soft skills power skills illiustration

Over the years soft skills, or ‘power skills’ as many now refer to them, have become more revered in the professional world. While more traditional professional hard skills like managing a budget, coding, analytics, and writing are still needed for day-to-day success, soft skills training has proven time and again to lead to better leadership and long-term success within a company.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills, also known as power skills, are ways of thinking and being that allow us to manage our own mental health as well as interact with and navigate through social situations with others.

Some examples of soft skills include:

  • Understanding personal bias
  • Decision making
  • Empathy
  • Resilience
  • Communication
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Mindfulness

Where hard skills require doing, soft skills are often more focused around ways of being or thinking.

Why should we call them power skills?

Over time soft skills have gained a reputation for being a “nice to have” in business when, in fact, studies have shown that strong soft skills boost productivity and retention by 12% and deliver a 250% return on investment. Another study reported that emotional intelligence skills make up nearly 90% of the attributes that set high performing leaders apart.

These studies make it clear that soft skills training creates effective employees and leaders. By calling soft skills power skills, we remove the inaccurate assumption that they’re not a must-have for top-performing employees and reiterate their importance in the workplace.

What soft skills or power skills are most wanted by employers?

According to an aggregate compiled list of industry articles, the top power skills employers look for are:

  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Research
  • Goal setting
  • Leadership
  • Creative thinking
  • Positive mindset
  • Assessment skills
  • Good work ethic and resilience

While these skills seem like basic expectations of individuals in the workforce, one study showed that 59% of U.S. hiring managers believe it’s difficult to find candidates with soft skills. While not all employees come into a role with these skills perfected, they can be developed over time with the right learning and development program.

How do I help my team build soft skills or power skills?

The best way to build power skills is through continuous learning in the flow of work. Power skills don’t come naturally to everyone, but with ongoing reflection, learning, and practice any employee can hone these skills.

Trying to hone numerous power skills at once can be overwhelming. Decide on a set of skills that align with your organization’s values and start there. Consider investing in an L&D platform that allows you to curate for learning outcomes that are important to your organization.

It’s also been proven that manager involvement increases the likelihood that employees engage with skills development opportunities, so get your leadership team involved in the conversation.

To learn more about how Verb can help your team develop power skills and hone their leadership abilities with soft skills training, schedule time to speak with a Verb learning expert.

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