They are referred to in different ways – communications skills, personality traits, soft skills. But whatever they are called, recent studies have shown that they are just as important to a company’s success as other more quantifiable business skills.
About 75 percent of those surveyed identified these employee skills as necessary to success. These skills include listening, persuading others, and working together. Moreover, in successful companies, about 85 percent of those surveyed said these skills were necessary for success.
These kinds of skills are just as important as other business skills in helping a company meet its goals, according to human resource managers. And companies that try to educate employees in such skills call them critical for their success.
The skills that companies most frequently work on with their employees include teamwork, the duties of leaders, coaching, time management, listening, verbal and written communication, and project management.
These skills not only are important for success, but also for adapting to changes in the business environment. When making a change, communication skills become especially important, not just to explain to employees what is happening, but to motivate them to work at the change, according to human resource advisors. These skills are also important when it comes to working with younger employees just entering the workforce. This generation of workers wants constant feedback, and so communication becomes even more important.
To encourage the development of these kinds of skills at your organization, the first thing to do is figure out what particular communication skills are most important to your business. Observe the star performers at the company and see how they use these skills. Someone at the executive level should be in charge of implementing the training program for these skills. It’s important to have someone at this level supporting the program because these skills are harder to measure quantitatively, and so it’s harder to show their value. But you also should try to measure the things that are measurable. Feedback from a range of co-workers can help to determine what particular skills an employee needs to work on. Surveys can help to get a sense of how well the lines of communication are working throughout the organization, as well as teamwork.
Then, target those specific skills which are most important to the success of your business or your department. For some, teamwork may be the key skills that needs improvement; for others, it may be time management or listening skills.
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