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What Is A Knowledge Gap? Less Than 100 Words

A knowledge gap is the difference between the information an employee knows vs. what their organization needs them to know. Put simply, an employee has a knowledge gap when they have a task to complete, but they don’t know how to complete it. 

To uncover knowledge gaps, organizations have a variety of options to pinpoint the issue, including:

By completing any or all the above steps, organizations can ensure their employees are being taught what they actually need to learn to successfully complete their job.

Ready to learn more about knowledge gaps? Let’s dive into what a knowledge gap is and strategies to identify and close knowledge gaps. 

What Is A Knowledge Gap? 

A knowledge gap is the difference between the information an employee knows vs. what their organization needs them to know. Put simply, an employee has a knowledge gap when they have a task to complete, but they don’t know how to complete it. 

Knowledge gaps are uncovered when an employee is unable to perform a task in their role. This could be a result of a variety of issues, including:

  • Employees don’t have the tools needed to complete their job (e.g. required software, equipment, communication platforms, etc.)
  • Employees don’t have a clear understanding of the expectations of their role.
  • Employees don’t receive the proper training to complete their job. 
  • Employees don’t have continued support from their organization to learn critical information required to complete their tasks. 

 

3 Types Of Gaps: Knowledge Gap vs. Skills Gap vs. Performance Gap

As we know, a knowledge gap occurs when an employee doesn’t know the information needed to complete tasks in their role. Take changing a tire for example. A knowledge gap would be not knowing that cars have tires to begin with. 

skills gap, on the other hand, is more tactile, meaning the skill set of an employee doesn’t align with the skills needed to perform their job. In the tire example, a skills gap would be not knowing what tools to use to change the tire. 

performance gap is a more commonly known term in the corporate world that is the difference between how an employee is expected to perform and how they actually perform. For example, a sales employee may have a quota to meet, but comes up short that month. 

How To Close Knowledge Gaps In Your Employees

When looking to close knowledge gaps at your organization, it’s critical to remember that this is not one-size-fits-all. Organizations shouldn’t automatically assume that this is a training issue, as there are a variety of individual and environmental factors that may be affecting an employee’s abilities to do their job. 

To identify and close knowledge gaps, we recommend that organizations complete any of the following steps:

  • Conduct a performance analysis – A consultant conducts a performance analysis to determine the issue causing the performance gap. 
  • Conduct employee evaluations – Team managers observe employee behavior and highlight areas for improvement. 
  • Perform a training needs analysis – Organizations uncover the core skills employees need to do their job and think about what training interventions would work best (What modalities and training topics will address our employees’ gaps?)

Read More: How to identify knowledge gaps in your team

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