If the skills gap has been on your mind recently, you’re not alone.
During our Service Leaders Spring Break event, where pros gathered for a week of educational webinars and workshops, nearly everyone noted that the skills gap is a major workforce planning issue, and is contributing to service delivery challenges.
- 35% of attendees said they were very concerned about the workforce skills gap
- 64% reported being moderately concerned
Why is the skills gap top-of-mind for most companies?
A few key reasons surfaced during our Slashing the Service Skill Gap session.
- Aging workforce: Aging is inevitable and we all must retire someday — there’s no escape from the knowledge exodus. Right now, the retirement rate is exceptionally high among field service teams, and institutional knowledge and specialized workforce skills are leaving the workforce at a rapid rate. Companies just can’t keep up.
- Increasing workforce turnover: While previous generations have a record for long tenures, younger generations leave jobs nearly twice as often as their older counterparts. And when you factor in retirement, turnover is higher than ever. Companies now need to upskill more hires in a shorter amount of time with fewer experienced technicians available to train them. Without any help, that’s a tall order.
- Pandemic pressures: While it’s true that the skills gap existed long before 2020, COVID-19 reshaped the way companies work. It accelerated digitalization and demanded new levels of tech expertise, which many service workers didn’t necessarily need in prior years.
- Emerging technologies: Products are getting more complex, and skills and knowledge bases are needed to support them. In fact, nearly half of our session attendees agreed that technology had the biggest impact on slashing the skills gap!
- Blended workforce services: Leveraging the power of a full-time staff and the gig economy can meet a company’s needs, but it also means that there’s a learning curve that needs to be mastered. Without proper documentation in place, companies can struggle to teach their new employees the tricks of the trade. Additionally, there are higher costs associated with new, inexperienced team members who may struggle to perform proper fixes the first time around.
Suzanne Clark, the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said it best: “The demand for skilled workers is greater than ever, but availability is in short supply.”
Yet, upskilling your company’s workforce does not have to equate to a crisis.
With every challenge comes an opportunity to address it. Service leaders can face their upskilling issues head-on by investing in solutions that nurture and empower the talent already within their workforce, while setting a standard for incoming team members. There are many routes that your company can take to start tackling the skills gap, whether it’s via centralizing intelligence, leveraging AI, or using documentation to improve workforce performance.
We’re here to deliver some good news: it’s possible to start bridging the skills gap as soon as today.
The even-better news? You can use your own data to start taking action, so all solutions that emerge will actually apply to your use case.
Explore your service performance with a free Report Card.
With Aquant’s free Service Report Card, our Service Intelligence Geeks analyze your company’s data to show you where you stand in relation to your peers. We also suggest actionable steps for improving your service delivery and help you discover areas where you can start upskilling your team.
You’re just one week away from improving the way your service team performs. Contact us today to get started.