Technology has arguably become the main driver behind corporate developments and innovations in the last decade. New products, processes and business norms are being developed with a focus on technology at such a rapid pace, that employees have been forced to keep adjusting their practices at an accelerated rate.
However, even with the increased proliferation of new technology, executives have noted that current skills gaps in the workplace are not confined to technical skills. Rather, data suggests that soft skills – creative thinking, communication and innovative collaboration – are more scarce in the corporate world than technical proficiency.
Chief Learning Officer recently reported that data from Adecco Staffing found that 44 percent of executive survey respondents noted that there is a soft skills gap at their organization. Just 22 percent stated that technical skills were lacking at their firms.
Developing soft skills is a difficult task for HR leaders to undertake. It can be challenging for these professionals to implement and measure how effective custom training programs can be, as these workers often must address a number of other responsibilities in the workplace. Therefore, going it alone when it comes to soft skills training is a challenge. Despite these common difficulties, the source found that 89 percent of respondents believe that corporate apprenticeships or training programs can help close the soft skills gap that is currently affecting their offices.
Employers need to act
According to Intuit, a number of studies and reports have shown that executives and managers tend to make complaints about soft skills related to professional etiquette, verbal communication, political savvy and the ability to accept critical feedback.
Although the source noted that it's important for employees to take the necessary steps to develop the skills, it can be difficult for individuals to notice their own flaws. For this reason, employers should invest in company training and development programs that focus on soft skill development for younger workers that may not have had the chance to work on such skills.
Instead of taking on this process alone, corporate leaders and HR professionals should work with a corporate training consultant to develop a soft skills training strategy. Each industry and job role require different soft skills and consulting organizations are experienced enough to know which skills are lacking in certain sectors. By partnering with these professionals, employers can take the necessary steps to close the soft skills gap.