Home > LMA research finds Australian workforce 25% below par on skills

LMA research finds Australian workforce 25% below par on skills


A new workplace competency self-assessment exercise reveals that the Australian workforce is 25% below par on work skills.

Members of the workforce covering executives, managers and employees on average believe they are 25% below the skill level required to do their job as well as they could, according to new data on self-assessment of workplace competency from management training provider Leadership Management Australasia, which began monitoring workplace skilling through an online DIY workplace competency test four years ago.

Chase Research’s analysis this month of the 1900 new respondents since 2012’s report on 3000 respondents, using a five-point scale, indicates virtually identical results across these workplace categories: Executives/Senior Managers, Middle Managers, Frontline Managers/Supervisors, and Employees.

The average competency ratings were 3.8 (3.7 in 2012) for Executives, 3.6 (3.5 in 2012) for Middle Managers, 3.4 (3.3 in 2012) for Frontline Managers/Supervisors) and 3.7 (3.6 in 2012) for Employees.

Significantly, 25% of the workforce believe their skills are just average and 17% below average on all of LMA’s five key competencies listed for each category, totalling up to 42% of workers believing their skills were just average or below average.

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

LMA’s CEO, Andrew Henderson said far too many people still believed they were not adequately equipped to do their jobs, which present serious ramifications for the country’s quest to improve productivity and international competitiveness.

According to Mr Henderson, all workplace categories are crying out for help, and that includes bosses and managers, the very people entrusted to drive productivity, performance and competitiveness. Given that skill has been prioritised in government for the last 10 years, it was surprising there was no real sign of improvement in the four years of assessment.

Mr Henderson said boardrooms could not plead ignorance about these critical productivity performance and bottom line factors; however, there is no apparent evidence of up-skilling workers within organisations.

While individuals have recognised their own skill shortfall, other LMA research shows that 62% of Leaders, 55% of Managers and 48% of Employees say their organisations are experiencing a skills shortage.

LMA’s L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Employment and Direction) Survey 2012-13 report published in July last year shows that while technical areas and trade skills are widely acknowledged across the workplace as critical areas of skills shortage there is also a perceived skills shortage in the areas of leadership and management. In fact, Leadership and Management are in the top six on LMA’s list.

The top 16 perceived skills shortage list (in order): Technical areas; Leadership; Sales and Marketing; Operations; Trade skills; Management; Customer service; Information technology; Planning; Administration; Quality; Strategy; Unskilled labour; Communications; Logistics; Process workers.

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox