Are You Dealing With a Skills Mismatch?

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There’s nothing clearly wrong with your team. They’re smart, they get along with each other, they work hard, and without exception, they’re personally committed to the company and its goals. There’s only one problem: Everything. You’re racking your brain but you can’t figure out why have to call them into your office after every project to try and figure out what went wrong. And you don’t understand how, with such a great team on your side, you’re still lagging behind your competition, missing easy sales, and falling short of client expectations.

You may be dealing with a mismatch between your employees’ specific skills and the tasks you’re placing in front of them. It’s possible that you have the wrong people dealing with the wrong jobs, and if this is the case, the sooner you get this alignment straightened out, the faster you can get back on the path to success. Try these tips.

1. If you’re dealing with a mismatch, don’t expect your employees to figure it out and tell you about it. If they can’t get over the hurdles in front of them, they’ll probably just try harder. In other words, if you expect Steve to come to you and ask to take on Janet’s job, or vice versa, you may be waiting for a long time. Steve isn’t watching Janet; he’s watching the pile the accumulating in his own inbox.

2. How did your employees get where they are now? Did a company restructuring cause a seismic shift that pushed employees into roles they were never trained for? Were some of these positions filled for reasons of serendipity, organic evolution, or convenience? If so, turn back the clock and figure out who may have stepped into a position without the necessary training. Then provide the courses and skill sets they need.

3. Are changes in your industry or new sets of regulations complicating the issue? Maybe you can’t slow down these changes, but you can start getting serious about professional development and learning support. Consider supporting and/or funding your employees as they pursue independent education opportunities.  

4. Encourage mentoring. If employees misunderstand their roles or simply don’t know what’s expected of them, formal mentoring can help. Don’t just let these connections happen on their own; conduct some research and assign specific pairings.

A skills mismatch can cause problems on two fronts: first, it lets valuable employee talent and effort go to waste. And second, it’s simply no good for the company when important responsibilities are held by the wrong people. The Little Rock staffing pros at CSS can offer the guidance you need to get these issues corrected. Contact our office and schedule a consultation today.

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