Even if you’ve never heard of soft skills, chances are you know what they are. These are the intangible qualities like a positive attitude and good communication skills that contribute to an efficient workplace as much as the hard skills like technical know-how and a strong resume. Soft skills are the qualities that are likely to help employees do well at work. While some qualities are inborn, soft skills training courses can help employees to learn to work more efficiently by developing their teamwork and collaboration, adaptability and problem solving abilities.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are difficult to quantify and measure but can contribute to worker and business success. In the workplace, qualities like problem solving, conflict resolution and critical observation are as important as technical knowledge. These can include verbal and written communication skills, collaboration, adaptability, critical observation, problem solving, adaptability and conflict resolution.
When it comes to soft skills, “show” is more important than “tell”. In other words, soft skills can be demonstrated more easily than they can be described. A striking demonstration of soft skills would be a situation in which an employee proposed a solution, such as starting a new line of products that draws upon employee skills. This would be a win-win situation for all concerned, defusing conflicts and fueling productivity.
The soft skills most valued by employers are dependability, work ethic, a positive attitude, self-motivation, team orientation, and organizational skills.
Why do soft skills matter?
Soft skills are seen by employers as a sign of reliability and leadership potential in employees. As many as 77% of employers feel that soft skills are as important as technical skills like mastery of certain computer programs. Hiring managers too pay attention to soft skills in evaluating candidates.
Soft skills matter at every stage of the employee’s career. Leadership development is an important concern for businesses and in 2013, U.S. businesses invested $15.5 billion in the effort.
Can you learn soft skills?
Soft skills can be taught. There are even college courses in written and verbal communication, teamwork, cultural understanding, public speaking, conflict-resolution course and leadership skills.
Employers can also schedule soft skills training courses. These can be customized for each business and cover a range of topics and interests, including:
- Employee Development
- Executive Coaching
- Corporate Culture
- Increasing Sales and Revenue
- Retreat Facilitation
- Non Profit Strategy
- Strategic Planning
- Leadership Development
- Non-profit Board Development
Soft skills training courses can help businesses to develop an engaged workforce and improve productivity.