Closing the Skills Gap: How Leadership Development Can Help

Apr 21, 2023

Wiley recently published Closing the Skills Gap: Employer Perspectives on Educating the Post-Pandemic Workforce. This eBook takes a deep dive, through market insights and research, into the widening skills gap that is affecting organizations throughout the country.

Change has become the norm, and adapting through adversity and rapidly evolving work environments is something every organization has had to adjust to. This volatile new climate has brought attention to the widening gaps between the skills needed to achieve ambitious organizational goals and their workforce’s abilities.

An Evolving Workforce

Wiley surveyed 600 human resources professionals with the goal of capturing insight into the skills gap and how to address these challenges. Closing the Skills Gap provides a thorough look into how organizations are impacted by this gap and what can be done to provide education, training, and upskilling for current employees while assessing hiring and retention trends.

While a variety of factors play into this phenomenon, interpersonal and leadership skills immerged as in-demand skills in the post-pandemic workforce. The gaps in these areas speak to the need for leadership training and soft skill development at every level in an organization to give common language and behaviors that can elevate everyone, regardless of their particular professional or educational background.

Wiley research found that an increasing number of survey respondents believed their organization had a skills gap, which has employers rethinking many things about how they hire and retain talent. This includes how they validate job skills, such as higher education degrees, with more HR professionals reporting they would interview candidates with certificates and other qualifications rather than traditional college degrees only.

According to the research, some of the top challenges affecting organizations include creating flexible work environments, providing competitive compensation and benefits packages, and upskilling employees to fit emerging roles.

Leadership Skills Development: A Missing Link

A popular way that organizations are approaching closing the skills gap is to upskill and reskill current employees and research has found that soft skills, like leadership skills development, can have a profound effect on a struggling workforce.

As we recently discussed, equipping your people at all levels with leadership skills can help your entire organization thrive, even in times of challenge. Whether it’s learning how to set an example and create standards of excellence or finding innovative ways to challenge the status quo, leadership skills can encourage your people to invest (or re-invest) in your organization’s mission, increasing engagement and empowering them to take their skills to the next level.

Leadership development is no longer reserved for those in traditional people-leader or executive positions, and investing in leadership training at all levels will empower your people to bring their best selves to work, passionate about their vision and ready to lead from wherever they are.

Ways to Close the Gap

As you assess the skills gap in your own organization, Wiley offers the following tips.

Focusing on upskilling and reskilling is a great place to start addressing any gaps in your organization and facilitated learning experiences like The Leadership Challenge® can help you unlock the power of leadership and get on a path to closing the gap.

Grounded in the evidence-based Leadership Practices Inventory® (LPI®), The Leadership Challenge® learning experiences gives individuals the tools they need to develop effective leadership skills. Whether you are seeking a solution that will help everyone, at every level, gain leadership skills that elevate your entire organization or want a more focused approach that helps take your leaders to the next level, we have a solution that fits your needs.

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