To determine the link between soft skills and job performance to inform the development of an employee competency framework to validate the impact that soft skills have on employee performance.
- Effective listening/communication skills is one of the leading soft skills recommended to employees. One survey found that poor listening amounted to $37 billion lost among Fortune 500 companies.
- Poor listening results in lost contacts, inaccurate reporting, obstructed workflow, rework, unhappy customers and reduced productivity.
- Communication can be verbal, nonverbal, visual and written.
- The number one soft skill demanded of employees is communication.
- Better communication and listening skills can help build a better rapport with customers, leading to increased business performance.
- Communication barriers are estimated to cost businesses $62.4 million on average, each.
- The same survey found that, "companies with leaders who possess effective communication skills produced a 47 percent higher return to shareholders over a five-year period."
- Similarly, "SIS International Research (NY) reports that 70% of small to mid-size businesses are losing money due to ineffective listening and communication. They estimate that a business with 100 employees, for example, spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communication which translates to an annual cost of over $500,000 each year."
- Bettering problem solving skills makes an employee more efficient — saving them and the company time.
- Problem-solving can help one become an expert in their field, making them invaluable to clients by offering shortcuts and direction.
- Under the problem-solving umbrella are several other soft skills: critical thinking, creativity, initiative, persistence, flexibility and self-discipline.
- Embracing problem solving is a key employee trait as technology changes the business world. Pushing employees to take risks or move outside their comfort zones will help grow these critical problem solving skills.
- Utilizing other soft skills, like listening, empathy, critical thinking and others, will help train out fear and be able to approach problems calmly, rationally and logically.
- We couldn't find any specific quantitative evidence on how improving problem solving can increase the bottom line, but the evidence above points to better problem solving employees work faster/more efficiently and bring better expertise to the table. They also offer value-added benefits to the company and clients.
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