As managers, we strive to bring out the best in our people and enable them to flourish and grow. However, out-of-sync teams that are not all on the same level can hinder our efforts all too often. One key reason for a lack of synergy among our teams is the presence of knowledge gaps, which, if we don’t bridge, have the ability to hamper productivity and bring our teams down.
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While we’re all aware that knowledge gaps in business exist, too many of us are unaware of their root cause — ineffective training.
While working as an analyst in Sydney, I purchased an extremely popular Excel course which turned out to be really underwhelming. I was looking for a high-quality, concise, interactive, and engaging course. However, what I received was in the form of 20 minute long videos, PDF files, and an outdated website.
Although this was a disappointing experience, it proved invaluable and ultimately led me to team up with my former colleagues to create GoSkills, where today, Excel courses are among our most popular. Over the years, we’ve worked with countless leaders facing the challenges caused by knowledge gaps in their organizations, and through those experiences, have identified the three key reasons behind them.
Key causes of knowledge gaps that are bringing your team down
1. Irregular or absent training
As team leaders, we know that time is perhaps our most precious resource. However, time constraints can often lead to little space being dedicated to training in leaders’ busy schedules.
Indeed, formal and informal training within many organizations tends to be irregular — if it exists at all. Frequently, team leaders see training as a “one-off” exercise and believe that showing trainees how to do something once is sufficient for imparting the critical skills and knowledge needed for success in today’s business landscape. However, team leaders who overlook the importance of regular training run the risk of creating knowledge gaps and, ultimately, misalignment among their teams.
One way that team leaders can fill and prevent the knowledge gaps created by irregular or absent training is by providing consistent training using on-demand learning and development platforms.
By adopting such platforms, leaders can provide their team members with consistent training. This allows them to apply and master new skills on a regular basis, leading to teams that are better-equipped and more in sync.
That said, even if training is provided on a regular and consistent basis, learners need to have access to easily searchable content in order to consolidate what they have learned. This leads us to the second cause of knowledge gaps in teams — a lack of readily available quality resources and materials.
2. No readily available quality resources and materials
No matter how consistently we provide effective training to our team members, doubts are always expected to arise. Unless we provide our people with readily available, high-quality resources and materials, newly learned information is unlikely to be consolidated.
Without access to just-in-time libraries of content that are relevant and easily searchable, team members are unable to acquire the information that is essential to their learning and development. Consequently, less confident team members are likely to seek support from their more confident peers who are — more likely than not — suffering from knowledge gaps themselves.
To remedy the lack of formal and effective training among team members, leaders should consider offering bite-size courses, which, as adaptable and flexible modalities, can provide learners with the critical content needed to clarify and reinforce newly acquired knowledge and skills.
Sample a bite-sized lesson from our most popular Excel course
However, no matter how accessible and searchable learning content is, its success ultimately depends on being able to equip learners with the critical, up-to-date skills needed within today’s fast-evolving technological and software-driven business landscape.
3. Rapidly evolving technology, software applications, and business processes
For even the most agile team leaders, keeping up with rapidly evolving software, technology, and business processes, while maintaining a strong knowledge base, can be challenging.
The simple reality of today’s ever-changing, technologically-driven business environment is that in order to maintain our competitive edge, our teams’ knowledge and skill-sets need to be kept as up-to-date as possible. Simply put, falling behind on rapid advancements in technology and software can lead to more deeply entrenched and hard-to-fill knowledge gaps among team members.
In order to keep up with these advancements, team leaders need to embrace training courses that are in tune with innovation, are updated regularly, and, most importantly, have the ability to prepare their organizations for today’s swiftly-evolving business landscape.
Choosing the right course for your team
With a plethora of training resources available online, it’s hard to know which ones we should devote our limited time and resources to. Yet, the consequences of knowledge gaps in teams create an impetus to offer consistent, easily accessible, and relevant training.
As such, spending the necessary time to find vetted and hand-picked experts with up-to-date content is vital to preventing the presence of knowledge gaps and, ultimately, building in-sync and unified teams who are ready for the future.
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