Closing the skills confidence gap

How can employees and employers accelerate skills development journeys to build a better world of work and tackle the global skills shortage? Mike Bollinger from Cornerstone OnDemand explores why closing the persisting skills confidence gap will be crucial

Closing the skills confidence gap

In 2020, Cornerstone OnDemand conducted a global study into the ‘skills confidence gap’ between employees and employers. The research uncovered major disparities – 90 per cent of employers felt confident that future skills were being prioritised, compared to just 60 per cent of employees. In 2022, Cornerstone delved into the same issues in its Thriving in the global skills shortage: your path through the wilderness report. 

The 2022 data showed this confidence gap has persisted – even widening among average- and low-performing organisations ('laggards'). Employee confidence decreased, with just 55 per cent feeling their organisation prioritised skills development.

Interestingly, the research identified a strong positive correlation between overall business performance and the quality of new skilling support and development opportunities. High-performing organisations prioritised skill development at a much higher level than their peers – with 72 per cent intending to address this within the year, and 42 per cent having already started. Not only did they value skills development highly, but their employees recognised this – with only an 11 percentage point perception gap. 

Meanwhile, laggards prioritised skills development far less – being nearly three times more likely to stall skills development all together. The overall result was a skills confidence gap of 42 per cent. As such, there is an evident trend of high-performing organisations outstripping their peers in outcomes and employee confidence through new skilling initiatives. 

To prepare for the future, organisations need to take a skills-forward approach to learning and talent – identifying what skills gaps exist, which skills will be needed, and providing an engaging path to enable people to build those skills. At Cornerstone, we accelerate learning and talent innovation at the intersection of technology, data and people experience. Our goal is to enable customers to better design and connect learning and skilling programmes to people needs, driving powerful business outcomes.

Mike Bollinger is global VP, strategic initiatives at Cornerstone OnDemand