Why soft skills are rising up the training agenda

In the past, HR recruiters have always paid more attention to job-specific skills when interviewing candidates.

Employees were hired on the basis of how much applicable knowledge they had as well as the experience they had attained.

More recently, however, managers and HR departments are making soft skills a priority, and for good reason. 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are interpersonal (people) skills. They can be hard to define and evaluate but in essence, they refer to:

  • Communication skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Listening skills
  • One’s ability to empathise
  • Emotional skills
  • Creative thinking

An individual’s personality and character will determine the type of soft skills they have. But while most of these skills are inherent, they can still be learnt. In fact, soft-skill training is becoming increasingly popular, especially in organisations where the significance of these skills is understood and appreciated. 

Why are soft skills so significant?

While your organisation cannot run without employees having the necessary hard skills, soft skills form the foundation of a successful enterprise.

Nearly every job-role requires employees to engage with others in some way – whether it be with colleagues or customers. Therefore, having good communication and listening skills is an important component in any position. 

Soft skills are also required to maintain a good level of motivation. They bring innovative thinking to the table and equip people with the emotional skills that they need so that they do not buckle under pressure. They also assist in decision making processes and instil empathy in the workplace. 

The importance of soft skills training

Did you know that soft skills are harder to learn than hard skills? They have little to do with knowledge or experience but, instead, they closely relate to an individual’s inherent personality.

This means that it takes a conscious effort, continuous practice, and a certain level of dedication for an individual to acquire this type of skill.

This is why HR departments and management teams are putting substantial effort into soft skill training programmes. With the right strategies, a good support structure, and a HR systemthat rewards a person’s performance by measuring both types of skill-sets, you will have a powerful team at your disposal.

Soft skill training helps to improvise:

  • Work ethic;
  • Communication;
  • Teamwork;
  • And problem-solving.

Hard skills are still important too

Be careful not to let hard skills slip to the wayside – they are still very important too! Training programmes should include a good balance between what knowledge must be acquired and what soft skills should be taught/improved. 

With a strong set of soft skills complementing your hard skills, the most crucial paving stones to success will be in place. 

Sources:

  1. Why soft skills are rising up the training agenda. Cezanne
  2. The rise of the soft skill.Bray Leino
  3. 5 reasons why soft skills are more important than ever. Oxbridge Academy

Photo by You X Ventures