April 23, 2019
Honing In-House Talents: 5 Cost-Effective Ways To Identify And Bridge Skills Gaps With An LMS
April 23, 2019
Honing In-House Talents: 5 Cost-Effective Ways To Identify And Bridge Skills Gaps With An LMS
Christopher Pappas is the founder of The eLearning Industry’s Network, which is the largest online community of professionals involved in the eLearning field. Christopher holds an MBA, and an MEd (Learning Design) from BGSU.
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How To Identify And Bridge Skills Gaps With An LMS

We hate personality stereotypes but when you bump into somebody that fits them you realize they do have a basis. That being said, even the most typical sample of a ‘type’ has below-the-surface complexities. In a workplace situation these can be harnessed but only if you can find them through skill-based training. For example, you may discover your introverted customer service rep is a professionally ranked gamer. Likewise you might find that employees you hired to fill a role are somehow falling short due to undisclosed skill gaps. What’s the best way to use affordable training tools to unearth and enhance work-place talent, as well as address personal pain points that hinder employee potential?

  1. Identify Sticking Points

Using Learning Management Systems is one of the most inexpensive ways to undertake online training activities. And because the LMS has deep customization options you can program it to identify and bridge skill gaps. Surveys and self-assessment exercises can help you see where employees are struggling. You can also inspect processes at the departmental level. This won’t necessarily show how specific employee skills are sufficient. But it can show overall deficiencies that can be plugged. For example, conduct surveys to get the employees’ POV, then follow up with qualities evaluations. Such as simulations that test their ability to apply skills in a real-world situation.

  1. Take A Closer Look

As a follow-up to the above exercise, go micro. For example, say you determine a certain department consistently misses deadlines. Keep in mind your LMS isn’t just for training. It’s also used by your Admin and HR teams for things like payroll, asset planning and more. Especially if you have integrations. By reviewing the non-training portions of the LMS you can zero into the real problem. Maybe that department takes longer breaks, arrives at work late, leaves early or has insufficient equipment. In the latter case, if seven people take turns using a single computer, of course work will get delayed. Now you have a starting point to fix the issue after detecting the underlying cause.

  1. Pre-assess And Personalize

Before new hires report to work they can start their on-boarding process. This is easily done via mobile training apps. Assuming you built this orientation course via LMS, include some pre-assessment modules. Keep your tone light and pre-assessments short. This ensures trainees don’t get overwhelmed by the grand inquisition. The idea is to spot soft skills and any non-corporate talents that could be channeled for the benefit of the firm. For example, someone who moonlights as a stand-up comic can certainly spice up your client pitches. You can also spot their less-developed areas in a casual, non-invasive way that doesn’t put them on edge. Once you unfurl their hidden gaps and gifts, you can craft an online training program just for them. Or even launch a skill-based certification course based on job roles, tasks, departments and forthcoming promotions. For instance, a member of your sales team is aiming at a supervisory position but needs to bridge relevant gaps first.

  1. Host Live Skill-Based Events

You may notice your company has a communication problem. You get lots of customer complaints about basic things; i.e. because the instructions on your product pack are unclear. This may even carry over to your L&D program. So, hire a task-oriented communicator to address your staff and shore up your skill-based training strategy. You don’t want a lofty motivational speaker who tells them to ‘feel their feelings and speak from the heart’. You want someone practical. Someone that gives sample phrasing structures, step-by-step writing tips, and real-time on-stage speech coaching. They key is to choose someone who excels at that particular talent and can articulate their thoughts effectively. Open the lines of communication so that employees feel comfortable sharing their skills and helping others bridge gaps.

  1. Use JIT For Autonomous Training

Trainees don’t always want to ask for help, at least not directly. Some corporate spaces are so ‘cut-throat’ that exposing any weakness is a professional nightmare. If they’ve worked somewhere like that before they most likely will carry this attitude into your firm. But their reticence can lead to costly errors. Use your employee development LMS to build a comprehensive digital library packed with moment-of-need training resources. That way they receive all the help they need while still saving face. There will always be a digital trail, so trainees may still be wary. Customize the system to record download frequency without capturing the source. This way you can tell which resource is the most popular without necessarily knowing who called it up. This helps you recognize key queries and provide more content along those lines. And it does so without needless finger-pointing.

An employee development LMS is a good way to spot the gaps in your organization. Use self-assessment techniques and non-training metrics to identify trouble spots. This can help you design personalized training paths. Once you’ve verified what’s missing in your firm, how do you resolve it? Find an expert consultant in that particular field to host a live training event. Ideally, you want someone that focuses on targeted skills and is relatable. Like someone from your staff who is well versed on the topic or talent. They’re the ideal trainer because they have pre-established relationships with their colleagues. Barring in-fighting and biases, their rapport could make training faster, cheaper and easier. JIT online training libraries are helpful too. So, build some on-the-go resources that focus on your firm’s missing capabilities.

Bridging skill gaps and making the most of hidden talents primarily starts during the LMS selection. You need a platform that personalizes the process and features robust reporting. Adobe Captivate Prime can help you provide JIT support, anytime anywhere training, and enables you to track offline/informal training activities.

For more details, please write to Adobe Captivate Prime team at captivateprimesales@adobe.com.

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