particular emphasis has always been placed on identifying the skill gaps linked
to fulfilment of the company's specific business and technical processes. Our
efforts have resulted in development of a number of skill gap identification strategies
and patterns that are discussed below.
performance observation is arguably one of the best strategies of identifying
skill gaps. Traditional forms of observation have long been coming under a lot
of criticism for putting employees under additional pressure due to being watched.
Contemporary IT environment enables training consultants to substitute observation
with the so-called ''output analysis''. Once IT staff members log into their systems,
it is easy to observe their online professional activities from transaction processing
to the new system design. The data collected as a result of such ''modern day
observation'' is going to include not only identification of the tasks completed
but also how long it takes the employees to complete the respective tasks. This
approach makes it quite easy for a training consultant to pinpoint both the tasks
that the employees failed to complete fully as well as the tasks that could not
be completed on time.
Just because there is
a wide range of technology-powered tools and patterns available (as with the method
outlined above), it does not mean that the old skills analysis methods should
be regarded as outdated and mercilessly dropped from training consulting practices.
Staff feedback remains a very useful source of suggestions for possible improvements
needed. In order to make it work well, training consultants should aim at creating
non-threatening environment where their clients are at ease to talk about their
many employees spend a lion share of their time on a very limited range of workplace
tasks and duties. This makes it difficult for a visiting training consultant to
pick up broader skill deficiencies while on a short-term project. A simple solution
to this problem is to make arrangements with the management to get the employees
to swap their duties and responsibilities around.
Written By Dr. Michael Baron, Baron Consulting, CEO. © 2009. Printed with
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