In danger of stating the obvious, employers want employees who are highly skilled, knowledgeable and proficient in their role. In an ideal world, organisations would be able to hire ‘perfect employees’ who seamlessly collaborate, outperform competitors and achieve outstanding results.
However, humans are imperfect and ever in need of growth and learning. Therefore the next best thing when development needs are identified is training. A knowledge gap is essentially the difference between what the employee knows and what they need to know in order to be successful. Organisations want the knowledge gap addressed in the shortest time possible – without compromising on quality. Beyond that, they want to have full insight into what employees know as well as if there are skills and business knowledge gaps within their company. Last year, identifying and assessing skills gaps increased by 32% to become the number 1 focus area for talent development.
Typically, traditional training models focussed on one-off learning experiences. While these events can be useful for transferring knowledge and developing some self-awareness, unless individuals are highly self-motivated, this learning often isn't translated into the real world. Why? Because the knowledge gap is not just about cognitively ‘knowing’. We know we should exercise more. We know we should have a better work-life balance. Does that mean we do it?
Online learning has become considerably more popular in recent years, and it’s no surprise why. For many working professionals, online training is seen an excellent way to access professional development and gain qualifications in a way that compliments and fits in tandem with their other responsibilities, demands and priorities.
Research actually shows that there are a growing number of cases where online education is outperforming the traditional face to face counterpart. In fact, 90% of business leaders believe that learning and design programs are the keys to closing knowledge gaps in the workplace.
However, for online training to be transformative and truly close the knowledge gap, it has to help individuals translate knowledge into practice. Individuals need to discover, explore and reflect upon knowledge in a meaningful and authentic way, developing self-awareness and practical strategies to ensure that the learning gap is closed.
By doing so, we can ensure that the time and energy dedicated to training employees and addressing the knowledge gap is successful.
Do you have a knowledge gap you need to address? Speak to Praxis about how we can help.
Knowledge | Reflection | Action