Jun 21, 2024 Digital BIAS

How to Run A Skills Gap Analysis for Go-to-Market Success

How Skills Gap Analysis Amplify's Go-to-Market Success

As part of our ARISE™ Go-To-Market series, we’ve been discussing the Assess stage, the first stage. This stage is the part of the methodology that breaks you down and reveals your weaknesses and strengths. As part of this stage, we perform a series of audits that establish the truth independently of your input or feedback.

This article discusses how you can audit your team's skills and ensure you fully understand your personnel challenges, tech stack, and marketing performance.

To audit your team and establish where the skills gaps lie, you can follow a structured approach that involves several key steps. Here’s a comprehensive guide based on the best practices:

Steps to Conduct a Skills Gap Analysis

To conduct a skills gap analysis, start by clearly defining the objectives and scope of the analysis, determining whether it will focus on individual employees, specific teams, or the entire organisation. 

Next, identify the critical skills needed to meet current and future business goals by consulting with leaders, reviewing job descriptions, and considering industry trends. Measure and assess current skill levels within the organisation using surveys, performance reviews, interviews, skills assessments, and 360-degree feedback. 

Analyse the collected data to identify gaps between required and existing skills, often using a skills matrix or competency framework. Based on the findings, develop an action plan to address the identified gaps through training, hiring, or other interventions. Implement the plan and monitor progress, providing opportunities for employees to apply newly acquired skills. 

Finally, the analysis must be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure ongoing alignment with organisational goals and changing industry needs. This systematic approach helps organisations identify and address skill deficiencies, supporting strategic workforce planning and maintaining competitiveness in a rapidly evolving business landscape.

So here is an example of a set of steps you can take.

1. Define Objectives and Scope

  • Set Clear Objectives: Determine your goals with the skills gap analysis. These could include improving team performance, preparing for future projects, or aligning skills with organisational goals.
  • Scope of the Audit: Decide whether the audit will cover the entire organisation, specific teams, or individual roles. Define the skills (both technical and soft) that are critical for your business objectives.

2. Identify Required Skills

3. Assess Current Skills

  • Data Collection Method: Use a combination of methods to gather data on current skills:
    Surveys and Questionnaires: Distribute surveys to employees to self-assess their skills.
  • Performance Reviews: Review past performance appraisals to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • 360-Degree Feedback: Collect feedback from peers, managers, and subordinates to view an employee’s skills comprehensively.
  • Observations and Interviews: Conduct direct and one-on-one interviews to gather qualitative data.

4. Analyse the Data

  • Skills Matrix: Create a skills matrix to compare the required skills with your team members' current skills. This visual tool helps identify gaps easily.
  • Gap Analysis: Perform a gap analysis to pinpoint specific areas lacking skills. This can be done using tools like SWOT analysis or competency assessments.

5. Develop an Action Plan

  • Training and Development: Create targeted training programs to upskill your employees based on the identified gaps. This could include online courses, workshops, or in-house training sessions.
  • Hiring and Recruitment: If certain skills still need to be added, consider hiring new employees with the required expertise or contracting temporary staff.
  • Reskilling and Upskilling: Develop reskilling and upskilling strategies to help current employees acquire new skills that are critical for future projects.

6. Implement and Monitor

  • Action Plan Implementation: Roll out the training and development programs and make necessary adjustments based on feedback and progress.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Regularly monitor your team’s progress in skills development. Use performance metrics and follow-up assessments to address skills gaps effectively.

7. Review and Adjust

  • Evaluate Outcomes: After a set period, evaluate the effectiveness of your action plan. Check if the skills gaps have been reduced and if the team’s performance has improved.
  • Adjust Strategies: Based on the evaluation, make necessary adjustments to your training programs or recruitment strategies to continuously align with organisational goals.

Following these steps, you can systematically audit your team to identify and address skills gaps, ensuring your workforce is well-equipped to meet current and future challenges. Next, we look at some effective strategies for conducting a skills gap assessment.

What are the Most Effective Methods for Conducting a Skills Gap Audit?

While we don’t have a complete list, here are some of the most effective methods for conducting a skills audit:

1. Define the objectives, scope, and key skills/competencies:

  • Identify the goals of the skills audit - e.g. identifying gaps, aligning skills with strategic goals, assessing training needs, etc.
  • Define the scope - which roles, departments, or the entire organisation will be audited.
  • Identify the key skills and competencies required for each role using job descriptions and frameworks.

