Why You Need an Upskilling Strategy That Focuses on Soft & Hard Skills

Upskilling is an essential consideration, both in a tight labor market and in anticipation of a recession on the horizon. Yet many employers don’t realize the full benefits of upskilling.

When you focus your organization’s upskilling efforts only on technical skills, you leave essential capabilities on the table.

Here’s why your upskilling plans should encompass both technical and transferable skills.

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Technical skills are also known as “hard” skills. They’re the abilities required to do a particular job in a particular way. Hard skills include knowledge of particular software platforms, use of tools and equipment, and how to perform specific tasks like setting up formulas in a spreadsheet.

Transferable skills are commonly called “soft” skills. These are the skills that underlie every successful endeavor. Soft skills include time management, conflict resolution, and the ability to plan and execute a task.

Why Your Teams Need Stronger Soft Skills

Despite their name, there’s nothing “soft” about the impact of transferable skills on your teams’ performance – or your company’s bottom line. Transferable skills are the how that affects what your team can achieve.

Perhaps the single most valuable soft skill in the upcoming decade is the ability to spot gaps in one’s own knowledge and find the resources needed to fill them. In other words, the number one soft skill you can give your teams is the ability to take charge of their own upskilling.

Upskilling for Transferable Skills

To build transferable skills into your upskilling practices:

  • Identify key transferable skills for each position. Which transferable skills have the biggest impact in each role? Focus on these skills while you create or choose an upskilling curriculum.
  • Use cross-team skill-building to improve these skills. Transferable-skill upskilling is a great time to build bonds between your teams. Team members can focus on learning a transferable skill while also seeing how that skill is used in roles other than their own.
  • Hire for transferable skills. When you bring new talent onto the team, look for candidates with experience and strength in the areas you want your team to learn. These new hires will add emphasis to your upskilling efforts and set an example.

Contact Employment Professionals Canada Today!

Need to expand your team’s skill set? Talk to the experienced staffing partners at Employment Professionals Canada. We’ll help you create a staffing plan that targets and addresses skill gaps, so your team always has the capabilities your organization needs when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.