The Soft Skills Gap – Do You Have One?
When your workforce has lots of technical skills but an absence of soft skills, you have a soft skills gap. Soft skills are what accompany the hard skills, and help your organization use its technical expertise to full advantage.
- If you’re really good at getting clients, and not so good at retaining them, chances are you have a soft skills gap.
- If you have lots of staff turnover and have to keep retraining people, chances are you have a soft skills gap.
- When you have lots of managers but no real leaders – that’s a soft skills gap.
In fact, whenever you are unable to capitalize on the wealth of knowledge, experience and proficiency within your team, then you should be assessing the level of communication and interpersonal skills that are present in your organization.
The workplace has evolved an interpersonal dynamic that can’t be ignored. The acts of listening, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, and fostering an open and honest work environment all come down to knowing how to build and maintain relationships with people. It’s those relationships that allow people to participate fully in team projects, show appreciation for others, and enlist support for their projects.
It’s important for you to recognize the vital role soft skills play within your team and not only work on developing them within yourself, but encourage their development throughout the organization. Areas to examine and evaluate include: