Why every supply chain needs soft skills

Every business needs skilled workers. When you're hiring for open positions, you're not going to choose someone who can't hold their own on the floor. They need to be knowledgeable and able to handle whatever comes their way. However, there's a set of skills that many schools and employers are overlooking in order to ensure new workers have the basic information they need to succeed. A group of abilities deemed "soft skills" can make or break your business depending on whether or not your employees have them.

A variety of skills needed for business
The so-called soft skills include communication, collaboration, empathy, time management and decision-making, among others. These are crucial when it comes to working in a professional setting. However, there's a large disparity between those skills and the ones that are actually required to do the job. While many people are learning the tools of the trade, they aren't being taught how to relate to their customers, suppliers and co-workers, Supply Management explained.

"There is a widespread recognition that these abilities separate the most successful workers and leaders from the average," Daniel Goleman, a psychologist who raised awareness for emotional intelligence, told the source. "This is especially true in roles like the professions and higher level executives."

Technical skills may help employers determine how someone will perform on the job, but they won't tell them how a potential hire will fit in at the company. If he or she doesn't have the right type of personality, that person probably isn't right for the business. Soft skills will show managers that employees can get along with the coworkers and clientele, think on their feet and communicate intelligently, all of which are especially appealing to corporations, according to The Associated Press.

Soft skills ensure company runs smoothly
Employers have realized that hard skills alone won't cut it and they have begun integrating new processes into their interviews for new hires. This may require applicants to work in teams, make presentations or solve problems, the AP explained. No longer are candidates just sitting in rooms, talking to current employees. They're getting hands-on experience related to the business while hiring managers get to observe how they deal with issues that may arise on a regular day in the office.

If companies make mistakes in their new employees, they may face deficiencies in productivity, competitiveness and profitability, the Development Economics report, "The Value of Soft Skills to the U.K. Economy," claimed. The lack of soft skills in one area will interfere with the rest of the supply chain.

"These soft skills are about the intangible elements of work, competencies that are about making a connection and building relationships," Sigi Osagie, a former CPO and author of "Procurement Mojo," told the source. "They are key given that procurement is a people-centric activity that sits between the enterprise and supply markets, both of which are organizations and all about people first and foremost."

Customer service is an important part of the supply chain. If employees are shy, arrogant, aggressive or condescending, your business is going to lose clientele. By ensuring everyone on staff has at least a small amount of soft skills, you will have workers who know how to handle any situation that comes their way. They'll be able to work with their peers and with customers to solve problems in the best way possible.

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