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The hidden skills gap

The hidden skill gap | LMA

47% of managers, 33% of leaders and 35% of employees believe there is currently a shortage of technical skills in their organisation according to results from the Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) survey, but could leaders and managers be looking for a resolution in the wrong place?

Many organisations seek to fulfil these gaps in technical skills through the sourcing and recruitment of technically skilled or qualified staff, when they would be better suited to analyse their current management strategies to ensure the talent is nurtured and supported within the workforce.

The “hidden gap” in the workforce that is rarely talked about is leadership and management skills, yet a lack of strong management and leadership skills may result in a technical skills shortage within an organisation because people are either:

  • Not giving their best so appear to have a gap in skills.
  • Are not being managed and led well, so are leaving.
  • Are not being developed so will have gaps in skills.
  • Technically skilled people are being promoted to leadership roles and because they are either not well supported or developed, they are then not developing their own teams. The skills are then lost through the new leaders not bringing out the best in their teams.

The commitment of leaders to their team’s growth is central to building skills within an organisation. So an easy question to answer – ­ where should we invest – short term skill fulfilment or long term skill retention and development?