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Mentoring: Bridging the Competency Divide
Traditional learning interventions may not move fast enough to close skill gaps. Different types of mentoring offer relational strategies to help employees compete in today’s fast-moving business environment.
Despite a surplus of workers in the market, organizations are experiencing a growing skill gap.According to a 2009 ASTD study, almost 80 percent of executives from 1,179 organizations agree that there are growing skill gaps in their organizations in eight key areas: leadership and executive skills, basic workplace competencies, professional or industry-specific skills, managerial and supervisory skills, communication and interpersonal skills, technical, IT and systems skills, sales skills, and process and project management skills.The “National Employer Skills Survey for England 2009” by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (Figure 1) also noted significant skill gaps. For example, both customer-handling and problem-solving skill areas experienced a nine-point jump as areas where skills are lacking.Most of the skill gap areas identified in both studies pertain to complex competencies relying on context, judgment and relational savvy to achieve results. That has not changed in 2012, nor is it likely to in the next few years thanks to the slow economic recovery and the increasing speed with which business has had to adapt to changes in technology, globalization and market volatility.“People skills and teaming skills are popping up as needs today,” said Tom Reed, former director of leadership development for MillerCoors and MillerCoors University and current vice president of product development and integration for Emergenetics International, a company specializing in organizational behavior. “Ten years ago we were moving away from the soft skills, yet today here we are facing as big a need as ever.”Part of the reason could be the economic meltdown and slow recovery. There will be exceptions, but most organizations won’t engage in aggressive hiring to close skill gaps. Instead, they will have to use existing talent to fill gaps, which may exacerbate the problem. “Organizations will continue to promote sharp people who have little management experience and fewer people skills into positions where they will need an abundance of both to be successful,” Reed said.Relying on Relationships
To avoid a critical talent shortage, learning leaders must act today to identify the gaps, decide how to close them and assess if their efforts are successful. “World-class learning and development programs are the price of admission now for successful global companies,” said Debra Clawar, global head of talent management, organizational development and learning, and staffing for Novartis Consumer Health, OTC.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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