of the big challenges today is to create a cohesive workplace with employees ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s and beyond, with noticeable skills gaps that need to be addressed.
It’s obvious the training needed for one employee can be very different than the training needed for another. So, how can your business be sure it is on track to provide the right training for employees with diverse and varied skill sets?
1-Make sure what you think is a skills gap really is a skills gap
Online questionnaires, resumes and computer generated skills-assessment tools can and do miss essential job skills that are beneficial for a particular job, but may not be obvious unless you question the job seeker or current employee directly about their skills.
2-Plan to train different employees differently
Your training programs must take into account different and diverse educational experiences and previous job experience. According to an article on Training.com, a business owner explained that for years he expected college graduates to have the necessary “core” skills to perform basic jobs. He noted that recently it has proved to be an incorrect assumption. Businesses will need to consider how to address employee differences with training programs rather than put off hiring.
3-Assess your skill gaps and cross-train employees to fill-in as needed
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to create job “silos” where only specific employees can do very specific jobs. In some instances it’s something that can’t be helped (for instance, an employee with 20 years’ experience can’t be expected to “train” a new employee to have the same exact skill set and experience). But many positions within a company lend themselves to cross training. A phone scheduler may be able to help out with sales calls, or an accounting staffer may be able to assist with billing.
The best way to address skills gaps in your business is to take an inventory of your current positions and write a list of the skills needed for each. Then, create a training program that is tailored to your specific business skills needs, focusing on those skills that are most important to your business’ success.