Your people desperately need training to develop crucial skills

by | Dec 28, 2020

I’ve talked before about the crucial need for skills, not technical skills or coding skills or even trade labor skills. Those can all be taught and learned through courses and programs.

The training I’m talking about is what we traditionally label “soft skills.” Jeff Wiener, CEO of LinkedIn, continuously talks about the need for those soft skills, and how they’re critical in our ever-changing landscape. These skills include oral communication, written communication, team building, leadership, and time management.

92% of employers say that skill shortages is negatively affecting productivity, employee satisfaction, and turnover.

In addition, less than 40% of Millennials and 30% of Gen Z workers feel they have the skills they need to succeed.

Without those skills, Millennials and Gen Z workers will make the switch to a different employer to help get them ready in this new era, especially with many basic jobs being outsourced to other countries. What is left are jobs requiring creativity, enhanced communication, adaptability, emotional intelligence, and collaboration.

Seth Godin’s book Linchpin talks about the importance of having people who are crucial to the organization (a linchpin), but they’re not crucial because of hard, technical skills. It’s because of their ability to be innovative and creative. That’s where communication, team building, and leadership all come together.

It’s not about “I am the best coder that there is” or “I am the best financial analyst that there is.” It is about:

  • How am I communicating?
  • How am I inspiring?
  • How am I leading?
  • How am I getting the best out of my teammates and my direct reports?

Can you see how those skills can really cause an organization to catapult?

Most workers say their #1 and #2 reasons for feeling fulfilled in their jobs are doing work that is a good use of their strengths and gifts, and that they’re acknowledged for their work. Money and salary come below that.

So if you think about how your employees want to be fulfilled in their work and that they want to be acknowledged, what’s a great way to do that?

First, help everybody in the organization improve their communication, improve their leadership, and improve their team collaboration.

I’m going to feel much more fulfilled if I’m called upon to use my gifts and strengths in my job. What that means is my manager, my leader, my vice president, wherever I am in the organization, needs to know what my skills, strengths, and gifts are and utilize and maximize them appropriately. Then if I’m utilizing them and I get acknowledged for it, I am going to feel engaged, fulfilled, happy, and less likely to be looking for another organization to work for.

Why would I when I am getting my needs met? The internal needs of fulfillment and acknowledgement, and external needs of salary and benefits.

Does your organization focus on developing these crucial skills in your workforce? Is it even a conscious effort? Is there any kind of training or a mentoring program? What about your onboarding process? Do any of those things you currently have in place improve communication, leadership, team building, time management, creativity, innovation?

What if your organization actually focused some of your training, budget, time, and resources in developing, maximizing, and really getting the best out of your people?

It could be a cliche to “be all that you can be,” but if you think about it, deep down, isn’t that what each and every one of us really wants? If we’re aware of it, don’t we want to be able to use our skills and gifts, and for people to notice, and then to be able to continue to advance and feel worthwhile?

A few years ago, a friend was looking for a new job because her current job was “sucking the soul” out of her. When she talked to family and other friends, they told her that she should be grateful that she had a job and to just “suck it up” because that’s what a job is, something you have to do.

Since our company has the quite opposite view, I ask now, “What if your employees and staff actually liked coming to work?”

What if your employees come to work at your organization because they know what they’re doing makes a difference? They know that people appreciate what they do?

I truly believe that every single person in an organization, from the janitor all the way up to the CEO, can have that feeling that what they do makes a positive impact. It’s up to us as leaders in organizations to promote that concept, and to make sure it’s part of the culture. Start at the top, and then it works its way down. So then the vice presidents, then the directors, then the managers, and everybody on their team at each level feels seen, heard, and acknowledged because of what they do in the organization because of what they can offer.

Do you see the magic in that? Do you see that vision? Do you see the potential? What could your organization look like if that’s how your staff and employees felt? How would your day be different if that’s how YOU felt?

If you’d like to learn more or you’d like to delve into what could a culture and a strengths-based workplace could do for your company, let’s have a one-on-one complimentary consultation, and see what kind of magic we can create in your organization.


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