If your organization wants to get that competitive edge and increase your profitability, then as a professional you need to start to place more focus on the importance of soft skills for your own professional development and your team. This is especially important for HR professionals when you are recruiting new staff and as you place focus on the continuous development of your existing staff.
Hard skills are the technical, specific abilities which can be taught. Soft skills such as listening, collaborating with others, leadership, negotiation, presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment, all vital attributes for organizations in an increasingly competitive world.
Hard skills, those job-related expertise is essential in any profession. However, soft skills are ultimately more important in determining your levels of success.
These skills that are associated with an employee’s personality and professional development are part of the ‘soft skills’ and are tougher to quantify than hard skills.
According to CareerBuilder, 77% of hiring managers and HR professionals surveyed in 2014 said soft skills are just as important as hard skills. And 16% of those surveyed felt that soft skills were more important than hard skills.
The top 5 most popular employee’s personality skills employers are looking for when hiring are:
1) Strong work ethic – 73%
2) Dependability – 73%
3) Positive attitude – 72%
4) Self-motivated – 66%
5) Team-oriented – 60%
Click here to view the survey’s top 10 list.
According to a CEO survey conducted by PWC in 2017, 77% of CEOs say that they see the availability of key skills as the biggest business threat, ‘soft’ skills are in demand with CEOs seeing the value in marrying technology with exclusively human capabilities. Those surveyed said they are going to be taking steps to improve their access to talent and attract the people they need, whoever and wherever they may be.
Where next according to PWC? There is five essentials for talent strategy:
1. Plan for multiple futures – in detail. Scenario planning is a powerful tool to prepare organizations for a machine-age future where no outcome can be safely dismissed as unlikely.
2. Prepare for the recruitment challenge. Even in a world of automation, people and skills are still essential and competition for good talent is intense. Is your recruitment strategy up to the challenge?
3. Work on soft skills. CEOs are looking for specific skills that are difficult to find and keep – nurturing them will become a priority.
4. Get the people experience right. The end-to-end people experience is derived from a complex interaction of elements and it’s essential that each is monitored and understood.
5. Work on trust – with purpose. Knowledge is power when it comes to strengthening trust.
But the challenge still remains the same – soft skills are often overlooked.
The fact that they are often overlooked amazes me everyday! They play such an important role in day-to-day operations.
In addition to the personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions as listed above, a professional’s ability to effectively communicate, lead to inspire actions, present their ideas, provide Moments of Magic for team members and clients, prospect and close sales, and problem solve can be learned!
Whether you are a dedicated HR professional or a funeral director, you’re both looking for specific ways to learn from the world’s best thought leaders, subject matter experts who truly understand what you and your organization need.
When professionals understand and are committed to implementing what they learn, everyone wins. That commitment and dedication will drive career advancement and your organization’s bottom line.
As a professional, you need to ensure that your workforce has a balance of all of these soft skills. When your teams have a lot of technical skills but an absence of soft skills, you then have a soft skills gap.
It’s important to understand that the soft skills are what accompany the hard skills and help your organization use technical expertise to its full advantage and drive business. Recently Guy Berger, LinkedIn’s Economist, reported that nearly 58% of employees who touted the soft skill of stellar communication skills were hired over the course of a year, according to an analysis of 2.3 million LinkedIn profiles for The Wall Street Journal.
David Sturt and Todd Nordstrom, contributors at Forbes agree with Guy and me.
‘Hard skills might be what get you the job—but soft skills are what drive friendship, success and happiness at work. So brush up on these simple but crucial people skills to boost your professional success. And don’t be surprised if they help your life outside work either!’
David Sturt is the executive vice president at the O.C. Tanner Institute and author of “Great Work: How To Make A Difference People Love.” Nordstrom is Director of Institute Content. David and Todd are subject matter experts who often write about people who make a difference—what they think about, what they do, and how they achieve extraordinary results.
If you are committed to advancing your career and are a HR professional looking for continuing education credits at SHRM or HRCI, check out our online training courses at XTRAcredits.com
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More About the Author, Lisa Patrick:
Continuing Education Expert | Speaker | Coach | Strategist – Accelerating Businesses Around the World
Working with some of the most recognized thought-leaders in the world has given Lisa the opportunity to learn and develop her unique skill to ‘see through things’ and opportunities that others miss! These relationships have also provided her insights into the distinctive points of view of risk and opportunities facing the education marketplace, experts and their businesses. These learning experiences have contributed to her success!
Lisa is relentlessly optimistic, entrepreneurial, and future-focused. She encourages contrarian thinking and rapid experimentation.
Lisa has worked with personal brands and companies such as Grant Cardone, FocalPoint Coaching, Tom Hopkins, Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott, FrippVT, Wayne Lee, International Coaching Federation, Dr. Tony Alessandra, Assessments24x7, Society of Human Resource Professionals, and much more. Find out more about Lisa by clicking here.