A Troubling and Costly Skills Gap

82556854-skills gapNot good news emanating from a recent report by Cornerstone OnDemand. The study, Cornerstone OnDemand 2013 U.S. Employee Report, shows more than 19 million Americans planning to change jobs in the next year, leaving U.S. employers looking at a price tag of $2 trillion in potential employee turnover.

Compounding that are three concerns that surfaced in the survey, according to the company’s release:

Increasing absence of ongoing training and development. In the past six months, only about a third (32 percent) of employed American adults has received training and development to better perform their job.

Misaligned goals and expectations between managers and employees. Only one in four respondents (25 percent) has established career goals with their manager/employer.

Lack of individual recognition and performance feedback. Two-thirds (66 percent) said they haven’t received useful feedback from their manager/employer.

Certainly doesn’t sound like companies are doing everything they can to shore up skills in-house. Nor does it sound like they’re gearing up to train the next wave of workers who’ll be happy to take those 19 million job-hoppers’ places.

“The worldwide skills shortage is quickly becoming a crisis across companies of all sizes and industries,” says Jason Corsello, Cornerstone OnDemand’s vice president of corporate strategy and marketing. “Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to address the global skills shortage, but companies can take action to build programs today and invest more in ongoing training and       continuous feedback for their employees.”

Yet another disturbing layer in this mounting skills crisis is something I focused on in my HREOnline news analysis that went live today — an increasing shortage of soft skills (i.e., behavioral competencies, such as communicating, telling the truth, making ethical decisions, working well in a team and getting to work on time) in job applicants and new hires; not just the hard (job-specific) skills applicants seem to be lacking in droves today as well.

Luckily, Corsello and the sources in my analysis have suggestions for getting through this extremely troubling time. Good luck.