Soft skills aren’t a replacement for hard skills, but they are definitely needed in the new normal, says Suman Agarwal. She shares seven reasons why soft skills are needed to run a successful business.
Stanford Research Institute International found that almost 75% of an employee’s success comes from soft skills while only 25% of their success comes from technical skills. These statistics are enough to scream the utter importance of soft skills training for running a successful business.
While we know how essential soft skills are, let’s dive into the types of soft skills and the reasons why they are so important in a workplace.
Types of Soft Skills
Undoubtedly, hard skills are required for being employed in any workforce since they are the most basic requirements to function at a job. But soft skills are critical to success. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of soft skills needed in an employee:
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Time management
- Organizational skills
- Critical thinking skills
- Listening skills
7 Reasons Why Soft Skills Are Needed in the Workplace
Did you know that according to a LinkedIn Learning survey, almost 57% of senior leaders said that soft skills are more important than technical skills? Moreover, in 2019, research emphasized sharpening soft skills of empathy, creativity and collaboration.
Here are seven reasons that explain why soft skills are needed to run a successful business:
1. Soft Skills Improve Decision-Making
CEOs and managers are burdened with the responsibility of making crucial decisions that impact the entire organization. The decisions they make are directly related to listening skills. Often, many leaders fail to lead because they lack good listening skills and end up making decisions without thoroughly studying the current needs of their organization.
But having good listening skills isn’t only limited to senior leaders. Team managers should also incorporate great listening to ensure that innovative ideas are given the voice needed, and each team member is made to feel like they are heard.
2. Soft Skills Drive Positive Change
Miscommunication can lead to confusion and heavy loss to your organization, causing inefficiency. An excellent communication channel is needed for efficiency at work, and this communication should not just exist within the team but also in various departments for goal alignment.
Clear communication can help your organization achieve goal alignment within different work departments. Through this, the employees are aware of the challenges faced by the business and they may be able to provide innovative solutions to tackle these problems that will bring positive change.
3. Soft Skills Make for a Healthy Working Environment
While listening and communicating are essential for leading a workforce, empathizing with the challenges faced by your employees is equally important. Empathy nurtures a supportive and positive working environment and eliminates unhealthy competition. Within this environment, employees are more prepared to take chances and move upwards.
Employees feel more empowered to speak their thoughts in a workplace where empathy is practiced, and they are more likely to feel empowered to provide honest feedback for the organization. These insights are valuable for streamlining processes and uncovering more operational efficiencies.
4. Soft Skills Help You Solve Problems More Efficiently
Developing soft skills such as communication and listening will make the employees proactive in recognizing problems and barriers to their goals. Moreover, they will identify problems and implement accurate solutions or fixes.
5. Soft Skills Improve Customer Service
With soft skills, your employees will actively listen and effectively identify problems and establish solutions per your customer’s needs. They will channel more compassion and empathy while dealing with your customer’s problems, which will positively impact your customer service.
6. Soft Skills Increase Sales
Developing soft skills in your employees will benefit your sales team during the negotiation process. Employees can use competency to engage with customers personally without breaching the professional code of conduct.
When your employees have good communication skills, they can connect with the customer and discuss their pain points. Through this discussion, your employees then match the right solution for them, increasing your sales.
7. Soft Skills Improve Employee Retention
The retention rate of your organization increases when you start caring about boosting your employee’s soft skills. Through this, your employees will realize that you care about their professional growth and they will decide to support you.
To sum it all, soft skills aren’t a replacement for hard skills, but they are definitely needed in the new normal. Developing employees’ soft skills is the way to efficiently improve the workplace and retain great talent in your organization.
Does your organization offer soft skills training to employees? If not, then what are you waiting for?