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Soft Skills – The Motor of Productivity and Growth

It’s safe to say that most every company needs employees who can communicate properly, think critically, inspire optimism, and work well with others to get the desired results — especially today. That’s why more and more companies are looking for these skills which are not readily available and hard to determine from written resumes.

At a time when disruptive technologies are dominating industries, some might argue that soft skills are the least of your worries. But for those of us that are business/technology veterans, we know this couldn’t be further from the truth. To drive growth and profitability in these dynamic times, organizational leadership is more important now than ever before. Several recent studies and organizational leadership experts confirm that there is a surge in demand for training specialists who can help organizations smoothly transition towards new tech-driven structures, methods, and paradigms. The more your company is being driven by new disruptions, the more you need people with the right soft skills to usher in the transformations.

In fact, according to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research, the global soft skills management market is estimated to reach $33.7 billion by 2026. With this market growing at a compounded annual rate of 12.3%, it’s clear that businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of soft skills in achieving successful and sustainable growth.

Some assert that the return of investment in soft skills training for employees is hard to quantify. So, here are several ways in which soft skills development can help your company realize its goals:

Improve productivity

The modern workplace is interpersonal, and collaboration is at the heart of every business process. Having soft skills is the key to productive collaboration. Effective communication and teamwork between managers and employees minimize misunderstandings and increases accountability—the foundations of a healthy and productive workplace.

People skills are the motors of productivity and growth. In most cases soft skills are what is required for exceptional organizational performance (as much or more than hard technical skills).

Some simple examples:

• Chief Executive Officer must communicate the strategies and execution plan to their team and investors with clarity and passion.

• Chief Operating Officer must bring together the company resources, processes, and systems to motivate and monitor the workforce around the critical few initiatives that will drive the expected results.

• The Chief Revenue Officer needs to forge an integrated alliance between sales and marketing.

You can list many more such examples, but you get the idea. We’ve all worked for someone who is lousy at communication or has bad people skills. Company leaders that have weak interpersonal often cripple their full organizational potential and are most times doomed to mediocrity.

Spark Innovation

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills save invaluable company time and drive innovation. A study released by Google named Project Aristotle uncovered that the company’s most important and productive new ideas didn’t come from their smartest or most pragmatic hires. The data showed that the best and most innovative teams at the tech giant exhibited a high capacity for soft skills. While hard skills are vital, soft skills like critical thinking, listening, communicating, empathy, and problem-solving pave the way for useful innovations

Gathering the most pertinent information and analyzing it to generate optimal solutions applies to every part of business. Critical thinking in both managers and employees inspires trust, builds confidence, and boosts independence.

Increase employee retention and engagement

Resilient and self-motivated talents are the most engaged employees in any company. Researchers from Southeastern Louisiana University found in their survey of Fortune 500 companies that optimism is by far the most attractive skill sought after in new hires. Optimism translates to workforce flexibility and adaptability, which decrease the risk of fast employee turnover.

Engaged employees with a strong sense of purpose drive profitability by positively affecting customer engagement, enthusiastically contributing to the company, and being more productive. Huffpost highlights that companies with high engagement rates among employees have 147% more earnings per share. This is why industry giants like Facebook and Google regarding employee engagement as a leading performance indicator.

The never ending quest for the perfect employee leaves many companies frustrated. Therefore, it’s important to know that soft skills can be learned and are transferable to any business. In today’s business environment, investing in soft skills training is mandatory. With the right company focus, efforts will ultimately result in a competitive advantage and drive more consistent and sustainable growth.

Post solely for the use of By Jona Wilder

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