Does the Skills Gap Keep You Up at Night?

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Do you find yourself worrying about the skill level of your team? A recent study by the CFO Alliance found that many CFOs share your concern! 22% of CFOS reported that the one thing that will cause them to lose the most sleep in 2017 is the fear that their teams do not have the skills they need. 

Not to make things worse for you worriers, but your concerns are valid. The skills gap is a serious issue facing many companies today, and not just when it comes to hiring new employees. Companies often find themselves struggling to address the skills gap in their current employee base. Even employees themselves acknowledge the problem, with one study finding that 54% of employees stating that they do not already know everything they need to know to do their current jobs.

So what's causing the skills gap? 

Inadequate Education

Today's workforce is actually more educated than previous decades  yet studies have shown they are less prepared for their jobs. A poll completed by Gallup uncovered that a mere 11% of C-level executives strongly agree that recent college graduates have the skills needed for their business.

One of the common solutions to this problem is training and professional development provided by employers - but that isn't always effective. 

Inadequate Professional Development

Too many companies rely on professional development that simply doesn't work. Billions of dollars are spent on corporate training each year, yet the skills gap doesn't seem to be improving. Not all professional development is equal, which is why some companies struggle to see ROI on their investment. 

Companies should make sure they implement professional development programs that offer real value and are useful for their employees

Continual Upgrades to Technology

One of the biggest issues companies run into is that current employees aren't able to keep up with technological upgrades. Since upgrading systems is one of the key focuses for many CFOs in 2017, that's a problem. New systems and software raise the skill level employees need to do their basic tasks. These upgrades are often necessary and have the potential to save employees time and the company money, but only if employees can actually use them. 

Implement training simultaneously with new software as much as possible, but continue to offer training after the initial roll out. Not all employees will pick up the information quickly, so providing the same training more than once can improve employees' skills. 

Instead of losing sleep, it's time for CFOs to address the skills deficiency of their employees. And it would seem they agree, with 90% of CFOs reporting that they would invest in acquiring and/or upgrading finance talent in 2017.