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5 ways to bridge the skills gap with training

Mind the skills gap.

As technology evolves, consumer habits change. With a global pandemic creating new ways of working, it's inevitable that the skills gap will grow. Staff will increasingly face a skills gap between the job they were hired for and the one they are now in. This structural unemployment is particularly acute for those industries at the forefront of technological innovation and constant change. 

Closing the skills gaps can reap big rewards. Companies that invest in the right training show 2x higher income per employee than those without. They enjoy 24% higher profit margins and generate a 6% higher shareholder return1. But the reality for most companies who invest — on average $1,000 per employee per year — these benefits are not realized2.

This post outlines just five ideas that will inspire you to produce effective, measurable and impactful training. Use these ideas to close your skills gaps and join some of the world's leading brands and globally innovative companies who have already done so.

At a crossroads. Image looks down on a pair of shoes. There is an arrow on the ground pointing left and another arrow pointing right.

Why training is critical

Research shows that 61% of employees feel they don’t have the skills to do their job. A further 68% of workers believe the current pandemic will permanently change the nature of their work, while 49% wish they had a better or more current skill set4. The skills gap is real and widening, causing further loss of productivity, custom, and talent to fall within this chasm.

The skills gap is more than the difference between the skills required for a job and the skills staff possess. It’s also where staff productivity and potential customers will be lost. Failure to address the skills gap could also lead to structural unemployment and risk losing talent from millennials and Gen Z, who tend to place more value on skills acquisition and career enhancement opportunities than financial rewards and compensation.3

Companies can bridge the gap by investing in measurable training to enable employees to reach proficiency and drive a more effective workforce. Here’s a taster of our training approach with five ideas that you can immediately apply for fast results to overcoming structural unemployment.

Five ideas to inspire your training

Solid stepping stones creating a path across a river

1. Build a strong foundation.

Before building anything you need to make sure you have a solid foundation.

How? Use surveys to better understand who you are building the training for and create learner profiles. This will help you understand what motivates staff, their experience levels, and their training preferences.

2. Make it accessible.

Cater to learner needs and interests while making training relatable, meaningful, enjoyable and accessible.

How? Try using video to captivate your audience. Viewers retain 95% of a message they watch in a video, compared to 10% when reading text.5

3. Make it memorable.

Involve the audience so they retain the information better and longer—while having fun!

How? Try telling a story. Facts are 20x more likely to be remembered if they are part of a story.6

4. Get the delivery right.

It’s important to think through the overall execution of the training — before, during and after the key learning moments — to combat the “forgetting curve”.

How? Go mobile and make learning easy to access from anywhere. Learners increasingly rely on their mobile devices for all of their communications, and with a growing demand for training outside of the classroom, mobile should be your top priority for any learning content.

5. Review and reflect.

Starting with the end in mind makes it critical to track and measure effectiveness against clearly defined goals.

How? It’s important to identify the metrics, purpose, collection methods, benchmarks and key moments at the start, while also making sure that data collection doesn’t interrupt the learner journey. Using data-driven insights lets you know if you succeeded in meeting your business outcomes and if there is room for improvement to take the training program to the next level.

By investing in measurable training designed to bridge the skills gaps, companies can enable employees to reach proficiency and drive a more effective workforce.

No time to lose

Invest in training that bridges the skills gap. Get in touch to see how we can help you.

Training and development will always be critical in staying relevant and retaining talent. The key is to see an increased and maintained return on training investment by ensuring the skills gap is bridged through the right programs.

Check out our whitepaper for more creative ideas on “Bridging the skills gap with training” and get in touch with Quadmark to see how we can help you implement them.

1 Huffpost.com (2014) - 'Not investing in employee training is risky business'
2 HBR (2019) - “'You learn best when you learn less'
3 Training Journal (2020) - 'L&D trends in 2020'
4 Tech UK (2020) - 'How businesses can narrow the skills gap accelerated by Covid-19'
5 Forbes (2018) - 'How to incorporate video into your social media strategy'
6 Forbes (2015) - 'A good presentation is about data and story'

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