2. Use multiple data collection methods:

3. Develop assessment tools and frameworks:

  • Create a skills matrix or competency framework mapping required skills to roles
  • Design surveys/questionnaires with clear skill definitions and rating scales

4. Communicate and get buy-in:

  • Explain the purpose and process to employees to ensure participation
  • Get buy-in from key stakeholders like management and department heads

5. Collect, analyse and create a skills inventory: 

  • Compile results into a skills inventory showing current skills mapped to roles
  • Analyse data to identify strengths, gaps, training needs, and successors

6. Develop action plans:

  • Create targeted training, hiring, reskilling/upskilling plans based on gaps
  • Implement plans, monitor progress, and adjust strategies as needed

The most effective approach often involves combining methods to collect comprehensive data from multiple sources, analyse it systematically, and develop data-driven action plans. Regular review and skills audit process updates are also recommended.

Now, let’s look at best practices for defining competencies and skills. We cover the vital steps to ensure a rounded approach to your skills gap analysis.

What Are The Best Practices for Defining Competencies and Skills

Here are some best practices for defining competencies and skills:

1. Align with organisational goals and values:

2. Be clear and specific:

  • Write clear, concise competency statements using action verbs.
  • Avoid vague keywords, jargon, or overly complex language.
  • Make definitions and proficiency levels as actionable as possible.

3. Use behavioral indicators:

  • Illustrate competencies with observable behavioural indicators or examples.
  • Provide tangible examples of how the competency can be demonstrated in the workplace.

4. Categorise competencies:

  • Identify and define different competencies, such as core, functional, technical, and leadership competencies.
  • Create a competency dictionary with clear definitions for each competency.

5. Establish proficiency levels:

  • Define different proficiency levels for each competency (e.g., basic, intermediate, advanced).

6. Involve stakeholders:

  • Engage various stakeholders in defining competencies, including employees, managers, HR professionals, and subject matter experts.
  • Form focus groups with a diverse mix of people to map competencies and reduce bias.

7. Use multiple methods for identification:

  • Employ various methods to identify competencies, such as job analysis, interviews with high performers, industry benchmarking, and expert consultations.

8. Keep it relevant and focused:

  • Focus on essential skills and competencies for each job or task.
  • Ensure competencies are relevant to specific roles.

9. Make it measurable:

  • Ensure each competency definition is quantifiable and observable.

10. Review and update regularly:

  • Regularly review and update competencies to remain relevant and aligned with business objectives.

11. Use technology and frameworks:

  • Leverage competency frameworks, skills mapping tools, or HR software to help define and manage competencies.

12. Consider future needs:

  • Include competencies for future projects and organisational goals.

By following these best practices, organisations can create a robust and effective competency framework that supports various HR processes and aligns with organisational objectives. 

This final section covers the skills matrix and how to develop organisational competencies and professional excellence. The ARISE Assessment stage covers many audit: tech, strategy, sales pipeline, marketing and people management. 

With this last, in the audit series article, we want to enable you to understand how to analyse your business landscape and not simply your go-to-market teams and tech stack.

What are the Key Components of a Successful Skills Matrix?

Based on the search results, the key components of a successful skills matrix are:

1.List of Required Skills/Competencies

2. Proficiency Levels 

  • Establish clear proficiency levels or ratings for each skill (e.g. beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert)
  • Define specific criteria or behavioural indicators for each proficiency level to ensure consistency
  • Common scales used are 3-point, 5-point or 10-point rating scales

3. Employee Skills Assessment

  • Assess employees' current skill levels through a combination of methods:
    •  Self-assessments 
    •  Manager evaluations
    •  Peer feedback (360-degree feedback)
    •  Skills tests or certifications
    •  Performance review data

4. Interest/Motivation Levels

  • Capture employees' interest or motivation to use and develop each skill
  • Rate interest on a simple scale (e.g. high interest, low interest)

5. Visual Representation

  • Present the data in a clear matrix or grid format mapping employees against required skills
  • Use colour-coding, symbols or other visual aids to highlight strengths, gaps, development needs

6. Regular Updates

  • Treat the skills matrix as a living document to be updated periodically
  • Review and update as skills are developed, new requirements emerge, or organisational goals change

7. Alignment with Goals

  • Ensure the listed skills align with current and future business objectives and strategic priorities

By incorporating these key components, organisations can create an effective skills matrix that provides valuable insights for workforce planning, training, succession planning, and optimising team capabilities.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. We appreciate your focus and hope we provide the materials you need to prosper and move your business forward. If you have the time to comment, please do so; it helps us know what’s useful and what can be improved.

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Published by Digital BIAS June 21, 2024