Why Soft Skill Development Should be a Priority to Mid-Market CEOs

 Create a competitive edge, attract and keep top people, and boost profitability by investing in developing soft skills.

Create a competitive edge, attract and keep top people, and boost profitability by investing in developing soft skills.

It goes without saying that effective people skills are crucial in every job. However, spending money on soft skill development is a game-changer if you are a mid-market CEO. The advantages of improving people skills include everything from higher profitability to greater customer satisfaction. This article will examine the significance of investing in soft skills and provide actionable tips for fostering these talents in your workforce.  

 According to Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation, and the Stanford Research Center, having well-developed soft and people skills accounts for 85% of work performance. In contrast, technical abilities and knowledge (hard skills) account for just 15% of employment success.

Soft skills include interpersonal communication and interaction, teamwork, public speaking, and problem-solving. And they differ from hard skills, which are specialized skills primarily used in technical fields, such as coding or accounting. Mid-market CEOs who invest in soft skills have a competitive edge over rivals whose workforce may lack these essential interpersonal skills.

Knowing how to interact effectively with customers and developing strong connections with other stakeholders are a few benefits of focusing on soft skill development.

Mid-market CEOs who want to invest in developing their workforce’s soft skills should consider implementing a few key strategies. First and foremost, they must invest in employee education and training programs that focus on soft skill development. Common examples include online courses, webinars, and on-site workshops. You can also set up a mentoring program, offering mentees insights on successfully leading teams and cultivating good working connections with partners and clients.

A recent Harvard Business Review article lists five essential soft skills that can be developed in any job:

  1. Effective communication – there are always ample opportunities for you to practice your communication skills, both speaking and listening. Start by adjusting your communication approach and style based on the audience and note the feedback. What worked and what didn’t work?
  1. Teamwork – there is always a diverse mix of people in most teams with differing personalities and perspectives. This offers you an excellent opportunity to improve your interpersonal and conflict-resolution skills, problem-solving, collaboration, listening, and leadership skills. 
  1. Influencing without authority – many of us are in positions where we don’t have the ultimate authority. This allows you to work on your persuasion and influence skills with those above and below you.
  1. Problem-Solving – every job has complex problems and challenges that require creative strategies. Being skilled at brainstorming solutions and alternatives, along with logic-based reasoning, will only improve your future growth prospects.
  1. Leadership – any leadership position has you continually using and refining your soft skills.

By adopting these tactics, as a mid-market CEO, you’re able to create an environment where employees gain the key soft skills necessary for career advancement. By focusing on these skills now, you will reap the payoff in the long run with more engaged employees with the soft skills necessary to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

As a mid-market CEO, you are responsible for creating an engaging workplace and ensuring employees gain the critical soft skills needed to succeed. By investing in these skills now, you will see the long-term benefits of having more motivated and knowledgeable workforce who do not hesitate to take on challenges.

Additional articles that may be of interest:

Please let me know if you would like to learn more about how I can help you develop exceptional leaders with transformational learning experiences: charles@ims-online.com

Charles Good 
President, Institute for Management Studies
775-322-8222  |  ims-online.com  |  charles@ims-online.com

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