News And Advice

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Overcoming a Skills Mismatch

No matter how carefully you select your staff, there will inevitably come a time when they just can’t seem to do the job. Whether they are constantly playing catch-up, missing deadlines, or racking up the overtime just to do their basic duties, the root cause is almost always the same: skills mismatch.

While this may sound like a daunting problem, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. In fact, many times, skills mismatch is a temporary issue that can be remedied relatively easily. Before you can resolve the issue, however, you need to delve a little deeper and figure out exactly what’s going on.

Here’s a look at the three main causes of skills mismatch:

  1. A Simple Misunderstanding – Business is booming, so you bring a bunch of new staff onboard to handle the newly increased work load. A month down the road, however, they seem just as clueless as on their first day. Chances are these new workers were either not properly oriented in terms of others’ roles and responsibilities in the department or others in the department don’t have a firm grasp on how these newbies are expected to contribute to the team. Either way, the solution is simple: hold a departmental meeting to explain each team member’s role and how they are expected to work together. Allow both old and new employees to ask questions as they get to know their fellow team members a bit better.
  2. Picking Up The Slack – The economic downturn caused many organizations to lay off employees, leaving the remaining staff to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, the workers who are taking on additional duties may not possess the skills or expertise to handle them as well as those who were let go. They may be spending additional time trying to accomplish their new duties, oftentimes making mistakes and having to start all over again.  This scenario is best resolved by reexamining the job roles you are trying to fill and then comparing those duties with the skills of the remaining employees. You may be better served by switching around responsibilities to take advantage of the skills and experience of those you have kept on staff. If there just isn’t a good match in some instances, consider bringing on temporary workers to handle the requisite duties.
  3. Changing Regulations – Your workforce may be top-notch, but continuously changing legislation or regulations may create the need for updated skills or knowledge. The solution to this problem is perhaps the simplest of all: invest in your employees by providing professional development opportunities. Allow employees time-off for relevant seminars or workshops and offer reimbursement for continuing education. You may also wish to consider developing a cross-training initiative to encourage employees to expand their skills and increase their ability to take on rotational assignments.

Overcoming the problem of skills mismatch is a challenge, but not an insurmountable one. It’s important to remember that there is no quick-fix, however. Overcoming the problem of skills mismatch is an ongoing effort, one that takes great focus and attention, but it’s definitely worth the effort. 

For assistance with your staffing issues or more information on employment-related matters, contact High Profile Staffing today.