Copyright TIGERS Success Series

by Dianne Crampton

Many employers have “hidden talent” in their organizations that hasn’t been effectively tapped, according to a recent study conducted by Accenture, a global management and outsourcing company.

55% of the workers surveyed in this U.S. report say they feel under pressure to develop additional skills in order to be successful in their jobs, but only a staggering 21% say they have been given the opportunity to acquire these new skills through company provided training during the last five years.  According to the survey, more than half of the participants added “technology” skills; however,  few employees have updated their problem solving, analytical, or managerial skills — all of which are crucial in employee relations and organizational cohesion.

The unfortunate part of the study is that 2/3 of the respondents believe it is primarily their responsibility to update their skills, effectively letting their employers off the hook. “There is an escalating talent crisis and employers should not assume that workers have the resources or knowledge to acquire all the skills they  need. Our study shows that workers are prepared to improve and expand their skills, but they’re not receiving sufficient support to develop those skills,” said David Smith, managing director of Accenture Talent and Organization.

 With continuing training and education at an all high demand, we at TIGERS Success Series strive to provide the analytical tools that help managers develop a better, more detailed view of employee skill sets already inherent in their organizations. By creating more flexible career paths and HR processes, these managers and team leaders can easily deploy employees to different roles where their skills are more relevant.

Address Employee Skill Gaps with Progressive Strategies

  1. Expectations for learning, growing, and development should be available and apparent to every single member of the team.
  2. Make skills requirements transparent to employees. Open discussions and communications as to skill level and requirements are vital to the employees success and level of engagement in the workplace and their job duties.
  3. Incorporate e-learning as a component of your training and development programs to save your organization time and money along the way. Countless studies have shown learning programs that align with strategic business initiatives drive business results.
  4. Tap your own organization for hidden talent by developing programs and incentives that foster internal talent mobility. Employees that have the option and opportunities to move within the company have higher levels of morale and proficiency.
  5. Make learning new skills an integral part of their job duties and job performance.
  6. Consider redesigning work processes to suit existing skill levels.

When it comes to workforce development training, here are three questions team leaders and organizational management should be asking in order to get the best bang for their training dollars.

  • What are your top business priorities for the coming year with regard to refining and improving your team dynamic and work culture?
  • Do your existing learning programs help your employees in the pursuit of those goals?
  • Do you have a process in place to coach the necessary changes for employee improvement to help you meet or exceed your business initiatives?

On a closing note: Only one-third of the Accenture survey respondents report that it is easy to move to another job or position within their company where their skills would best be utilized.  Slightly less than half of respondents report that their employer does a good job of providing a clear understanding of the skills needed for different roles and career paths.

For employees and organizations to be successful, it is necessary for employers to step up to the plate with training, facilitation, and relevant coaching programs to encourage and foster continuing learning processes for the sake valuable employee retention and company success.