SOFT SKILLS MATTER
There’s been a lot of buzz in the HR world recently about soft skills. Employers are recognizing that certain attributes mean more than others when it comes to making decisions about who to hire. At the same time, employees are also recognizing that who they work for matters. Employees will leave a job when they have a boss they can’t work for, even when they love the work they do.
Gallup polls tell us that 58% of managers have received little to no training. Further, statistics show that 65% of employees would rather have a new boss than a pay raise. On the positive side, an employee who is engaged, with a good boss, shows an increase in productivity by 11%. These issues affect the profitability of a business.
This is where soft skills come in. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. In other words, communication. Knowing how to talk to someone — to convey your ideas and expectations — is one of the most (if not the most) important skills a person can have, especially in the workplace.
Best practice in hiring is to “hire for fit, train for skill.” With some exceptions (such as a required education or certification), most skills can be taught. When interviewing a candidate, think – do they fit in with your company? Does it feel right? If they can get along with your team, you can train them to do the job.
Conversely, there is no way to train a poor personality fit. Hires with poor personality fits result in most unemployment claims. When an employer says “they just didn’t work out” that usually speaks to a personality conflict, not a skills issue. The employee may end up being terminated (if they don’t quit first because of the bad manager) and a vicious cycle of turnover will begin.
The good news is, communication skills can be taught. Your managers can learn how to properly get their requests and ideas across without alienating their teams. There are six important skills that all managers need to know: communication, attitude, leadership, work ethic, teamwork, and work ethic. Tying these all together gives us the big seven of soft skills. Managers armed with this knowledge become your best resource for a successful and profitable company. They are leaders, who praise and challenge your teams every day. They communicate well, work hard, lead by example and lift everyone up.
NAE offers trainings that give your business the tools it needs to be successful in today’s labor market. Don’t get caught in the turnover wheel – hire and train your employees to do (and be) their absolute best every day, and watch your profits soar.
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