SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Why Investing in People can Improve your Bottom Line

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT: Why Investing in People can Improve your Bottom Line

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Because technical skill may no longer be enough, do your employees have the skills they need to ensure your business stays competitive and ready for whatever new challenges the market presents? 

Regardless of what terminology is used, people skills, social skills, interpersonal skills—it boils down to your ability to communicate and work well with others.

Why are people skills more important than ever?

First, the number of jobs that require people skills has grown, and those jobs are relatively higher-paying.* While technology has automated hard-skills-only jobs in many areas, artificial intelligence hasn’t matured enough to automate people-skills-intensive jobs.

Second, the pace of business change is faster than it’s ever been, with markets more unpredictable than ever before. The ability to keep up with the pace or pivot as needed may be more dependent on people skills than on context-specific hard skills that lose their relevancy over time.

Before you invest more of your time and money in hard skills training, you may want to take a closer look at the increasing value of people skills. Then ask yourself, can you really afford not to invest in them?

1. People skills are transferable and evergreen.

Unlike technical skills that may only be relevant to a single company or industry—or even just for a specific period of time—people skills have lifetime value. The ability to communicate well and collaborate with others never loses relevancy, regardless of industry trends that come and go or the strategic direction your company takes. On a personal level, because people skills are universally useful, they can help you make a smoother transition into new industries or even a new career.

2. People skills can improve your ability to learn other skills.

Learning a new skill requires you to listen, ask questions, clarify your understanding, and often reinforce new skills in practice with others. The better you are at active listening, asking thoughtful questions of others, communicating clearly, and collaborating with team members—the more likely it is that you’ll learn faster and also remember more of what you learned.

3. People skills can bridge generational differences.

Millennials now make up the largest proportion of the American workforce and their assimilation has caused a definite stir. There’s no denying that different generations can have different work habits, attitudes, values, and even ways of communicating on the job. Because of this, organizations are struggling with how to prevent those differences from affecting morale and productivity. If you want to bridge generational divides, give people the shared tools and frameworks they need to communicate more effectively with one another.

4. People skills can bridge philosophical or personality disagreements.

People who work together don’t always agree with or like one another. But disagreements can be overcome—or at least made respectfully productive—when people possess the active listening skills and the communication tools needed to align and respond to colleagues’ concerns or comments without getting defensive.

5. People skills can lessen the pain of change.

Change is hard. There’s no getting around it. If you’ve ever lived through an acquisition/merger, a shift in company or brand strategy, a massive product launch on a global scale, layoffs, management changes, etc.—you know some amount of pain is inevitable. While you can never completely eliminate it, you can manage it with clear and purposeful communication.

6. People skills can improve performance.

Poor communication costs companies a lot of money, time, and resources. Alternatively, effective communication is a proven competitive advantage. Companies that have highly effective communications practices are 1.7 times more likely to financially outperform their peers.

MUST HAVE FOR 2020: TOP 5 SOFT SKILLS & TOP 10 HARD SKILLS

THE ACTION PLAN

Well, before going all ballistic on the world wide web searching for online skills development programs on Udemy or Coursera, let’s take a structured and planned approach.

Step 1: Identify the Now

By using Skills Exploration you will be able to identify where your team is today and have a skills map rather than intuition before looking into the skills development to individuals or teams.

Step 2: Skill Paths

Once the skill gaps have been identified, skill paths can be developed based on either the individual’s career journey or the organizations/teams objective depending on how you want to incentivize their development.

Step 3: Skills Development

Once the skill paths have been identified, we can put together a series of online skills development programs to help your teams or individuals reach their goals.

So if you are looking to improve company morale considering the unprecedented times we are living in or to provide organizational goals based skills development training to the current team members or to even extend a helping hand by sponsoring online skills development courses for people who have been made redundant, please contact us to explore how investing in people can pay huge dividends.