The “Soft Skills Gap”: Why Successful Businesses Need to Overcome It

According to the Government’s National Center for Education Statistics, across the entire country, more than 3 million graduates join the job market every year. The young workforce has so much to offer — from new energy and perspectives to unconventional ideas and technical skills. Unfortunately, even as the graduation rates continue to reach all-time highs, employers still find the graduates unprepared to succeed in the workforce due to a lack of soft skills. Soft skills are personal attributes, such as strong work ethics, dependability, and positive attitude; all which allow employees to interact successfully with other team members. The presence of technical skills and lack of these skills is one example of the “soft skill gap”.  Other instances when you might see a soft skills gap are:

  • When you have several managers, but no real leaders
  • If you have high employee turnover and have to keep retraining employees
  • If you are very good at acquiring new business, but not so good at retaining clients

Thankfully, business coaching provides unprecedented opportunity to fill the looming soft skills gap in the modern business environments. In this article, we take a look at how professional coaching we provide is helping businesses overcome the soft skills gap.

Nurture Problem Solving

Regardless of industry, it is imperative for young and seasoned employees to possess the ability to take charge of virtually any situation and guide others through if they have difficulty. For example, a simple problem like a printer paper jam can bring office operations to a halt if no one takes the initiative to address the issue.  As simple as this may seem it was through our professional coaching, that an organization we worked with realized  that nurturing employees  resourcefulness, independent thinking  quick decision making that they  can handle many problems both small and largethat  arise.

Encourage Teamwork

Team spirit is another soft skill that most graduates who are joining the workforce have not fully developed. Ideally, every organization should have different personalities and be willing to work together as a team. This fosters learning and creativity. We have seen how executive coaching can be helpful in avoiding unhelpful conflict. Professional coaches support employees with finding ways  to be cooperative, work well in teams or groups, and take a leadership position when there is a need.

Improve Communication Skills

Employees should have the ability to express their cases and needs in a way that builds relationships with vendors, customers, and colleagues. This is arguably the most important personal attribute in nearly every workplace and every industry. We have found that a business coaching program that is tailored to help employees, especially those with a naturally shy disposition, it’s easy to develop effective communication skills such as listening and being verbally articulate while also taking into account cultural diversity challenges.

Develop A Strong Work Ethic

Work ethic is an innate skill that is relatively difficult to quantify. However, it is imperative for employees to have a strong work ethic to help the company achieve its goals in parallel to the individual successfully attaining their goals.  With the help of business coaching, employers learn the best ways to boost strong work ethic besides the standard ones of monetary rewards, incentive-based pay, or bonuses when employees hit a specified target. These will help employees feel motivated and dedicated to their efforts in the job role.

In conclusion, it’s critical for organizations to understand the impact of the soft skills gap and focus on developing those skills in their employees. A rigorous and systematic approach to coaching will equip employees with the right soft skills and boost career development in the long run. Business coaching and career development programs are the key to  bridge the soft skills gap, maintain the continuous development of both leaders and emerging leaders, thereby reducing turnover and increasing bottom-line results!

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