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Half of Australian workforce believe they are not adequately skilled

Australian workers don't believe they are adequately trained

Close to half of Australia’s workforce believe they are not adequately equipped or skilled to do their jobs as well as they could, according to new workplace competency data.

Analysis of 3000 responses to a workplace competency self assessment conducted online by Leadership Management Australasia (LMA) revealed that 37% of Executives/Senior Managers, 47% of Middle Managers, 53% of Frontline Managers/Supervisors and 42% of Employees (non-managerial) rate their use of effective leadership and management practices as average or below average.

The remainder in each sector believe they possess four or all five key competencies listed by LMA for their level in their organisation.

The practices included Strategic and Departmental Planning, Personal Leadership, Change Management, HR management, Monitoring/Measuring/Controlling, Delegation, Training and Development, Time Management, Coaching/Mentoring, Time Management, Goal-setting and Personal Productivity.

Thirty-two industry sectors were represented in the self-assessments, including the Tourism/Accommodation/Cafes/Restaurants sector.

LMA’s executive chairman, Grant Sexton said the results represent a large waste of latent talent and a frightening loss of potential performance and productivity for organisations.

“While Australia is constantly struggling to be internationally competitive at a productivity level, this research identifies an incredible opportunity without major capital expenditure,” he said.

“Fill their skill gaps and who knows how much improvement could be addressed, though I think a 10% to 15% increase in productivity is realistic and realisable.

“In a diminishing labour pool, there’s a huge opportunity here to achieve more with the people we’ve already got. People are an asset and cost factor to every organisation, but clearly organisations are not getting the full bang for their buck… they’re paying full wages but not getting a full return.  It’s not that people don’t want to be highly productive, it’s just they don’t know how to be.

“On a personal level, this is a cry for help. People are recognising their own shortcomings and saying they want help to self improve.”

Sexton, who has over 40 years experience in management and leadership training, suggested employers undertake some organisational gap analysis on the leadership and management competencies and work to close the gaps through activity such as formal and informal training, and mentoring, coaching and buddy programs.

“Essentially, they should focus on the development of the individual in the context of an organisation of leaders,” he said.

About the research: The research was based on on-line self-assessments by 946 Executives/Senior Managers, 801 Middle Managers, 692 Frontline Managers/Supervisors, and 574 Employees over 12 months. Five varying core competency areas were listed for each level. 32 industry sectors were represented in the self-assessments. 

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