How to Identify and Fill Behavioural Skill Gaps within the Workplace

Colin Newbold, 9th September 2019 in Development, Feedback, Hiring, Human Resources, People Management, Testing

Skill gaps are ultimately one of, if not the biggest factor in whether or not an organisation is able to thrive and meet its goals as a team of collective individuals. A skill gap is essentially the imbalance or disparity between the skills that an employer needs to reach their objective and the ones which are currently on offer within the workforce. But are skill gaps enough to ensure success for the organisation, both culturally as well as commercially? 

Skills are usually referred to as the ability to use one’s knowledge effectively and readily in the execution of performance, especially in the execution of learned physical tasks.  The ‘what’. But when it comes to leadership and management, are skills on their own enough? The way a manager / leader behaves - the ‘how’ - is usually what determines how engaged their staff feel.  And as we all know, engaged staff lead to higher productivity, less downtime...more discretionary effort. Ultimately, the first step towards filling your enterprise’s behavioural skill gaps is to identify where they exist. 

Carrying out a behavioural gap analysis will be beneficial to both the success of your organisation and also to the personal development of your individuals.

There are multiple ways in which you can carry out a skill gap audit in order to discover the best ways to improve as a team to overcome this difference between skills and organisation needs. However, to complete a behavioural gap analysis our business experts wholly believe that there is only one solution to ensure that you don’t only identify the gaps, but are also left with the knowledge and tools to fill them in the best way possible; 360 degree feedback.


What is a Behavioural Skill Gap?

A behavioural skill gap is a somewhat indistinct term. However, the best way to think of it is in reference to the deficiencies in performance which arise through a manager or leader doing or saying (or not doing or not saying) something that takes away from team members’ engagement. lacking the skills needed to complete their goals. These goals can be both personal and for the overall objectives of the organisation they are working for. The difference between how an organisation would ideally like a manager / leader to perform and their actual output or results is essentially what is a behavioural skill gap is. 

A manager / leader is usually hired on the basis that they already have the skills necessary to complete their role and the behaviours that come with it. Therefore, why are behavioural skill gaps so common in the workplace? The simple answer is, a lack of development. 


Why Do Behavioural Skill Gaps Occur?

The most common root cause of any skill gaps occurring is essentially because job roles and company objectives are constantly evolving on a day to day basis and employees are unable to adapt to them. This is particularly true for successful organisations which work within dynamic, ever changing industries. Therefore, the most prominent cause of behavioural skill gaps is managers and leaders not developing with their changing role, objectives or KPI’s.

The effects and solutions to skill gaps are different for a short and long term basis. In terms of a short term strategy, an organisations aim is often to fill these gaps as quickly as possible to minimise the effects on business metrics. The most common interventions to minimise these gaps in the short term include the likes of training and structural reshapes.

However, in terms of long term objectives, the aim behind filling behavioural skill gaps should be to address not just these individual skill gaps, but why they came about in the first place. By rectifying these root causes and undesirable processes your organisation will ultimately avoid these behavioural skill gaps ever manifesting themselves in the future.  


How Do 360 Services Identify Behavioural Skill Gaps?

The most efficient method to mitigate against the damaging short term effects of behavioural skills gaps on business performance, whilst simultaneously ensuring that the root causes of these gaps are dug out, is working with 360 services. A 360 degree feedback tool will ensure that you are not just papering over the cracks of your skill gaps, but you are putting the foundations in place so that you never have to identify them again in the first place.

A 360 feedback tool allows for individual managers and leaders of a workforce (the participants) to evaluate themselves against a set of behavioural statements. This feedback is usually linked to a competency framework and organisational values. Once completed, the participants will then invite a selected number of colleagues to do the same. Most of these will be drawn from within the organisation (such as the participant’s line manager, their direct reports and peers) and some can be invited from outside (such as customers and clients, partner organisations, even suppliers).  In this way a well-rounded set of data can be gathered. To further ensure that the root cause of behavioural skill gaps are dug out and filled, development planning and coaching sessions are also included with 360 services.

Invaluable discoveries regarding the behaviours, abilities and perceptions of your management and leadership team will be made with 360. Implementing effective performance and appraisal processes is key to building a successful team who are motivated to eradicate their own skill gaps individually to help better the team as a collective. 

The way in which questions are worded and presented to your staff is vital in order to optimise your response rate and get the most valuable data possible. Questions need to be specific enough to be relevant to all participants and feedback providers within your enterprise. If not, they will (at worst) lack the motivation to finish the questionnaires and (at best) participants will fail to be motivated enough to understand what changes need to made to optimise their performance. 

Ultimately, 360 feedback is the best way of getting high value qualitative data from your team. When it comes to behavioural skill gaps, numbers may help you identify where skill gaps are happening, however, they won’t give you the full story as to why things have gone wrong in the first place. 360 services are the essential way to discover what is really happening within your organisation and where the biggest differences between skill sets and objectives lie. 



Investing in the Future with click-360

click-360 are on a mission to improve the quality of leadership and management capability within all organisations. We are great believers that every staff member should get the boss they deserve and who is best suited for their skill-set and requirements, to allow them to thrive within their industry.

There are various reasons why a 360 process will not live up to an organisation’s expectations when it is not implemented effectively. Working with a trusted 360 feedback tool is one way in which you can guarantee optimum results for your company. Working with click-360, you will take large strides in learning how to interpret and measure feedback data effectively in order to transform your workforce of today into the leaders of tomorrow.

Get in contact today and we will get you on the way to identifying and filling your organisation’s individual and collective behavioural skill gaps with 360 services.

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