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Workforce 25% below par on skills

May 23, 2014 Corporate No Comments Email Email

Members of the workforce – covering executives, managers and employees  — on average believe they are 25% below the skill level required to do their job as well as they could, according to new data on self-assessment of workplace competency.

The data is provided by management training provider Leadership Management Australasia which began monitoring workplace skilling through an online DIY workplace competency test four years ago.

Chase Research’s analysis this month of the 1900 new respondents since 2012’s report on 3000 respondents, using a five-point scale, indicates virtually identical results across five workplace categories – Executives/Senior Managers, Middle Managers, Frontline Managers/Supervisors, and Employees.

The average competency ratings were 3.8 (3.7 in 2012) for Executives, 3.6 (3.5 in 2012) for Middle Managers, 3.4 (3.3 in 2012) for Frontline Managers/Supervisors) and 3.7 (3.6 in 2012) for Employees.Events

Significantly, 25% of the workforce believes their skills are just average and 17% below average on all LMA’s five key competencies listed for each category – so 42% overall believing their skills are just average or below average.

The practices included Strategic and Departmental Planning, Personal Leadership, Change Management, HR management, Monitoring/Measuring/Controlling,  Delegation, Training and Development, Time Management, Coaching/Mentoring, Goal-setting and Personal Productivity.

LMA’s CEO, Andrew Henderson said far too many people still believed they were not adequately equipped to do their jobs which present serious ramifications for the country’s quest to improve productivity and international competitiveness, “yet again a thrust of the Federal Budget”.

“All workplace categories are crying out for help, and that includes bosses and managers, the very people entrusted to drive productivity, performance and competitiveness,” he said.

“Skills has been a hot topic in government for the last 10 years, so we’re surprised to find there has been no real sign of improvement in the four years we’ve been running the test,” he said.

Mr Henderson said boardrooms could not plead ignorance about these critical productivity performance and bottom line factors “but there is no apparent evidence they are up-skilling their people.”

“It’s not that people don’t want to be highly productive, they just don’t know how to be. We’ve got the talent here; we’re just not making the most of it.””

Organisations need to audit the competency of all their people and respond to the needs of each individual, he said.

Skills shortage list

While individuals have recognised their own skill shortfall, other LMA research shows that 62% of Leaders, 55% of Managers and 48% of Employees say their organisations are experiencing a skills shortage. 

LMA’s  L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Employment and Direction) Survey 2012-13 report published in July last year shows that while technical areas and trade skills are widely acknowledged across the workplace as critical areas of skills shortage there is also a perceived skills shortage in the areas of leadership and management.

In fact, Leadership and Management are in the top six on LMA’s list.

The top 16 perceived skills shortage list, in order, is:

  1. Technical areas
  2. Leadership
  3. Sales and Marketing
  4. Operations
  5. Trade skills
  6. Management
  7. Customer service
  8. Information technology
  9. Planning
  10. Administration
  11. Quality
  12. Strategy
  13. Unskilled labour
  14. Communications
  15. Logistics
  16. Process workers

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