The demand for front line employees with well-developed soft skills has never been higher. While technical skills have been and will always remain important, soft skills are the crucial capabilities for employees working in any industry. From retail to manufacturing, strong soft skills has become the number one requirement for incoming or newly hired employees.1

Encompassing everything from teamwork, communication, professionalism, to decision making, soft skills are essential to the day to day operations of any business. However, more and more, employers are finding that new and tenured employees are lacking these must-have skills. In a Penn Foster study, 64% of employers noticed a significant skills gap between the soft skills employees possessed in comparison to the soft skills the employer desired.

One way to remedy this skills gap, and the issues in workplace productivity arising from it, is employer-sponsored soft skills training. Soft skills training can help employees develop the soft skills they need for the workplace, while potentially increasing employees' engagement. These soft skills are invaluable across any work environment, for example, employees with strong communication skills often are able to work more effectively internally and with customers, which in turn improves their productivity. This productivity, stemming from newly improved soft skills, is positively linked to higher engagement as well as lower turnover rates.

For industries that traditionally suffer from low employee engagement and higher turnover rates, such as retail or hospitality, soft skills training can be uniquely beneficial. Not only can soft skills training increase an employee's individual engagement and capabilities, like DXL employee Marckus Perez found, but it can ultimately improve the company's overall efficiency, too. Importantly, soft skills training for your employees does not have to be time-consuming. The training solutions that work best are programs that allow learners the flexibility to work at their own pace, on their own time.

Penn Foster offers our own online, self-paced soft skills training program, the Career Readiness Bootcamp. Click the link below to watch our brief video outlining how this training program can improve soft skills in your employees: 

Watch Video Sources: (1) America's Skills Challenge: Millennials and the Future

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