Why executives believe closing the skills gap is an urgent priority


Businesses that don't step up to address the skills gap will be left behind. A McKinsey Global Institute Report indicates that a shortage of skills will push at least 14% of the global workforce away from their current employment by 2030, which will negatively affect business operations and growth. Although the increasing skills gap is an urgent priority for many organisations, the McKinsey survey indicates that most businesses aren't ready to address this need. 


“As much as lockdown disrupted all industries, it also pushed business executives to rethink how they make learning and training accessible for all employees,” said Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy™. “Businesses that make e-learning a priority will be well-positioned for future disruptions in their industry. In 2020, many businesses didn’t have the right solutions to provide much-needed training to their teams. Their inability to pivot to digital training solutions resulted in severe delays in skills development and knowledge transfer. This skills deficit had a significant impact on business,” Gullan added.


Technology is a long-term solution that, when deployed correctly, can significantly address the skills gap, across all levels, in an organisation. By implementing learning and training through an e-learning solution, businesses can address their most common concerns, including,

  • Budget constraints
  • Lack of employee time to participate in training
  • Lack of employee participation and knowledge retention
  • Lack of appropriate training technology
  • Lack of accurate reporting, data and detailed insights.


Four things to consider before implementing e-learning to bridge the skills gap.


1. Identify what skills the business needs

Use a strategic consultation approach to identify what skills are needed in the business, what skills are available, and how to align the business learning objectives to ensure employees receive the right training and remain engaged and motivated to learn.


2. User experience is essential
Smart e-learning solutions should be easy to navigate and convenient for employees, even if they’re not digitally savvy. This includes providing them with an engaging and interactive experience, which encourages employees to complete the learning materials.


3. Interactive, bite-sized learning material
Provide content in interactive, bite-sized learning moments that addresses adult learners' attention span. Doing so will also cater to time-strapped employees', who struggle to find the time to learn and upskill themselves.


4. Make learning fun and bridge the skills gap

Gamification motivates employees and promotes behaviour change to make learning fun. This includes game mechanics such as badges, achievements, leaderboards, animations, and sound effects to engage your employees and keep them motivated in training.


To address the increasing skills gap and ensure business continuity, relevance and competitive advantage, organisations should prioritise learning and training for all employees. Doing so will ensure that your workforce has the right skills for their roles. Developing a business philosophy of continuous learning and training will develop a pool of exceptional talent, improve job satisfaction, employee productivity and ultimately, an organisation's bottom line.

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