Even the most talented employee can’t be an expert in all areas, so here is how to ensure you have a strong skills base across your business as a whole.

Plugging a skills gap can present a tricky problem for any small business. Your current employees may have a unique set of talents that are vital to your company’s success, but it’s impossible for them to be exemplary at everything, and you may have noticed certain areas in which your business is lacking.

Thankfully, there are several ways you can deal with this swiftly and effectively, without having to fork out for more staff members. Here, we’re going to outline some of those methods that you can put into practice in order to make your business a more well-rounded pool of talent.

Talk to staff members

Your first step when tackling skills gaps should be to talk to your employees and see how they feel about their experience and knowledge. It may be that they have also acknowledged their skills gaps and are struggling to complete tasks without the necessary expertise. If this is the case, then speaking to them can show them that you want to help them feel more equipped to deal with the tasks at hand. Sit down together and discuss what training and information they would like.

Train existing employees

Once you have talked things through with your staff, you will be in a better position to train them in areas they feel they are lacking. Not only will this save you the cost of hiring new staff members, but it will also show your existing staff that they are valued, improving both morale and retention levels.

Of course, training will require your staff to take time out of their usual duties, so you’ll need to have measures in place so that someone else can cover this. In the long run however, the pay-off will be worth it. Depending on your resources, you can hire an external expert to train your staff, enrol them in a short-term course to pick up skills, or simply give staff time to share their expertise with each other.

Harness technology

There is no avoiding technology in today’s business industry, so instead try using it to your advantage. Automation can be useful tool for tackling skill shortages, as tech allows you to enhance organisational processes and boost efficiency. Automating repetitive tasks can free up a lot of time, which can then be used to build skillsets and introduce training.

Consider remote working

According to RSM, moving the location of your business operations can be a great way of dealing with skills shortages. Attracting employees from different backgrounds, and even moving parts of your business overseas, can open you up to a much wider set of skills and experiences.

On a more national scale, introducing remote working allows you to seek out employees who don’t necessarily live locally. With video calling and cloud-based sharing, this can be easily implemented without losing communication with your staff.

Boost your own skills

Finally, there is no use putting effort into improving your employees’ skills gaps if you aren’t also taking steps to improve your own skillset. Consider where you feel your knowledge is lacking, and put some time aside to address them with online materials and tutorials. You could even ask your employees how they feel you could improve.

Looking to boost your business? With a portfolio of over 3,600 business start-ups, TEDCO Business Support is here to help. Get in touch today by calling 0191 516 61 02 or email us at enquire@tedco.org.

Success Stories

“With the Virgin StartUp loan in place to fund the renovations and equipment, I am now absolutely delighted to be able to start welcoming the first visitors to Inclusion Archery. I hope it provides a new facility for budding archers to give the sport a try.”

Steve Ward - Archer, Entrepreneur

“TEDCO helped me strengthen and tighten up my ideas into a robust business plan. They remained a positive voice throughout. Their support gave me the confidence that I needed to push on, secure the vital funding through Virgin StartUp and turn my dreams into reality.”

Simon Laing - Cullercoats Bike & Kayak, Entrepreneur

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TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

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