News & Events

Mind the gap

June 1, 2023

Since the pandemic, many employers have experienced staff resignations, recruitment problems & retention difficulties. This is on top of challenges to ensure managers are able to cope with the requirements of their roles. The vast majority of organisations are also now accepting they have some kind of skills gap.

Skills gaps can lead to lower productivity, poorer performance, management stress and ultimately; people problems at work. At Pettingill Consulting our philosophy is that prevention is better than cure (though we can help with cures too!). So what’s going on?

The labour market remains extremely tight. In January to March 2023 according to the ONS, the number of unemployed people per vacancy was 1.2 (up very slightly from 1.1 the previous quarter). This means that candidates will unlikely have all of the skills needed for an advertised role. Managers being promoted from within may also have skills gaps. Existing staff develop skills gaps as more becomes required of them to adapt to new ways of working. Many staff are having to flex their skills and employers are also flexing roles.

Recent data suggests that so far as leaders are concerned, soft management skills are considered the most critical. Across a business, the skills mix required for any given role will be its own mix of technical, hard or soft skills. The point is that each business will have its own unique skills requirements. It is well known from Gallup that staff don’t leave bad employers, they leave their managers. Do you have managers whose soft skills are dated? Or do managers have skills that have been learned fast on the job but haven’t had time to stand back and reflect on situations, learn and embed that learning to improve management capabilities?

If you’re going to implement management training and development you’ll want your investment to have impact and to stick. You’ll also want training to be directed straight into the right areas of the business or to specific managers without them having to pass formal exams or take too much time out of their day jobs.

We carry out a skills gap review before making a training recommendation. This review is based on your business. Not all businesses are the same, so the approach to training is not a one size fits all approach. Sometimes the gap is obvious to you or us. Other-times less so.  Our RAG rating reports recommend training focussed on your particular business management requirements to help prioritise what kind of soft skills management training and development would be most beneficial. This means your investment in training can be directed to where it is most effective. Remembering that one of the key reasons staff switch jobs is to access and update skills, appropriate management training and development can also play a key role in reducing staff quit rates. It also goes to reducing stress and grievances as well as employment law related risks.

Get in touch to find out more about how we help you “mind the gap”, manage staff quit rates, improve manager performance and reduce people-problems.


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