Updated: Apr 17
“You cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.” ~Stephen Covey, author
It is not enough to show up and do the work. Amicable interactions between colleagues and clients are now a fundamental expectation.
While many organisations have set structures for in-house training, most of them focus only on the methodology of best practices of the organisation and the technical requirements of industries or professions. These hard skills are essential but cannot stand without the support of soft skills.
Excellent interpersonal skills are not familiar to all. The misconception is that individuals are often expected to possess soft skills naturally, but this is not the case.
A simple illustration. are you have an excellent employee whose work you appreciate and believe in their potential to grow in the organisation? This individual is academically qualified, has experience on the job, knows the organisation’s methodology, and is an asset to the team. There is an excellent opportunity within the organisation for which they would be a good fit, but there is a problem. The new role means more people reporting to them and requires deeper interactions with clients, which you are not sure they can do well enough.
Soft skills get little respect but they will make or break your career” – Peggy Klaus, author
This is one of the many scenarios organisations often have and serves as a reminder of why we must ensure well-rounded teams. Teams with not just technical solid but soft skills too perform better. Thankfully training individuals to become more effective communicators and collaborators and more in tune with their emotional intelligence are possible.
Failure to adequately train soft skills results in the following:
Tip #1 - Succession issues
It is necessary to build capacity for promotions and leadership/mentoring within the organisation and have staff that grow and can rise through the ranks seamlessly.
Tip #2 - High staff turnover
Save on the cost of retraining people. Retain staff by investing in their personal growth and providing soft training. This improves their performance and job satisfaction while creating a better work atmosphere with shared values.
Tip #3 - Failure to maintain clients
Not only do Organisations with a well-rounded workforce benefit from this internally and externally. Improve your client relations and not only get but keep clients. Soft skills will help your organisation manifest its mission statement.
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