Currently estimated to be worth over £88 billion to the UK economy and set to rise dramatically over the next 5 years according to a recent report commissioned by McDonald's UK. That's a staggering 6.5% contribution to the UK economy per year.
Enormous changes in workplace ethics and customer perception now mean that Soft Skills development really is the difference that makes a difference in business and service.
Soft skills include the following and much more:
Communication / Decision Making / Commitment / Flexibility / Time Mangement / Leadership Skills / Creativity
Solution Finding / Responsibility / Team Building / Resilence / Conflict Resolution
The Soft Skills Gap – Do You Have One?
In simple terms, if your workforce has lots of technical skills but an absence of soft skills, then you have a soft skills gap. Soft Skills are what accompany the hard technical skills, and help your team use its expertise to the full advantage.
If you're not so good at retaining customers, then 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, then guess what... That's a soft skills gap.
In fact, whenever you are unable to pull together 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 business.
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 working 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 business growth, show appreciation for others, and support the customer experience.
Recognising the vital role that Soft Skills play within your team and creating a culture of Soft Skills development for the people in your business will put you at the forefront of your competitors and establish the very best environment for your staff and customers.
Are these values clearly visible in your workforce:
Strong Team Ethic
Adaptability & Flexibility
Coaching & Mentoring
The more of these things you see around you, the better people's soft skills are likely to be within your organisation. These all have a significant impact on the attitude a person brings to interactions with clients, customers, colleagues, supervisors, and other stakeholders. The more positive someone's attitude is, the better that person's relationships will be. That's what fosters great team performance, and leads people to contribute strongly to the business' vision and strategy. Oh, and if you have a problem with any of these then maybe it's worth giving us a call.