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Employee soft skills include such attributes as strong communication skills, the ability to solve complex problems, collaboration, and creativity. Increasingly, employers are looking at the soft skills a potential employee brings to the table when making a job offer. While those that don’t show evidence of employee soft skills might still land the job, employers are starting to invest in emotional intelligence (EQ) training to help develop them.

The explosive growth of artificial intelligence (AI) is part of the reason for this growing trend. With AI taking over many of the manual functions formerly performed by humans, workers have more time to devote to creative pursuits and strategic planning. These endeavors require team members with strong emotional intelligence (EQ) and the ability to work well with people from all backgrounds. A 2017 survey conducted at the University of Michigan indicates more than a 250 percent return on investment and a 12 percent higher employee retention rate for employers who participate in this type of training.

Bringing EQ Training to Your Business

Perhaps you’re considering EQ training for your employees. Although you know it’s effective, you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, the answer to that question is as easy as looking in the mirror. You need to ensure that you’re modeling to your employees the type of emotional intelligence you would like them to have, starting with a genuine sense of empathy.

When you display empathy to your employees, they can’t help but treat customers the same way. The best definition of empathy in business is the ability to listen to others and attempt to view the situation from their point of view. Leaders who do this have a competitive advantage over those who can only see their own viewpoint. Employees have greater respect for them and tend to work harder to earn their respect in return.

The type of soft skills desired in a working environment will vary from one company to the next. It’s up to leadership to get together to determine whether they value creativity, collaboration, or other employee soft skills the most. They should also consider the reasons people give for leaving the company as well as the results of customer satisfaction surveys. Both can provide valuable information regarding which soft skills employees currently lack.

The next step is to decide the best method for teaching the desired soft skills to employees. Will it be through classroom lectures, one-on-one coaching, or a computer program that employees can complete at their leisure? This is a question best determined by human resources after conducting studies on the effectiveness other companies have experienced with each of these methods.

Hire Strong Candidates from the Start

Of course, the best way to reduce output when paying for training programs is to hire employees who have the desired soft skills in the first place. Using a personality testing algorithm is one option while switching to a style of interviewing that predicts future behavior is another. Palmetto Payroll can implement these changes for you by providing your company’s human resources function. We also offer numerous other administrative tasks to allow you the freedom to focus on growing your company. Please contact us today to learn more.