Skill Gap is a serious issue in most industries, especially for new and small start-ups and businesses. Skill Gap is essentially the mismatch between your employees’ current skills and the skills expected of them.
According to recent studies, about 80% of small business owners hare having serious productivity issues because of the chronic issue of skill gap.
So how do you assess a skill gap and what are the most common skills that are missing in small business employees?
Small businesses can work best if all employees feel like they are part of the management. This is established in many ways, starting from employees spearheading projects to inclusive staff meetings. It is imperative that employees contribute to the larger discussion taking place in and around official matters and feel like they have a say.
The problems employers face is even though they are willing to adopt a more inclusive approach, employees are not equipped to voice their concerns in an articulate manner or do not wish to take on additional responsibility. In such a situation, it is important to educate employees on the larger vision of the business and handhold them through the process of increased ownership. They should be able to see the benefit of contributing to the company’s success.
It is impossible to get through a whole day of work without sending emails or writing letters. In a generation where the shorter the communication, the better, it is hard to imagine employees with skill sets that can help companies build a strong PR network. Especially when dealing with fresh graduates, small businesses face issues with inadequate formal communication skills. They have to train younger employees on how to engage with customers in communications that are longer than 100 characters.
This level of communication efficiency is intrinsically linked to the ability of the employees to see the larger picture with regards to marketing campaigns. In an era where marketing is essentially geared towards and around social media, it is difficult to make the advantage of emails and letters more obvious.
To counteract this impulse, employers can reward more innovative approaches to extensive communication formats. They can even give employees some degree of freedom when drafting such letters. This will allow them to be more expressive while also, aligning themselves to the company deliverables.
While it is ideal to hire employees that are pre-trained, it is, however, tough for young and small businesses to make such investments in trained professionals. What do you do then?
The only thing small businesses can do is to cultivate their current staff and hone their existing skill set. If one is to effectively address skill gaps in the service sector, one should also be addressing areas of improvement when it comes to management. And being able to identify how to enhance productivity while at the same time, continuing to foster a creative working environment, is definitely a skill set small field businesses could benefit from.