According to research, training employees in soft skills—including communications-based skills—boosts productivity and retention levels by 12% and delivers a 250% return on investment based on higher productivity and retention.
Here are six communications-based skills you’ll want to ensure your employees have in 2019—especially your organization’s leadership.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Emotionally intelligent employees can communicate clearly and calmly with others on a day-to-day basis, as well as during heated and more stressful situations. They also actively build positive rapport with their colleagues, clients, business partners, and leaders. And they are much more collaborative and receptive to others’ ideas and concerns in all matters.
Read “4 Reasons Why Your Employees Need Emotional Intelligence Skills” and “Step by Step: 3 Ways to Train for Emotional Intelligence” for more information.
2. Conflict Resolution
It’s difficult for people to resolve conflicts with another person when situations are tense and stressful and stakes are high. However, you’ll want to make sure your employees know how to respectfully and effectively communicate with others—including colleagues, managers, clients, and partners—whenever a conflict arises because conflicts are inevitable.
3. Solicit and Give Feedback Effectively
Employees should know how to ask for feedback when they need it, as well as submit feedback to others when it’s necessary. However, they should know how to do this without being rude, overbearing, condescending, or passive aggressive. And they should learn how to do this constructively so that all parties involved actually end up benefiting from the feedback being solicited or offered.
4. Nonverbal Cues
Around 50% of human communication is transferred via nonverbal cues. One’s posture, stance, hand gesticulations, tone, vocal volume, etc., can offer insight into what he or she is thinking or feeling. So, make sure your communications training also includes insight into how to decipher most common nonverbal cues, as they do account for a large part of how people communicate.
5. Offer Praise and Recognition
Sometimes people get so caught up with addressing problems and offering criticism at work that they forget to stop and recognize someone and his or her efforts when things go well, which is important. Studies have indicated that when managers praise and recognize their employees, and employees praise and recognize their peers, employee engagement and productivity levels increase.
6. Active Listening
Many people consider communication as the act of talking or relaying a message to someone else. However, active listening is more important than talking when attempting to effectively communicate with someone else. Why?
Because you can’t engage in effective communication until you first fully understand where the person talking to you is coming from, what his or her concerns are, etc. So, as your employees participate in their communications training, make sure they are also practicing their active listening skills.
If you want your employees to be competent in the most critical soft skills this year, make sure they’re well-versed in the six communications-based skills outlined above.