Closing the Skills Gap: Why You and Your Company Need Workforce Transformation

If you’re a traditional IT specialist such as a systems administrator, developer or service manager, then you are probably already thinking about long-term career development. As more roles consolidate and functionality automates, you’ll likely have lots of questions. How do I get more strategic? How do I get closer to the business, and how do I add value so that I can’t be outsourced?

Or, if you spend more time managing people, you are probably concerned with broader challenges: How do I retain knowledge as baby boomers retire and millennials come on board? How do I attract and retain optimal talent in the first place?

Individuals working at the executive level will also have questions: How do you grow an agile organization – an efficient organization that rapidly responds to market changes and satisfies customers?

The answer is the same in all cases: You need a plan to analyze needs, manage change and close the skills gaps, converting challenges into opportunities with roadmaps and education.

A skills gap analysis measures the difference between what your workforce can do and what you need them to do. As a result, your job descriptions need to reflect the knowledge, skills and abilities required to effectively do the work.

Workforce transformation takes into account future opportunities as well as past and present performance by asking the question, “Who needs to be doing what if we want to be successful?” The challenge is finding a provider with experience managing the total process.

Consultancies provide a part of the solution – they are great at identifying disrupters. However, most of their energy and effort goes into organizational change. They aren’t laser focused on workforce development, they don’t have dedicated educational resources, and they tend to be large and expensive engagements.

Business Transformation Providers

Large consultancies specialize in the analysis and planning aspects of Business Transformation Services; however, they would have to build one-time training or engage a training provider. Training organizations do not have the consulting services necessary to analyze needs, design customer-specific plans and manage change.

Training organizations have another major component for workforce transformation: detailed courses for certifications, business development and training, and the potential to create customized learning. However, training organizations lack consulting experience – the analysis and change management aspect of workforce change management.

Workforce transformation requires consulting and education, which is exactly what Global Knowledge Business Transformation Services (BTS) provide. Our BTS practice provides flexible guidance to analyze needs, roles and skills gaps and to design the programs that maximize worker potential.

So think of BTS as your one-stop shop for closing skills gaps in your organization, no matter what you are doing:

  1. Personal training path: If you are interested in long-term success, let’s talk to management about defining optimal roles and building the path that takes you and the rest of your team to the top. Or, create your own path by pursuing business analysis, project management or ITIL® certifications. Either way, you maximize your organization’s investment in the current workforce.
  2. If you’re in management and recognize the need for change, lean on our experienced solution specialists and educators to build and execute focused and affordable workforce optimization. Look to the experts to add value and maximize return on investment (ROI).
  3. If you are leading an organization that’s been impacted by business, workforce or technology disrupters, then you know that you must be selective with regard to priorities; you’ll need short-term results and substantial long-term ROI. Global Knowledge’s BTS gives you visibility into the entire opportunity – we’ll help you prioritize change and close the loop with a highly effective workforce.
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  1. Paige Reply

    Very informative read. I think a skills gap analysis is necessary, but how often do you do them? Only when you recognize the need for change? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Michael Stierhoff Reply

    Great question! The answer varies by industry and organization, but here’s a few pointers.

    Individuals have more flexibility and I would suggest an annual review. If you’re keeping up with the industry, you probably have an idea where things are going. So dedicate a couple of hours of search around the roles and responsibilities that you find interesting, put a training plan together, and bounce your plan off of your manager or a trusted mentor.

    If shifting directions or if you’re concerned about performance, check with HR or L&D to see if they offer assistance. If not, there are lots of great analysis tools and professional counseling available.

    Organizational skills gaps are a different story- as you said, getting a baseline as soon as gaps are obvious is where we often start- i.e. keep the wheels turning and get some fast ROI.

    However, skills gaps are usually a single aspect of the bigger story. So it’s best to connect to fundamental strategies to prioritize and close the gaps in key areas first and organizational plans often have multiple phases. And those phases usually include performance management to plan the next round of analysis.

    The good news is Global Knowledge Business Transformation Solution specialists are ready to roll- give us a call!

    Thanks again for a great question.