Five Tips for Starting Skills-Development Programs

Fixing the skills gap will become a major concern for employers in the next few years, as members of the baby boomer generation retire at increasing rates. While hiring temporary staff can help address critical skills gaps in the short term, companies that also seek to expand the skill sets of existing staff members will gain the flexibility to address business challenges more readily.

An internal skills-development program is one of the best ways to beat the skills gap. By offering skill development, your company ensures that employees get up to speed on skills they’re missing – and that your organization focuses its resources on cultivating exactly the skill sets it needs most. Here’s how to kick off a skills-development program:

  1. Encourage retiring employees to train their successors. Many companies face a retirement crisis as top staff leave, but fewer seize the opportunity to take advantage of their retiring superstars’ wisdom while it is still on-site. Encourage retirees to announce their plans soon enough to make mentoring their own successor feasible. You’ll minimize the pain of transition and identify skills gaps early.
  1. Set up an interdepartment a job-shadowing program. Employees who know what goes on in other departments gain the opportunity to expand their own skills, know where to go to ask specific questions, and learn more about the opportunities to maximize their own productivity and effectiveness within the organization. Encourage connection- building and information sharing to reduce the skills gap by connecting employees across departments – if only for a few days.
  1. Create an effective mentoring program. Mentoring matches new employees with more experienced staff, promoting connections and leadership development while also allowing both established professionals and newcomers to trade ideas. Talk to your recruiter for tips on making your mentoring program work.
  1. Encourage employees to reach out. Low-cost community education, professional seminars, and other resources offer great sources of information employees can use to learn new skills and position themselves for advancement. Encourage your employees to reach out for programs that cannot be offered within the company itself with incentives like flex time for seminar attendance or partial tuition reimbursement.
  1. Talk to your recruiter. Your staffing firm specializes in helping its clients identify potential skills gaps and address them effectively. Talk to your staffing partner for tips on using temporary staff effectively while building a skills-development program.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you staff smarter in both the short and long term. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond.

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