Leveraging the power of AI to close skill gaps
December 8, 2023
The rapid changes that technological advancements bring to the job market are causing skills to become outdated faster than ever. As it’s becoming harder for businesses to find employees with the necessary experience, upskilling is coming to the forefront to bridge the skill gaps between what employers need and what they get from their employees.
However, before we get to training, we need to know the specific knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. The fastest way to achieve that is to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automate as many processes as possible. In this article, we will explore the steps you need to take to effectively detect and overcome skill gaps using AI, as well as how automation can support personalization.
Detect and bridge skill gaps in five easy steps
Manually identifying areas for improvement within your organization requires long periods of data collection and analysis. At the end of this process, you would still not be certain whether all factors were taken into account, as human error is always a possibility. Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, gives data-driven insights that are accurate, personalized to your organization’s needs, and easily adaptable to any changes in the industry. Now, let’s look at the path you need to follow to effectively leverage AI to tackle skill gaps.
1. Identify required skills
The first step to identifying the capabilities missing from your company is determining what you need. Seeing as an organization could be made up of hundreds or even thousands of employees with different job titles and responsibilities, defining the exact skills necessary for each one can be a difficult task. Especially when we consider that there are various types of skills, such as soft, technical, or industry-specific. Artificial Intelligence can analyze your organization’s employee data, combine them with your services and overarching goals, and quickly provide a rundown of the specific skills needed for each position.
2. Conduct AI-driven skill gap analysis
Once you know what is required by every employee, it’s time to figure out whether there are any skills lacking or in need of improvement. AI can streamline this process by drawing and analyzing vast amounts of data from your company’s digitized files, including employee performance metrics, training records, or feedback. If any additional data is necessary, you can also use AI to deploy assessment tools to evaluate your employee’s current skill level. By the end of this process, you will have detailed reports on individual and collective skill gaps present in your organization.
3. Offer personalized recommendations
With all that data in hand, AI can accurately propose learning paths that are perfectly suited to each employee’s skill gaps and goals for future development. All you need to do is prepare a library of courses, materials, and resources so that it can make personalized recommendations that guarantee the best training results and the most efficient bridging of organizational skill gaps. Not to mention that Machine Learning technologies can keep track of each employee’s performance, gathering valuable insights on the progress of their learning journey. Based on those, AI can make necessary adjustments to maximize the effectiveness of training.
4. Implement AI-powered learning and development
In the previous step, we mentioned the existence of a training material library as a prerequisite. However, you don’t have to worry if your business needs to update its courses or completely revamp them. Advanced technologies such as Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing can be used to develop from scratch training content that is engaging and interactive. From captivating serious games and insightful quizzes to helpful virtual training assistants and realistic simulations, there is almost nothing that robust AI cannot achieve. These sophisticated tools will motivate your employees to learn and help them retain knowledge for much longer.
5. Monitor progress
The success of any employee training program depends on the organization’s ability to stay on top of its progress and make necessary adjustments. This process, too, can be greatly simplified and improved with the help of AI. Specifically, AI-powered analytics can monitor the impact of skill gap initiatives on employee performance over time, producing valuable insights and reports that business leaders can use to shift training strategies to reach the desired results. An added bonus is that AI can combine this data with information about emerging trends in the industry, thus providing information about skills that are anticipated to become critical in the near future.
How does AI enhance personalization?
We discussed the positive effects of AI on personalizing employee training and maximizing the effectiveness of upskilling by leveraging features such as personalized learning paths, training material recommendations, and robust analytics. Below, you will find a few more ways businesses use Artificial Intelligence to promote personalization.
Utilizing real-time data, AI algorithms can quickly and seamlessly adjust the content, difficulty level, and pacing of the training program according to the learners’ needs, preferences, and progress.
Real-time coaching and feedback
Advanced Natural Language Processing capabilities have enriched online learning with virtual assistants and chatbots that provide instant responses to any question. Additionally, AI-powered analytics give learners a clear image of their learning progress and motivate them to bridge their skill gaps.
Gamified learning experiences
This is already a very engaging training method, but with AI, it can also become more personalized. Specifically, AI can personalize gamified learning experiences to fit the learners’ interests or modify the difficulty according to their performance to keep motivation levels elevated.
Despite the need for upskilling, employees still need to keep up with the responsibilities of the workday. AI can modify training material to be bite-sized based on the amount of available free time so that employees can still squeeze learning into their busy schedules.
These features can create learning modules that are not only realistic but also adaptable to their actions. In a simulation, the way the user interacts with their environment can define the pacing and the information imparted, thus creating a completely personalized learning experience.
For upskilling to have a meaningful impact on your organization, it needs to be accessible to everyone. AI can translate material to different languages, change formats, and utilize captions and screen readers to accommodate any accessibility needs.
Is artificial intelligence all we need?
The capabilities of Artificial Intelligence are expanding every day, but that doesn’t mean it can completely replace human instructors. With their expertise and years of experience, instructors and Instructional Designers bring unique qualities to the learning experience, such as empathy, emotional intelligence, and the ability to understand issues and questions posed by the learners that are complex and nuanced.
Additionally, they create a dynamic and adaptive learning environment that supports teamwork, critical thinking, and creativity. Despite all the merits of AI, these are skills that it has yet to acquire. That’s not to say that advanced technologies cannot be a useful tool for instructors. By leaving repetitive or extremely lengthy tasks to AI, instructors have more time to form a meaningful relationship with their audience, thus contributing to well-rounded and successful training and skill gap initiatives.
Bridging skill gaps and enhancing personalization with AI
The need for upskilling and reskilling employees is more prominent than ever as technology transforms the modern workplace. However, the solution to this issue can also be found if we use technology to our advantage. Artificial Intelligence can be used to detect and address skill gaps, helping employees enrich their knowledge base fast and effectively.
Moreover, it can make employee training programs engaging and personalized, reaching the desired results faster. Nevertheless, it’s also important to remember that, despite AI’s many benefits and capabilities, Instructional Designers are still necessary when developing an employee training strategy to bring a unique human touch to the learning experience.
Learn how to best utilize the talent within your existing workforce and how to prepare them for leadership roles with our ultimate guide to upskilling and reskilling.
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