A widening skills gap in the management space leads to lower employee confidence, higher staff turnover and causes stress for more than seven in 10 staff members.
The Australian Institute of Management VT (Victoria & Tasmania) survey of 1,850 business executives and professionals reveals that more than four in five organisations have a gap in their workforce skills, up 6% from 76% in the 2009/10 survey.
The biggest skills gap was in ‘leadership’, with 46% of respondents indicating this deficiency, followed by ‘industry specific/technical’ skills at 38% and ‘process and project management’ skills at 37%.
Susan Heron, CEO of the Australian Institute of Management VT, warned employers that prolonged exposure to a skills gap had a number of negative flow-on effects. “Our survey shows that a skills deficiency hits more than a company’s short term profits—it erodes employee confidence and prompts skilled workers to seek more attractive employment opportunities elsewhere.”
The survey revealed that the most significant skills gap was in the middle management space with 43% of respondents indicating deficiencies in this space.
“Getting the most from your middle managers has been an ongoing challenge for employers. Too many middle managers are disengaged and don’t see themselves as leaders capable of inspiring and energising those who report to them,” said Heron.
“Organisations able to equip middle managers with more effective skill sets will reap the benefits of improved workplace culture and enjoy a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”