In my experience as a trainer/facilitator, I sometimes meet delegates that have been on similar workshops with the same topics.  It is always good to go for refresher courses but even better if you have identified areas or skills that you need to work on in order to be more productive in the workplace and/or to reach your goals.

A skills gap analysis helps you recognise these areas and assists you in planning the training you would like to do during the year.  (Tip:  It would also be a good document to keep with you at performance appraisals.  It will show your manager/supervisor that you have identified areas you need to work on, and that you are actively taking a step in your personal development.  If you regularly reassess yourself and you have decreased your skills gap, this will impress your boss even more and it will also be a great confidence booster for you.)

Once you have done the Skills Gap Analysis and identified your strengths, the aim is to focus on the areas where you feel you are not that strong.  Look for workshops, seminars or free online learning (a good start for online learning is www.mooc-list.com) where you can work on improving those skills.  Remember that it is how you apply your newly acquired skills in the office that makes the difference.

At regular intervals (6 months is good), you need to look at your analysis and reassess where you are on the matrix.  This will show you the progress that you have made.

Steps to creating a Skills Gap Analysis

  1. Create an MS Excel spreadsheet or a table in MS Word. If you do not have a computer, draw a table on a piece of paper with the following headings:
  JANUARY 2016 JUNE 2016
SKILLS / COMPETENCY WEAK AVERAGE STRONG WEAK AVERAGE STRONG

NOTE:  Your table can be bigger than the one above and the next three columns could be for January 2017.  This will help you keep a continuous record of your progress.  My table stops at June 2016 due to limited space.

  1. Take a look at your job profile and responsibilities and make a list of the skills/competencies that you need in order to do your job or achieve a goal and fill them in under skills/competency.
  JANUARY 2016 JUNE 2016
SKILLS / COMPETENCY WEAK AVERAGE STRONG WEAK AVERAGE STRONG
Telephone skills
Diary management
Verbal communication
Time management
  1. Once you have completed the list in your table, take a long good honest look at yourself (or ask a colleague what they think, but do not take things personally if you don’t like what they say) and complete the corresponding columns. You can do this in the way that works best for you.  You can either tick or put a cross in the box or colour code the columns (use a different colour for subsequent reviews).  This will give you a clear indication of where you need to focus.
  JANUARY 2016 JUNE 2016
SKILLS / COMPETENCY WEAK AVERAGE STRONG WEAK AVERAGE STRONG
Telephone skills
Diary management
Verbal communication
Time management

Initially this task will take time but will be well worth it at the end and reviewing it every six months will take less time.  You will have set up a document that you can see your progress on, your boss can see you are taking an interest in your personal development and you will be turning your possible weaknesses into strengths.  It is always nice to have a picture to see that you are moving forward!

Dawn Williams is an international trainer/facilitator for the administrative profession.  You can learn more about her and the workshops that are offered by Reach New Levels by visiting the website at www.reachnewlevels.com.

Do You Have a Skills Gap to Fill?

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