Skills mismatches occur when someone either has the skills to cope with more demanding duties or lacks some of the key skills required to perform their job effectively. They important individual and organisational ramifications. Research conducted in the UK by the CIPD showed employees report lower job satisfaction and greater stress, while their potential for earning and progression is affected. For organisations, productivity and retention can be adversely impacted.

The research highlighted the extent of the problem: half of 3,700 employees surveyed said their skills were not well matched to their roles. Conversely, it showed that effective skills matching improved retention, employee engagement and relations between managers and staff. Meanwhile, analysis by the OECD suggested addressing skills mismatches could bring significant productivity gains.

Potential problems caused by skills mismatches

  • Lower job satisfaction, earnings and career prospects
  • Lower confidence, higher stress
  • Doubts about trust between staff and managers
  • Greater likelihood of leaving
  • Lower productivity.

Practical approaches to effective skills matching

Conduct a skills audit

Review job design and team structures

Revise recruitment practice

Invest in training and skills development

Improve management capability

Key recommendations

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