THE BENEFITS OF HUMAN SKILLS/SOFT SKILLSTRAINING
FOR YOUR WORKFORCE AND YOUR SELF
By Allen Phillips, Human Skills Development & Atlantic Speakers Bureau
For many organizations, hard skills are at the top of the hiring list. That is, they are looking for skills specific to the job itself and the education or experience needed to perform the job well.
While the importance of having relevant education, training and work experience cannot be underestimated, you also need to consider less tangible skills such as Human Skills/Soft Skills. After all, it’s not just about having the most talented and qualified employees. It’s about allowing them to work together as a team for the benefit of their own success and the company.
What are Human Skills/Soft Skills?
Human Skills/Soft Skills focus on who people are as opposed to what they are trained to be. They serve to present your life and work attitude. Simply put, Human Skills/Soft Skillsare interpersonal skills that are intrinsic to a person’s personality, and they characterize how you interact with other people in the workplace.
Human Skills/Soft Skills are essentially the people skills, personality skills and communication skills that your employees need for their long-term success and that of your company. After all, almost every job requires employees to engage with others inside or outside your company, so these skills cannot be overlooked.
Human Skills/Soft Skills vs Hard Skills
We have already explained that Human Skills/Human Skills/Soft Skillsare more personality oriented and not based on qualifications or work experience. Human Skills/Soft Skills include social skills, social skills, character traits, interpersonal skills, and transferable skills.
Hard skills, on the other hand, are technical skills that are job-specific. The hard skills of your employees come from education, certifications, training and work experience. These skills can be taught, are measurable, and can be tested through exams and practical assignments.
While hard skills are learned and mastered over time, Human Skills/Soft Skills are often more difficult to develop and difficult to assess and measure. Using an instructor as an example, let’s examine what typical soft and hard skills would be required for this role.
Trainer’s Hard Skills:
- Thorough knowledge of the curriculum
- Develop lesson plans
- Develop educational strategies
- Grading of learning work, exams, etc
- Using appropriate technology (LMS, uploading courses, etc.)
- Human Skills/Soft Skills of the trainer:
- Solve problems.
- Critical thinking
- Guide – Coach
Examples of Human Skills/Soft Skills
Hard skills are undoubtedly essential. These are the basic requirements that your employees must meet in order to perform their job functions. However, research has shown that Human Skills/Soft Skills account for 90% of what moves people up the ladder of success.
Let’s take a closer look at some examples of Human Skills/Soft Skills that are in demand for every workforce:
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
- Guide – Coach
- Solve problems
- Critical observation
Why you should care about Human Skills/Soft Skills
Human Skills/Soft Skills are becoming increasingly sought after, and many companies are recognizing them. Human Skills/Soft Skills provide you with a confident, happy workforce that empowers your business.
Many employers assume that the most practical Human Skills/Soft Skills are standard among their employees, but this is not always the case. It’s naïve to assume that your workforce simply knows how to behave in non-technical workplace situations. It is tantamount to assuming that all employees have the same personalities!
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner has ranked Human Skills/Soft Skills as the largest skills gap in the US. If your workforce has ample technical skills but lacks Human Skills/Soft Skills, you may find that some elements of your organization are facing challenges. For example, if your employees are well trained in customer acquisition but not so well trained in customer retention, you have a Human Skills/Soft Skills gap. Fortunately, you can work to close Human Skills/Soft Skills gaps in your organization through training.
Benefits of Human Skills/Soft Skills training
LinkedIn conducted a study in 100 metropolitan areas of the United States in early 2018 and found that 1.4 million people lack communication skills. Since Human Skills/Soft Skills like communication can lead to the success of your business, it makes sense to train your employees in these vital skills.
There are a number of options for delivering Human Skills/Soft Skills training to your employees. You can devote entire courses to Human Skills/Soft Skills as part of employee onboarding, or add a Human Skills/Soft Skills area to your existing course content. When you invest in Human Skills/Soft Skills training for your employees, you will see many benefits including:
More effective communication
Your employees can communicate more effectively with each other and with your customers or clients. They equip them with the skills to express themselves more clearly, to listen, and to tackle difficult conversations.
Your employees can delegate better, give feedback, accept feedback, take responsibility and motivate themselves and others to achieve their goals.
Improved problem solving
Your employees can proactively identify problems and potential roadblocks to projects, tasks, and goals. In addition, they are able to identify and implement solutions or offer alternative solutions.
Improved creative and critical thinking.
With the Human Skills/Soft Skills training, your employees can “think outside the box” both creatively and critically. With these skills, they will be able to weigh their options, make informed decisions, making them more likely to achieve the results they want.
Better teamwork, efficiency, and productivity
Human Skills/Soft Skills empower your people to collaborate and work together to achieve organizational goals together. This in turn leads to improved efficiency and increased productivity.
While the focus on Human Skills/Soft Skills is becoming more popular, hard skills should not be left behind – Human Skills/Soft Skills and hard skills are equally important. Give both equal priority in your L&D strategy to build a diverse workforce with the skills they need to do great work.
If training is a priority for you, look at the 148 courses that we offer at Human Skills Development. You will find that these courses are amongst the best In quality and content. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us at anytime.
Allen Phillips, BBA
Atlantic Speakers Bureau Human Skills Development