Many employees place a lot of value on working for a company where they feel like they are given opportunities for professional development. But according to Gallup, only slightly more than a third of managers strongly agree that they have had opportunities at work to learn and grow in the past year. The same study found that 36% of managers do not fully believe they have the skills they need to do their best work. Beyond that, many companies that are investing in employee training are not investing specifically in soft skills training.
Focusing on soft skills training is an investment that yields great returns for companies. In a recent study from Boston College, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan, researchers found that a group of workers that were given soft skills training were 12% more productive than the group that did not receive the training. The training also improved the retention of employees. Nine months after the study ended, the soft skills development helped generate an almost 260% return on investment.
Here are 4 reasons why investing in soft skills training is a good choice:
It boosts self-awareness.
Some people are naturally self-aware, but others need to work to grow their self-awareness skills. All employees should be able to display leadership skills, but before they can effectively do that, they need to sharpen self-awareness skills. Employees must know themselves and know how to improve themselves before they can know others and know how to improve others. When employees have self-awareness, they know what motivates them, and they are able to recognize knowledge gaps that need to be addressed. Once they are able to do that, they can help other employees to do the same.
It helps to develop an internal leadership pipeline.
Many employers today are struggling to find employees with the soft skills that are needed for success- in fact, one study showed that 59% of U.S. hiring managers believe it’s difficult to find candidates with soft skills. It can be costly to have to devote extra time and resources to find the candidates that possess these skills. Employers can mitigate this challenge by investing in soft skills training. A report by iCMS Hiring Insights found that 58% of recruiting professionals believe soft skills are even more important for leadership positions than entry-level positions. By investing in soft skills training early on, you are giving the employees you already have the skills they need to become leaders within the company. This will make them more likely to be engaged and loyal to the company, thus improving retention, minimizing the cost of losing employees, and growing leaders that have been with your company for awhile.
It promotes adaptability.
The world is changing constantly, and as a result, so is the workplace. It is no longer enough for employees to perfect skills and then expect to use them consistently throughout the course of their careers- the skills that employees need to succeed will change with the times. But one skill that will always be crucial is adaptability. Growing the ability to adjust and adapt to changes will empower employees to succeed while the need for other skills keeps changing. This will ensure that employees continue to be high-performing even as the landscape evolves.
It improves interactions with customers.
For companies with employees that regularly interact with customers, soft skills training is extremely important. Often, interactions with employees are the first touchpoint that customers have to a company, and customer experience plays a huge role in the success of any company. In fact, 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. Thus, employees need to have soft skills that maximize their ability to provide a positive customer experience.
Are you ready to invest in soft skills training and development for your employees? Verb specializes in soft skills development with collections and activities centered around topics like giving and receiving feedback, communication, and empathy. Schedule time to talk to one of our experts to learn more.