Employees must have the technical skills or abilities to get their job done, but that certainly isn’t all that they require. Soft skills (and soft skills training) are just as essential, and in some cases, can be even more important to support the delicate balance of your organization’s corporate culture. Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance a person’s interactions and overall performance. Soft skills are desirable qualities for employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude.
Corporate culture identifies how organizations conduct their business, treat their employees and work with their customers. As you dig deeper into corporate culture, yours or anyone else’s, you’re bound to find soft skills at its core. For example, many organizations emphasize teamwork, collaboration, work ethics or communication within their corporate culture statements, all of which are soft skills!
Many employees develop and fine-tune their soft skills throughout their careers, but with the mass influx of millennials entering the job market, soft skills training is growing in popularity. While millennials are known to be technically fluent, research suggests that they lack the soft skills required to assimilate into organizations. According to Monster.com, “The soft skills gaps most likely to trip up millennials include written and oral communications, social skills, an ability to engage or motivate others, business etiquette, and professionalism.” Think about it, this lack of soft skills has the greatest potential to disrupt the corporate cultures that organizations strive so hard to maintain and grow.
So what’s an organization to do? Adding soft skills training to your learning and development strategies; particularly during the on-boarding process, could be a great place to start! Introducing and developing your millennial employees with soft skills training brings them up to speed more quickly and helps to align them with your corporate culture. Additionally, soft skills training can bring about great rewards such as result in increased productivity, greater profitability, more engaged employees and an overall happier workforce.
Susan Distasio | eLearning Industry Crusader | ePath Learning, Inc.
About the Author: Susan Distasio is an eLearning Industry Crusader focused on advocating for advancement and change in the eLearning and professional development industry. An avid seeker of knowledge and continuous improvement, Susan is happy to share her research, observations, and thoughts regarding “all things related to learning and development.” When she’s not out on the learning crusade, Susan can be found with the wind in her hair riding her Harley or simply enjoying life with her husband and her Siamese cat named Elvis, as well as with family and friends.