When you working with a team, there will be times when you will note skills and knowledge gaps in your team. There are certain choices which you can exercise to handle the gaps in knowledge and skills of your team members.
Identify Future Requirements – In order to identify the possible gaps, you need to be aware of the types of projects that you are going to handle in near future. If you know the projects, discuss these with the team so that they polish their skills according to the requirements if they want to work on these projects.
Offer Training – Offering training can be a bit risky when it comes to contractors but still if you want that they should learn some new skills needed for the projects, you can arrange training for them. In case of contractors, do not force the training on them because it might well lead to a breaking of the employer/contractor barrier for the tax authority in your country or state.
Hire new Talent – If you can successfully identify the skill and knowledge that will be required in case of future projects, then make a proper job description based on these skills and try to hire a new employee or a contractor.
Training Awareness – It is not that you should be offering the training in all cases. You can even point them to the directions where the training for the new skills and knowledge is available that is offered by other parties. You might also make some affiliate earning by leaving a link on your project management system.
Forward Industry News to Them – Create an email list for your team and regularly share training, industry news and other such things which will help all of you in learning about the industry that all of you work in.
Regular Feedback Mechanism – It is highly desirable that you offer feedback when someone submits a project, acknowledging what is good and highlighting the areas that need improvement. They will be encouraged to learn in their free time.
Team Work – Certain team members are going to have more knowledge that others. Others can learn from them if you can devise a mechanism where all can collaborate on projects together.
Expectations – Set realistic expectation for team members from the day one. If they understand that you place value on continuing education, then they will like working for you and might seek out knowledge and skills training on their own too.
Handling gaps in the knowledge and skills of your team is an area which requires attention of every business owner, regardless of whether your team members are just contractors, employees or a mix. There are ways to address the issues without sounding offensive. Be hones and up front in your dealings at all times and the team will happily follow your lead.