Employers around the globe are increasingly seeking employees who fit a corporate culture over skill set.  That’s not to undervalue specific skills and training.  Rather it speaks to trending in hiring and training employees.  A recent study by Video Arts finds Leadership and Development professionals are training on soft skills more than Leadership development.  What does this mean in the workplace?

A shift from hard skills to soft skills indicates the greater recognized value of Emotional Intelligence and good judgement in the workplace.  Employers are running on tight budgets with a decreased number of workers as businesses rebuild post-recession.  There is no wiggle room for hiring two people instead of one.  There’s limited space for employees especially employees who don’t fit in with the team.

Every company has a culture driven not only by the management but by the type of people attracted to that company.  Software development companies are famous for their blend of hard skills like programming and soft skills of work ethic and teamwork.  They invented working from home and casual Friday.  The rest of corporate America is still trying to figure out that trend of empowerment and engagement.

Soft skills are often overlooked for the fact that they are difficult to measure.  You can’t directly measure work ethic or teamwork but you can measure output of production.  Developing soft skills unleashes a power to motivate employees to be more productive.  Allowing employees to work autonomously under a shared vision can easily result in the team members pulling all-nighters to complete a project- just like the software programmers have been doing for years.

A business that values soft skills, including individual recognition and treating employees as people first and employees second, may look, at least to outsiders, a bit chaotic and mismanaged, but the results are nothing short of amazing!  The reality may be that the CEO is sitting in the middle of the production floor his or her employees.  The CEO wants to be heard and seen and isn’t afraid to address employee concerns.  This eliminates rumors and negativity from spreading across the organization.

Your business may not be fully embracing what is described above- at least not all in one day or week or even year.  The point is to value employees and prospective employees as more than just their skills and/or college degree.