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Why Teaching “soft skills” Is A Great Investment In Your Employees

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Why teaching “soft skills” is a great investment in your employees

 

Do you take time to cultivate your employees’ soft skills, as well as their technical abilities? Unfortunately soft skills are sometimes ignored, despite them being often more important than academic achievements. In this post we hope to convince you that providing your employees with training and development in their soft skills is a fantastic business investment.

 

What are “soft skills”?

 

Soft skills are personal attributes and unlike technical skills, can be difficult to measure or quantify. The term “soft skills” covers things like communication, team work and social skills, problem solving, analytical skills and customer service.

 

In the fitness and healthcare industries, soft skills dictate how your employees relate to their clients and patients. This includes bedside manner, understanding, empathy, emotional intelligence and the ability to be likeable, which are all very important characteristics.

 

Soft skills are not usually the types of things you go to school to learn, but instead, are developed with time and experience.

 

Does this mean that soft skills can’t be taught?

 

Absolutely not. There are lots of ways that soft skills can be learned and developed in your teams – training usually just takes a different form to what you would use to teach a technical skill or ability. Some ways that you can teach and develop soft skills include:

 

  • Group training sessions
  • Team or individual coaching
  • Performance management and development
  • Regular feedback
  • Supervision and/or buddying programs

 

Why are soft skills important to my business?

 

Soft skills are generally important to your business because they affect the way your team members interact and collaborate with each other and your clients. If your employees’ soft skills aren’t up to standard, there are lots of adverse effects that your business could experience and they aren’t always completely obvious (this means they could be causing your business damage without you even realising!).

 

Some of these impacts could include conflict within your team or even your organisation being represented unprofessionally to your clients. This article also provides some insights into how soft skills are not only affecting your business, but also the UK economy on a broader scale!

 

Why should I invest in soft skills training?

You might be wondering why you should invest in training your employees to improve their soft skills, when they could just work on them themselves. After all, why should you help your employees become more appealing to your competitors? Well, at the beginning of this article, we told you we would be convincing, so here we go:

 

  • Soft skills training, when conducted in groups, can be incredible for team building and encouraging idea sharing and collaboration amongst team members. You could even consider using a psychometric tool to up the ante!
  • As we pointed out in our article about employee retention, investing in your employees can actually make them more inclined to stay with you and your business.
  • Improving your employees’ soft skills can have a huge return on investment, which can be identified if you measure correctly – use the tips in this article to make sure you have the right systems in place.
  • Because soft skills aren’t being taught in schools, students are feeling more and more unprepared to join the workforce, which means that the responsibility to teach soft skills falls to us as employers and managers.
  • Investing the time and money into developing soft skills in your teams, means that you are teaching your people the way you like things to be done. This can be extremely powerful as you show your employees what behaviours are and aren’t appropriate in your organisation and industry.

 

How did we do? Have we convinced you to include soft skills in your learning and development schedule? We would love to hear your experiences! Please drop us a comment or email us at tirrel@thefitnessassociates.com to talk about how we can work together to create your dream workforce.

 

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