How to Close the Skill Gap for Your Employees 

Skill Gap

In recent times with rapid advances in tech and AI driven automation becoming more mainstream, companies worldwide (almost 87% of them) are facing an acute skill shortage among their workforces. Skill gaps not only impact productivity and deteriorate the quality of work, but they can also be a potential cause of revenue loss.

For instance, a study sponsored by Salesforce found that 14 G20 countries were potentially looking at a cumulative loss of GDP growth worth $11.5 trillion due to digital skill gaps.

That is why it becomes imperative for businesses to identify and take immediate measures for closing these skill gaps.

Steps for Closing Skills Gap

Companies must invest in an adaptable framework for consistently addressing skill gaps. This can help them stay on par with evolving market trends and demands. They can do this by:

1. Identifying skills gaps

The first step to identifying skill gaps is to review your organizational goals. You can determine what kind of output you should expect from your workforce and what skills would be necessary to achieve that. Once you’ve got a clear idea of the HR skills you would need, you can then assess your present employees and what skills they have.

This can clearly highlight the difference between the skills you need and the skills you have in your workforce. You can consider implementing the following tools for understanding skills gaps:

a) Performance reviews

Create clear communication channels between company leaders and managers. As managers work closely with individual employees, this can give your workforce greater visibility. You will understand the abilities and capacities of teams and individual employees.

Reporting managers can share periodic performance reviews with employees as well so that they’re also aware of the skills they need to improve. This is where Akrivia HCM’s continuous performance management system can prove invaluable.

b) Self-assessments

As an individual, you’re the person who knows yourself the best. That’s why asking your employees for self-appraisals and assessments can help you understand how they see themselves better. These assessments can then be used as a starting point for developing personalized training programs to upskill your workforce.

Besides, doing regular self-assessments can also help your employees be more aware of their abilities and contributions. This can lead them to feel more confident and valued as members of your organization.

2. Strategizing for Closing Skills Gap

Once you’ve identified the potential areas of skills mismatch, you can develop a structured program focused on upskilling and reskilling. You can include different strategies like hands-on training, online courses or mentorship programs. The more diverse your approach is, the more adaptable it would be for the individual employee.

Here’s what you can do to close the skills gap:

a) Implement Training Programs

By employing continuous performance management tools and policies, employers can gain valuable insights into their employees’ abilities and skillset. This information can further be used to develop training programs to either learn new skills or brush up existing ones.

With these insights, employers can also veer their employees’ professional development in a direction that is more aligned with their organizational objectives.

b) Encouraging Continuous Learning

Companies can encourage their employees to continue upskilling by offering incentives like tuition reimbursements and learning stipends for personal development. Employers can reward skill development by offering opportunities for working on different projects and exploring their versatility.

c) Developing Internal Talent

One of the biggest reasons that employees often leave is because they cannot see any paths of upward mobility internally. Companies must provide employees with proper coaching for more advanced roles so that they can visualize their professional development internally. This can be done through mentorship programs so employees with skill gaps can be professionally realigned to support company objectives.

d) Outsourcing

To meet immediate needs, companies can outsource the required services, while upskilling their existing employees to eventually take over. You can also employ professionals to train your employees for future requirements.

3. Measuring Impact

Closing skill gaps don’t just end with signing your employees up for training programs. You need to consistently monitor your employees’ performance to determine the success of your strategies.

a) Employee performance management

Allow your employees to explore their newly acquired skills in real world scenarios to understand their abilities. You can also conduct pre- and post-training assessments to assess their professional growth.

Feedback surveys can also be instrumental in determining the success of your upskilling initiatives. You can create feedback channels to measure employee satisfaction with the training programs and how they’ve affected their ability to perform in their roles.

b) Monitoring progress

Introduce policies for managers to evaluate newly acquired skills to monitor the level of progression. You can also use performance management software to identify KPIs like productivity, quality of work or error rates to track the utilization of the newly acquired skills.

c) Aligning skill growths with business goals

Determine what outcomes of the upskilling strategies will directly impact your business objectives. You can then use these as metrics to measure the impact of your initiatives. Using industry benchmarks to assess the progress of your skill development outcomes is also a great idea.

This way, you can also measure the long-term impact of your initiatives and measure the adaptability of your workforce. What’s more, it’ll also integrate a data-driven approach to measuring outcomes of implemented initiatives.


Building sustainable strategies, like comprehensive upskilling programs, to close skill gaps will contribute significantly to your business’ success. It will also empower your workforce to be resilient to changing industry demands. By building a culture driven by continuous learning, you also give back to your employees by facilitating their professional development and showing your commitment to their long-term career growth.

This will, in turn, boost retention rates as your employees will feel valued. They will be tempted to stay with your organization for longer, giving you a competitive edge with a skilled and adaptable workforce.

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