Understanding The Difference Between Skill Gap And Training Gap

A lot of companies complain about not getting the desired ROI on their employee training program? While most employers credit poor ROI to the skill gap, the real reason could be a training gap. It is common to use both these terms interchangeably, but when examined closely it can reveal the best ways to skyrocket your business’s performance.

Let’s first look at how different the skill gap is from the training gap. A skill gap refers to the contrast in the skills an employee needs to perform well in their job and the skills they actually possess. On the other hand, a training gap is a difference between the results you expect after an employee has undergone training and the actual results.

In both these cases, the business ends up facing huge losses since there is a major investment of time, money, and effort that goes into creating an employee training program. While employee training tools like Learn Upon can simplify the delivery and management of training courses through their user-friendly interface, the skill gap & training gap may still exist. 

Here’s how you can determine whether the disparity you are witnessing can be attributed to the skill gap or training gap.

Understand business needs:

The first thing you might want to do is to be very clear about your business’s needs to be able to perform optimally. These needs are basically all the factors that can help you make more profits. Identifying this is the key to optimizing your training budget and finding the right direction to act on. Without this list of needs, it can get very challenging to even create the right training program in the first place. 

See how well your employees are fulfilling these needs:

Once you know what your business needs to do in order to reach a desired level of success, see how your employees are poised to satisfy these needs. Are their actions aligned with the business’s goals? If you notice that your employees are not capable of doing what will help the business succeed, it very clearly indicates a skill gap.

Measure employee training performance:

The next step is to evaluate how employees are performing in the training assessments. Since the results are pretty straightforward, you get accurate insight into training effectiveness. This also needs close monitoring of whether or not an employee is completing the entire training, and if they are, how long does it take them to do this. These aspects help in spotting the possibility of a training gap.

Assess the areas of improvement:

When employees are not able to complete a training program or perform poorly in assessments, it is a clear indicator of the training being difficult to understand or the training content being irrelevant to their work profile. Another reason could be that the training content is not engaging enough so employees fail to retain information. Whatever the case, this is definitely a training gap.

Seek employee feedback:

The best way to reduce or eliminate a training gap is to conduct a survey to determine employee satisfaction with the training program. This has dual benefits. Firstly, it brings to you very precise information about what your training program is lacking. Secondly, it makes employees feel valued when their opinions are taken seriously. Working on employee suggestions to improve the training program can surely increase its effectiveness.


Businesses spend thousands of dollars annually on upskilling employees so they perform to the best of their abilities. This requires a clear understanding of employee learning needs and skill gaps to ensure the training program will be powerful in enhancing their performance. Even after creating such an employee-centric training program if the business fails to notice any significant results, it is safe to claim that it is a training gap.

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