Information Technology or Software field is one of the most prevalent and widespread industry, also the one where skill upgrades and technological upgrade is a necessity and a common reason for attrition too. The major reason: Skill Gap.
What does that even mean? Simply put, if an employee worked on PHP and is extremely skilled at it, (s)he is an asset. However, as time passes and languages like Python, Java, C++ etc. gain popularity and hence, skill in just one language is no longer a perk. Lacking understanding and knowledge about those new languages is the skill-gap, created due to technological change.
According to the 2017 Skills Gap Report by Udemy, “Nearly 80% of Americans agree there is a skills gap, and more than a third (35%) say it affects them personally”. Essentially the difference between expectations and reality, this skill gap impacts the overall performance of the organization and hence requires specific attention in terms of training. The use of eLearning eases the training process. Here are a few tips to manage skill gaps using eLearning.
1. Identify the Gaps
The first thing to be taken care of before managing the skill gap is understanding/measuring the skill gap. Pre-assessments and evaluations are the best ways to identify the skill gaps in an organization new to eLearning. For organizations using various training methods including classroom trainings, LMSs etc., there is already a pool of data available for each learner. Analyzing this can give a clear idea about the skill gaps and skill level in general.
2. Target Individuals
Skill gaps are different for different individuals and for different roles. Approaching it as a group issue is not always the option, unless it is for a specific technology or instrument. While eLearning provides the necessary flexibility and customizability, the trick lies in utilizing it aptly to deliver personalized learning experiences to learners. After all the aim is to deliver learning that can be retained and implemented to close the skill gaps. Starting from Interactive tutorials, walkthroughs, and video lessons, even infographics and other visual media can be used to deliver learning.
3. Provide Accessibility
Learning on the go, utilizing downtime etc. can improve the efficacy of training to fill the skill gap. For this to happen eLearning should be accessible anywhere, anytime and on any device. While mobile learning microlearning etc. make this possible, new LMS with offline mode take into consideration the connectivity aspect too making eLearning fully accessible.
4. Utilize Real-life Examples
When it comes to clearing concepts, nothing works as much as utilization of real-life relatable examples. As gaining experience on-the-job may not always be practical, that too in industries that involve high-risk. With eLearning learners can experience real-like situations in simulations, games, branched scenarios etc. explore the virtual workplace environment without causing any real damage.
5. Build on the Power of Social Media
Times have changed and the water cooler talks have been replaced with social media tweets, chats and discussions. For eLearning to be a good medium to cover the skill gaps, inclusion of social media is a good start as it initiates serious discussions, problem solving, learning from others-collaborative learning etc. The support of others, the constant interaction etc. can provide the moral boost for learners to understand their own deficits and find ways to be better.
eLearning has its perks however utilizing it and implementing a learning strategy is the part that requires more time and mental exertion. From mapping the skills gap to creating a learning model that can work well in the learning environment, the process requires various considerations. In the end managing skill gaps can even be done using simple microlearning or just-in-time learning or mobile learning or several eLearning modules. And even after that the chances of adding new resources to the mix is something to be prepared about considering the pace of changes happening around.
So, have you figured out the methods to fill the skill gaps in your organization yet? If not, we may be of some help. Just leave us a message.