Hard and Soft Skills in the Workplace
Until recently, businesses and corporations assigned two different categories to work skills:
- Hard Skills.
- And Soft skills.
For decades, businesses of all sizes have prioritized seeking out and retaining candidates with hard skills over soft skills.
However, in today’s workforce, business owners realize that soft skills aren’t just “nice-to-have.” They are now recognized as essential and are some of the most critical and in-demand job skills any leader, employee, or manager can have.
Let’s explore the differences in these skills and why power skills have had a noticeable rise in demand in today’s remote workforce.
What Are Hard Skills?
Hard skills are job-specific skills. At their core, they are “doing” skills or required skills you need to do your job effectively.
Hard skills are specific, easy to define, and measurable.
Examples of hard skills include:
Some require formal training like a bachelor’s degree, law degree, medical school, a Masters’s degree, a Ph.D. program, a CPA’s, and other three-letter acronyms. Other’s require certification programs, courses, or apprenticeships. In most cases, hard skills have clear-cut curriculums, learning paths, skills, and outcomes.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are less tangible personal abilities that can make you more effective in virtually any role. Some would say that soft skills indirectly enhance your expertise and potential in the workplace.
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are difficult to define and hard to measure but universal in applying to various jobs, careers, and industries.
Examples of soft skills include:
- Interpersonal skills and communication.
- Leadership and management capabilities.
- Character, integrity, and likeability.
Unfortunately, these skills aren’t as easy to track, incentivize, encourage, and reward. They can even be challenging to identify and easy to fake in the short term.
Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
In recent history, hard skills have been required or essential, whereas soft skills were preferred but not necessary.
In today’s revolutionized, modern, remote-working world ––– business’s are opening their eyes to the overwhelming value of soft skills. Further, they have seen that these previously overlooked traits can ultimately determine the success and growth of an employee, a team, or an entire organization.
Here’s the biggest takeaway.
What businesses and organizations around the globe have discovered is that almost anyone can learn a hard skill.
All you need is money, time, and a little work ethic.
On the other hand, soft skills are often innate and can be tough to develop, teach, coach, or acquire.
Employees could look at it this way: Hard skills will get your foot in the door and get you the job. Soft skills will keep you there.
What are Power Skills?
“Power skills” is the rebranding of “soft skills.”
As businesses and organizations have realized the intangible yet powerful potential of “soft skills,” they’ve learned that the phrase “soft skills” is a misnomer.
“Power skills” more accurately defines these game-changing, X-factor-like skills and qualities that can take a new employee, a team, a department, or an entire company from “sufficient” or “good” to “superb” and “excellent.”
Corporations have discovered that power skills are typically the most reliable predictors for success, growth, longevity, retention, workplace happiness, and positive organizational outcomes.
Top Power Skills for Employees, Managers, and Leaders
What are some of the most practical and in-demand power skills?
Some of the top examples of power skills include:
- Relationship building
- Communication: verbal, non-verbal, written
- Management and Leadership
- Critical thinking
- Creative problem-solving
- Emotional intelligence
- Work ethic
- Positive attitude
- Time management
- Goal setting
You can see how power skills have value in most, if not all, professional settings. Though they may be intangible and difficult to quantify, power skills are the indirect factors that radiate from your employees throughout an organization.
Power skills training and development classes are the hidden gems that boost performance, productivity, workplace satisfaction, and retention.
Level Up Your Power Skills at Alliance Career Training Solutions
It has become abundantly clear that power skills are valuable and critical to any business or organization. Employees who want to be successful in today’s competitive job market should hone and develop these skills.
Business owners and managers have already shifted their focus to hiring candidates with solid power skills while simultaneously developing them within their organization.
If you are interested in leveling up your, your team, or your company’s power skills for greater workplace productivity, efficiency, and results, our team at ACTS can help.
Check out our complete schedule of Power Skills classes below, and sign up today:
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
- Communication Skills
- Team Building
- Conflict Resolution
- Time Management
- Emotional Intelligence for Business Professionals