It is easy to get a foot in the door based on a degree, certification or years of experience, but how do you keep and excel in a position once your technical skills have gotten you there? This is where soft skills come in. Soft skills are what most would refer to as your “people skills.” Knowing how to empathize and communicate with others; coaching, mentoring and motivating other employees; and time and conflict management are all attributes of a leader in today’s workforce and are all soft skills.

Soft skills gap leads to:

  • High employee turnover.
  • Low client retention.
  • Lack of leadership.

Soft skills training leads to:

  • Effective communication methods.
  • Heightened self-awareness.
  • Superior conflict management.

Fostering or acquiring soft skills is not something that simply happens overnight, and it is negatively impacting our industry by creating a soft skills gap. This gap, where we do not have the proper interpersonal skills amongst leaders and staff, causes the highest percentage of unnecessary operating costs, more than what the lack of technical skills and proper equipment combined typically costs. Indelta Learning Systems LLC’s research determined 65 percent of unnecessary operating costs can be directly attributed to a lack of interpersonal skills. Developing those skills through training allows employees to become more effective and efficient leaders, which leads to a more effective and efficient workforce.

Soft skills play a vital role in team settings, and our industry is a prime example of how teamwork needs to become the priority.

The soft skills gap is slowly being closed with more opportunity for training and growth, but companies have to make it a required part of their training in order to see real change. Employee turnover, client retention and lack of leadership all stem from the soft skills gap because there is a communication disconnect throughout the organization. The workforce may know the technical duties of their jobs and perform them well, but lack the skills to work with their peers in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

In our industry, technical skills are and will always be No. 1 on the list of priorities when reviewing a resume, but it has become a critical priority of most industry executives to consider soft skills an equally important quality in bringing on new employees, fostering employee retention, improving leadership and building a meaningful culture that promotes growth within the company.

Soft skills training gives employees the tools necessary to develop effective communication methods, improve their ability to foster a creative team environment and become more efficient, safe and productive in the workplace. With training, employees become more self-aware of how they are affecting those they interact within the workplace, from their own employees to management. Becoming more self-aware fosters a new comfort level when managing conflict, giving and receiving feedback, and handling challenging situations.

Soft skills play a vital role in team settings, and our industry is a prime example of how teamwork needs to become a priority in order to keep everyone safe and on the same page.

Our mission is to build safe workplaces by improving the quality and integrity of the workforce. Through soft skills training, the workforce becomes a more cohesive team equipped with the proper tools to communicate effectively and work efficiently in order to create a safe environment for those around them.

For more information, visit www.hasc. com/lead or email