Closing the Skills Confidence Gap


In 2020, Cornerstone OnDemand conducted a global study on the “Skills Trust Gap” between employees and employers. The research revealed major disparities – 90% of employers were convinced that future skills were a priority, compared to only 60% of employees. In 2022, Cornerstone addressed the same issues in its Thriving in the Global Skills Shortage: Your Way Through the Desert report.

Data from 2022 showed that this trust gap is persisting and even widening among mid- and low-performing organizations (“laggards”). Employee confidence has declined, with only 55% believing their organization prioritizes skills development.

Interestingly, research has identified a strong positive correlation between overall business performance and the quality of support for new skills and development opportunities. High performers have prioritized skills development much higher than their peers – 72% intend to address it within a year and 42% have already started. Not only did they place a high value on skills development, but their employees recognized it – with a perception gap of just 11 percentage points.

Meanwhile, Laggards placed a much lower priority on skill development – ​​being almost three times more likely to block skill development all together. The overall result was a skills confidence gap of 42 percent. As such, there is a clear trend that high performing organizations outperform their peers in terms of results and employee confidence through new skills development initiatives.

To prepare for the future, organizations need to take a skills-based approach to learning and talent – identifying skills gaps, the skills that will be needed, and providing an engaging journey to enable people to develop these skills. At Cornerstone, we accelerate talent learning and innovation at the intersection of technology, data, and people experience. Our goal is to enable clients to better design and connect learning and skills programs to people’s needs, driving powerful business results.

Mike Bollinger is Global Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at On-demand cornerstone

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