How HRs Can Shrink The Skill Set Gap In 2023?

A diverse workforce can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the organisation and help foster a culture of innovation.


As we step into 2023, the global economy continues to transform at an unprecedented pace, driven by technological advancements and changing market demands. One of the most significant challenges for companies today is the widening skill set gap that can impact the organization's productivity and growth. According to the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2020, 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as technology adoption accelerates. HR professionals must develop innovative strategies to bridge the skill set gap and empower the workforce to succeed in the digital age. 

Investing in Career Development, Upskilling, and Reskilling

Employees are the backbone of any organization, and investing in their career development is key to retaining and upskilling the workforce. In a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 94% of employees said that they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. It is essential for HR to identify skill gaps and provide learning and development opportunities that align with the company's goals and individual career aspirations. The Society for Human Resource Management's (SHRM) 2021 Employee Benefits survey found that 61% of organizations offer professional development opportunities to employees.

HR professionals can work with managers to identify the skills that employees need to succeed in their roles and design training programs that cater to those specific needs. It is essential to choose the right training programs that align with the organization's goals and objectives. Additionally, HR professionals can leverage technology and online resources to offer employees access to learning opportunities that fit their schedules and preferences.

Another way to bridge the skill set gap is to encourage and promote upskilling and reskilling. Upskilling refers to enhancing the existing skills of employees, while reskilling involves training employees in entirely new areas. In 2023, HR professionals must work with managers to identify the areas where upskilling and reskilling can add value to the organization. This will not only improve the employees' skill sets but also increase their job satisfaction and retention rates. Additionally, promoting upskilling and reskilling within the organization can help create a culture of continuous learning, which is critical for success in the digital age.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are not just buzzwords but essential components of a thriving organization. Research by McKinsey & Company has found that diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their peers. A report by the HR Research Institute found that 85% of organizations believe that D&I initiatives have a positive impact on their bottom line.

HR professionals can also consider creating cross-functional teams that enable employees to work across departments and learn new skills. This approach can provide employees with a broader understanding of the organisation's operations and allow them to gain new perspectives and insights. Cross-functional teams can also foster collaboration and communication among employees, leading to better problem-solving and decision-making.

In 2023, HR professionals must also focus on diversity and inclusion to shrink the skill set gap. This involves recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce that represents a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets. A diverse workforce can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the organisation and help foster a culture of innovation. Additionally, HR professionals can work with managers to provide an inclusive work environment that values and respects all employees, regardless of their background or identity.

Leveraging Data Analytics

Data analytics has transformed HR from a support function to a strategic partner in decision-making. The SHRM's 2020 Human Capital Benchmarking Report found that 54 per cent of organisations use data analytics to inform their HR decisions. Analyzing employee performance metrics, skill assessments, and workforce demographics can help HR identify skill gaps and develop targeted training programs. By leveraging data, HR can also predict future workforce needs and create a more agile and adaptive organization.

Creating a Culture of Learning and Development

The digital age demands continuous learning and development, and companies that prioritise upskilling and reskilling their workforce are more likely to succeed. According to a study by Deloitte, companies that promote a culture of learning and development are 92 per cent more likely to innovate and 52 per cent more likely to be the first to market with new products and services. HR professionals can create a learning culture by providing access to training programs, mentorship opportunities, and job rotations.

In conclusion, shrinking the skill set gap is a critical challenge for HR professionals in 2023. HR professionals can adopt various approaches, such as providing continuous training and development opportunities, promoting upskilling and reskilling, creating cross-functional teams, fostering diversity and inclusion, and using data analytics to identify skill gaps. By taking a holistic approach to skill set development, HR professionals can ensure that their organizations have the talent and skills needed to thrive in the digital age.

(The article above has been penned down by Gaurav Sharma, CHRO, Balancehero, especially for BW People publication only)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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