THE IMPORTANCE OF SOFT SKILLS
“Hire for fit, train for skill.”
We say (and hear) these words often in the human resources world. Soft skills play an important role in the retention of employees. Why? Because statistics show that soft skills (the ability to interact well with others) play a big part in creating an environment where employees will want to work.
Let’s look at the statistics:
- The National Board of Economic Research compiled data from 23,878 workers and 1,940 managers over a 5-year period. They found that great managers boost employee productivity by an average of 11% per employee and have lower turnover on their teams.
- Research from Salary.com shows that 23% of employees look for a new job every single day. Many start looking in as little as six months after starting a new job.
- 75% of employees consider their direct manager to be the “worst part of their job.”
- 65% of employees would rather have a new manager than a pay raise.
Why has this become an issue? Because in a tight labor market, many managers are promoted without any (or very little) experience on how to manage people. Then, as managers, they inadvertently create an environment where people don’t want to work.
Historically when recruiting for staff, we focus on experience, skills, education, and personality. These are all well and good, but research tells us that none of these attributes set employees up for success. What does? According to decades old research from Harvard University, it’s soft skills, to the tune of an 85% success rate.
Soft skills include talents such as problem solving, adaptability, active listening, recognizing and responding to non-verbal cues, being able to manage complexity and ambiguity, and general cognitive abilities.
It’s time to add these skills not only to our recruiting list, but our retention list. Training the employees you already have is a wise investment of time and dollars. Imagine your work force running like a well-oiled machine, because everyone understands their work, they have support and information readily available from their managers, and everyone gets along.
If this sounds too good to be true – it isn’t! With some training and effort, your workforce can get up to speed and have efficient, happy, productive, and profitable employees.
NAE can play a part in the success of your business by providing this level of training. Our Supervisory Skills: Advanced Skills training series explores those supervisory soft skills. This series is offered throughout the year both virtually and through live in-person training. Let us help you become an employer of choice through education and support of your people.
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