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As businesses rapidly embrace new models and strategies to include updated technology and changing customer needs, many organizations are witnessing knowledge gaps. These gaps are expanding, as many employees are now required to do jobs that they weren’t hired or trained to do. 

A statistic about knowledge gaps from Mckinsey

The above data shows the importance of bridging knowledge gaps and highlights that few organizations are prepared to do so. Addressing these gaps is crucial as they can be the biggest liability for your business. This article will detail how your company can identify these gaps and bridge them before they cost your business.

What are Knowledge Gaps in the Workplace?

Knowledge gaps in the workplace are commonly recognized as environments where people lack the skills, experience, or information required to execute their jobs effectively.  These gaps can impede productivity, innovation, and overall organizational success. That is why identifying and addressing knowledge gaps is critical for enhancing employee performance and meeting corporate objectives.

Companies are often forced to hire employees who do not have the required qualifications due to a staff shortage. These gaps are further exacerbated due to employee ambivalence and lack of proper training. These deficits often arise due to the changing nature of the market, which requires a business to revamp itself and upskill and reskill employees constantly.

A worker who doesn’t have the required knowledge can cost the business a potential client or customer. It is crucial for a business to quickly identify and bridge these knowledge gaps to boost its revenue and sales. Each workplace is different, and to succeed; you have to determine the specific knowledge gaps and skill gaps in your workforce.

Knowledge Gap Real-time Example

Challenge:

Identifying and nurturing agile leaders within Petronas amidst an unpredictable business climate.

Objective:

To develop a sustainable pipeline of leaders equipped to navigate the ever-changing business landscape and achieve critical organizational objectives.

Solution:

  • Disprz's role-based learning journeys enabled Petronas to deliver tailored training experiences, ensuring employees follow specific pathways aligned with their roles.

  • Rich content authoring tools allow PLC Petronas Leadership Center to create micro-learning content tailored to their needs, fostering data-driven decision-making.

  • Disprz's integration with Go1 platform offers a vast library of relevant content, empowering Petronas employees to self-enroll in skill-building courses.

Benefits of Auditing the Knowledge Gaps at Workplace

Successfully overcoming knowledge or skills gaps yields a plethora of benefits:

  • It fosters a comprehensive understanding of your workforce, enabling you to identify strengths and areas for improvement. This, in turn, leads to greater productivity as employees are equipped with the skills needed to excel in their roles.

  • Addressing skills gaps enhances organizational agility, allowing for swift adaptation to changing market conditions and emerging opportunities. A clear workforce planning strategy emerges, aligning talent development initiatives with long-term business objectives.

  • Ultimately, this positions the organization with competitive advantages over peers, as it boasts a skilled and adaptable workforce ready to tackle challenges and capitalize on growth prospects.

4 Reasons for Knowledge Gaps

A gap in knowledge is costly for employers when it comes to lost productivity, high turnover, morale, team innovation, profits, and so on. It is critical to conduct a quick analysis to identify the necessary knowledge gap and exactly what it would take to fill the gap with training programs.

1. Emerging technology

Technological innovation creates digital skill gaps at a rapid pace that is challenging to address. Due to automation and artificial intelligence, many jobs have become obsolete, but new ones have been created to support emerging technologies. Likewise, the gig economy changes hiring managers’ look for candidates and how workers provide particular knowledge and skills.

2. Inadequate learning

Learning that’s inadequate contributes to knowledge gaps. It must evolve at all levels to help close those gaps. Several employees lack competence as digital skills become more in demand across all industries. It’s crucial to incorporate more technology wherever possible in foundational skilling and accommodate all types of learner personas.

3. On-the-job training

Another reason for knowledge gaps is a lack of on-the-job training, as companies no longer hire and train based on potential. They’d rather shop for the cheese-ready sandwich than spend time making their own. Hiring managers seek “expert” candidates because of the emphasis on immediate performance. It’s an overlooked opportunity to invest in long-term employees and results.

4. Lack of soft skills

People’s soft skills make them delightful to work with other teammates. Soft skills make work life manageable and include abilities such as:

  • Innovation in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and innovation assists businesses in competing.

  • Persuasion is a necessary skill in both client negotiations and leadership.

  • Collaboration delivers better outcomes and is the skill that allows an organization to function.

  • Adaptability enables a company to stay on its feet and overcome complex challenges.

  • Effective communication includes emotional intelligence, a soft skill that improves work relationships.

