How Soft Skills training helps in Employee Engagement

Time and again, research has shown that increase in employee engagement has a direct and profound correlation on organizational performance in areas such as productivity, customer service and loyalty. Yet, a critical part of that engagement process—soft skills training—does not get as much attention as it should. While companies are happy to invest on enhancing the technical and functional skills of their employees by sending them to professional courses and other training methods, rarely do they pay attention to their soft skills training. The result: Business leaders today see a huge gap in communication, emotional and behavioral competence which in turn is hurting their productivity, increasing turnover and thereby impacting the bottom line. This has also created a lacuna in mid level leadership of most organizations.

It doesn’t help that soft skills are often hard to quantify. But in today’s fast changing digital VUCA world, soft skills are needed to effectively deal with a range of situations not just for front-line managers, but also for senior executives. The four major areas where soft skills play a major role are:         

Building relationships: Be it within the team, or with colleagues from other departments or the top brass, soft skills determine the quality of such relationships, which eventually feed into the employee’s overall work experience. Communication is the bedrock of all relationships as it allows us to share information and concerns, organize our lives and make decisions. It is the way we talk, listen and also about our body language. 

Maximizing team performance: While working towards a common goal, the emotional connect that an employee develops with the organization helps in driving the employee to go the extra mile to satisfy customers and meet organizational goals. If the employee is disengaged, then productivity suffers. Soft skills help the employees to solve problems, collaborate and organize themselves—critical skills that a team needs.      

Developing leadership: Leaders who are able to make a direct connection with the teams in a meaningful way have greater chances of having happier team mates. By understanding the importance of emotional intelligence, the leaders will be able to grow their team successfully. By the way, it is not just leading the way, but also having the courage to deal with negative attitudes of some team members.

Recognition of employees: Feedback, Mentoring & Coaching are all heavily dependent on soft skills. Telling an employee how much you value them, having regular feedback sessions where employees feel heard, using the right kind of tone and language will all help increase their motivation and engagement levels.

Remember, all your beliefs, perceptions, and assumptions influence each and every interaction at your workplace much more than you think. Hence, it is important to have a diverse perspective to be able to deal with any situation rationally. Developing emotional competence will help you understand your emotions better, helping you to be engaged & involved without affecting the relationships at work.  

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