Learning plays a vital role in upgrading employee skills and thereby ensuring business success. Organizations which have the right skill set at the right place have greater chances of achieving organizational efficiently; reduce customer complaints and absenteeism rate as well as increase morale and the Company’s profits. But often, organizations fail to have the right skill set as organizational targets or objectives are subjected to continuous change according to the outside market environment to be competitive.
To reduce the skill gap, organizations should periodically conduct a skill analysis to attain organizational objectives efficiently. Skill Analysis can be done by:
- Identifying the skills required by the organization
- Analyzing whether the required skill set is available
- If not, the skill gap should be bridged by imparting learning
- Reanalyzing to ensure the skills upgraded
After planning the learning program by answering the above, the next vital step is to lay the foundation stone on which training can be started. This comprises an assessment of employee learning needs which in turn, comprises the below three steps:
Step I: Identification: It can be done by:
- Interview Employee: The employee to whom particular roles and responsibilities are assigned is interviewed to identify the skill gap.
- Observation: The manager or supervisor concerned can observe employees’ performance gap if any, to ascertain the learning need.
- Performance Appraisal: Nowadays, organizations are using the most sophisticated method of performance appraisal where the performance is directly measured both quantitatively and qualitatively to the given task. Thus, the results generated from an appraisal can be taken as a benchmark to identify the learning needs.
- Promotion: When considering an employee for promotion, the required skill set can be analyzed to impart the training accordingly.
Step II: Implementation: This works in different ways, according to the participant’s type and level of learning.
- Method: It can be the classroom method or on-the-job or the on-line method of training.
- Duration: The duration can also be at a stretch, extending for a day or couple of days or on an hourly basis.
- Number of Participants: This comprises a one-on-one or a group method of learning. One-on-one is more of a mentoring nature while the group method is of the classroom method of teaching.
At the implementation phase, the organization should make sure that the learning provided is of the right type and given at the right time and in the right environment for effectively filling up the skills gap.
Step III: Evaluation: Evaluation is a crucial step in the learning process as it helps cross-check the learning program accomplished in achieving the objective of bridging the skill gap. This evaluation can be made in two ways:
- By getting the opinion of trainees regarding the benefits of the learning program and
- Analyzing or assessing the trainee’s ability to implement the skill sets acquired in the learning program on the job being done.
An important thing to remember is that the desired learning cannot be achieved through a single cycle or step. It must be done in multiple cycles to effectively attain organizational objectives.