Soft Skills for Success
The jury is in, when it comes to the value of soft skills in organizations! Organizations agree that soft skills are a critical success factor; not just hard skills! Research indicates that soft skills are a major area of concern for all employers, regardless of region; and 92 percent of respondents to a Deloitte study rated soft skills as a critical priority. In this blog, we’ll share some research insights and what you can do to address soft skills gaps in your organization.
What do we know about the biggest soft skills challenges in organizations?
In 2018 ELICE was engaged by FHI 360 to conduct a global assessment to discover what employers across sectors cite as their biggest challenge when it comes to soft skills. CEOs and senior HR directors from three regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and MENA were interviewed. The responses (n=59) to open-ended interview questions indicated that soft skills are a major area of concern for all employers, regardless of region. We know from research that soft skills are a major concern for employers globally and especially so in developing countries.
…soft skills are a major area of concern for all employers, regardless of region.
Why are soft skills important?
- It affects all employees: Organizations experience soft skills challenges mostly with new hires/entry-level and with middle management. It is important to recognize the role that soft skills play in your organization.
- Both research and employers agree that employees with strong soft skills are in high demand across sectors. Soft skills are no longer “nice-to-have” but are “must have” skills. Technical skills (aka hard skills) may be what attracts employers to your resume, but it’s soft skills such as communication, creativity, higher order thinking skills, ethical behavior, attitude, team work, and emotional intelligence, among others that are increasingly sought after.
- Improving your own soft skills is essential in building relationships with team members and with clients Soft skills enable team members to work well with each other and with clients and other stakeholders. It’s therefore imperative that we identify ways to enhance these skills for overall self-, team-, and overall organizational performance.
What can you do?
If your organization is facing similar challenges, the good news is that soft skills can be learned. These skills are not inherent, but they can be developed to achieve great heights.
Soft skills can be learned!
You may want to assess your organization to determine where your gaps lie and if your team indicates gaps in soft skills to put in place interventions to help you grow. Contact ELICE to arrange a personalized consultation on how your organization can benefit from soft-skills assessments, coaching, and/or training. The blended training approach is delivered in mobile-friendly, full courses and micro-learning topics – online or onsite. Soft skills training tracks include:
- Communicating Effectively: We learned from this study that communication was by far the most commonly cited challenge, with nearly 60% of interviewees designating it as a top soft skill challenge. Communication is by far the most important skill in everyday life at work and beyond. Topics include integrated communication across social media channels, business writing courses, proposal writing, and professional presentation skills. These skills will add value to your internal and client communications.
- Workplace Effectiveness Learning Path: Often managers are seeking to enhance teams’ performance. This track features topics on how to enhance team work, professional behaviour, ability to work under pressure, ability to take initiative, effectively managing office politics, emotional intelligence, and ethical behaviour.
- Creative & Critical Thinking Learning Path: Creativity and critical thinking skills are some of the most desired competencies in the modern workplace. This track is designed to ignite and foster higher order thinking and creativity using certain techniques such as brainstorming, information gathering, analyzing data, and divergent thinking.
FHI 360. 2019. Overview of soft skills assessment interviews. www.fhi360.org
Forbes.com. Why Soft Skills Matter and The Top 3 You Need.