Facing Challenges When Closing the Knowledge Gap

It’s evident that there is an imbalance between the number and skill level of people available to meet the demands of the modern labor market. However dealing with these problems can be challenging for both employers and employees.

Employers may find it challenging to close knowledge gaps by building the infrastructure necessary to find, hire, train, and upskill their workforce. Instead of looking for candidates they can develop throughout a career, many companies emphasize finding candidates who can fill an immediate need. More knowledge gaps will soon appear when you combine this with a workplace that is changing quickly.

For some people, the prospect of training or retraining can be overwhelming. It entails deciding on the best course of action for advancement and devoting time and effort to learning new skills.

Despite the fact that these obstacles appear to be challenging to overcome, the situation is far from hopeless. Industries, companies, and individuals can address the knowledge gap in several ways.

3 Ways to Identify Knowledge Gaps in Your Workforce

Here are a few steps you can take to identify the knowledge gaps impacting your company’s performance.

1. Define the objectives of your business

To recognize the gaps in the performance of your employees, you first need to be clear about the goals of your organization. It would be best to have a clear picture of the targets you want to achieve in the future and what new positions need to be created and filled. 

2. Identify the necessary qualifications required

It would be best to discern what qualifications are required to help you accomplish your future targets. This is especially important if you plan on rebranding or introducing new strategies or technology in your workplace. You need to determine what kind of educational background, proficiency, and work experience an employee will need for a particular position in your company.

3. Assess the present situation

You need to assess your employees’ current performance and determine whether it is adequate for you to achieve the goals that you have outlined. This will help you understand the knowledge gaps in your workforce and train and reskill existing employees according to your firm’s needs. It will also help you determine if you need to hire new employees or create new roles.

5 Steps to Conduct a Knowledge Gap Analysis

After identifying the knowledge gaps existing in your workplace, you need to do an analysis. Here are a few steps that can help you do so.

1. Identify the key performance indicators

Key Performance Indicators are measurable values that highlight the efficacy of an organization. They can be quantitative, like the amount of revenue incurred or returns on assets, or qualitative, like customer satisfaction scores. Different sets of KPIs are used to measure the performance of different sectors, businesses, and departments.

Identifying the vital KPIs for your company or department is the first step towards efficiently gauging your performance. Keeping track of these indicators and metrics will show you areas in which your company is lacking or falling behind.

2. Make an employee assessment

Along with tracking the performance of your employees through KPIs, you should also evaluate their skills through regular assessments and quizzes. This can help you understand the individual knowledge gaps each employee is facing to take measures to rectify them.

3. Observe the work environment

Assessments alone, however, will not give you the complete picture of your employees’ performance. Therefore, you need to observe them while they are carrying out their duties. This may pinpoint issues that couldn’t be spotted during tests and provide further insight regarding their skill gaps.

4. Take reviews from employees and customers

Frequent feedback and reviews should be taken from employees and customers, as this may highlight issues you have previously missed. This is important as it often helps recognize a lack of soft skills like communication skills and teamwork. 

5. Identify the benchmark top performers

Recognizing employees that are your organization’s top performers provides a point of reference for other workers. By identifying what they are doing right, you can infer the skill gaps in your other employees. Their performance can also serve as a skill template to train other employees.

After successfully identifying knowledge gaps in your employees, you need to understand how best to bridge these gaps. This could be done through training and reskilling or rehiring. It would help if you also recognized the root cause behind these problems to best address them. To do this, you can utilize disprz’s AI-based platform, which can efficiently help you map the skills of your employees.

These personalized skill maps provide an accurate picture of areas your employees and your business need to improve. Disprz has helped companies like Angel Broking Limited and MaxMart Retail Pvt Ltd. identify role-based gaps by creating personalized skill maps for all their employees and providing a real-time track of key performance indicators. These gaps were then bridged through targeted training modules and data-driven technology. Disprz makes developing and cultivating skills easy for employees by creating engaging content and quick daily assessments. 

Conclusion

Bridge the gap in your skills and knowledge with Disprz. As an advanced Learning Experience Platform (LXP) provider, Disprz’s AI-powered LXP offers personalized learning experiences tailored to each employee's needs. Disprz empowers employees to craft their own learning journey, enabling them to choose the skills and knowledge they wish to acquire and their preferred learning methods. 

For Learning and Development (L&D) professionals, Disprz streamlines the learning process by identifying employee skill gaps upfront and delivering targeted content to bridge those gaps effectively. Don't let skills gaps hold your organization back.

Take charge with Disprz and empower your workforce to thrive!  Request a demo now.

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