Now more than ever, employers and employees are looking for perfect symmetry between hard and soft skills.
Hard skills are the tools required for workers to carry out the job they’re tasked with successfully. Simple. And who doesn’t want highly-skilled, highly-qualified employees in the workplace? These might be the coders who have degrees in computer science and qualifications in software and web development, or the chief people officer bursting with diplomas in human resource management.
| Soft skills are in demand in the workplace
Soft skills? These are personality traits and character attributes which play a part in creating strong interpersonal relational characteristics such as leadership, empathy and communication.
Naturally, hard skills are much sought after, but more and more businesses are looking for softer ‘creative’ attributes when recruiting.
‘With the rise of AI/automation changing the job market, 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers agree that candidates with strong soft skills are increasingly important. In fact, it could make or break hiring the perfect candidate as 89% feel that “bad hires” typically have poor soft skills.’ (The 2019 Global Talent Trends, LinkedIn)
| Understanding what employees want
Approximately 85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft and people skills, according to research by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center (2016).
Both skillsets are, of course, important, and if you have them in equal measure, you’re well on your way to being a productive, happy and vital team player.
‘A good company to work for’ sits at the summit of today’s worker wish-list. And while pay, share options and benefits are naturally the most important criteria for job satisfaction, employees are demanding more from their leaders and managers – wanting more training opportunities and career coaching.
| Understanding what employers need
A 2018 survey by Dale Carnegie, an American professional training agency, discovered that employees want to work for inspiring leaders who encourage them to improve, and notice and express appreciation for any such improvement in performance.
88% of employees said they value bosses who listen to them, and 87% of workers said it is important for bosses to show sincere appreciation to their staff.
| Training and coaching for a better business
Studies are also finding that soft skill development and ‘people-focusing’ can improve productivity and increase efficiency in all areas of a business, provide clarity on a businesses’ values and strategies, and boost morale.
And soft skill training and learning is a two-way street, and leadership training programmes can benefit business two ways, such as The Icehouse Leadership Development Programme.
| Why everybody wins in the race for soft skills
Owners get better leaders who are empowered to play a greater role in the growth and direction of the business they’re working in, and employees get inspirational and influential managers and senior people who can lead, through the harnessing of soft skills.
A further message is sent out to employees – the business values the part that soft skill training and coaching can play in creating a supportive, appreciative, inclusive and inspiring workplace.
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