It’s important for employees to be trained in technical skills to help keep companies competitive and productive. However, it’s also necessary to create an employee development plan that enables workers to develop soft skills in addition to hard skills. Up to 16% of employers evaluating job candidates report that soft skills are more important to focus on than hard skills.
While this statistic may seem surprising, an employee’s soft skills help to feed an organization’s communication, teamwork, and leadership. Unfortunately, in HR consulting these skills are often undervalued in comparison to hard skills. This is because some employers often expect those who have these hard skills down pat will also have the social skills necessary to further a company’s organizational success.
Soft skill gaps in your employee development program
Employees don’t often receive soft skills training, which can sometimes result in a soft skills gap in your workforce. A soft skills gap is when an organization has a high number of employees with technical skills, but not many soft skills. An organization may be experiencing a soft skills gap if:
- The organization has a high turnover rate
- The organization is great at getting clients, but not holding onto them
- The organization has a high number of managers, but a low number of leaders
It’s an organization’s work environment and work relationships that enable successful HR consulting and team projects in the long run. However, in order to have a good work environment and work relationships, the soft skills within the team should be as encouraged as the team’s hard skills.
During HR consulting and employee development opportunities, examine the following qualities in your employees to gauge your organization’s soft skills and how you could improve further.
- Team collaboration
- Conflict resolution
- Creative thinking
- Clarity in communication
- Team inclusion
- Team negotiation
- Team accountability
- Personal accountability
- Team encouragement
- Team positivity
- Personal and team motivation
Activities that help to encourage these qualities in your team will help with organizational development as a whole. The more soft skills that are impacted, developed, and sustained, the more likely your organization’s goals and vision will be successful in the long run.
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