Both hard and soft skills are important to succeed in the workplace. These two go hand in hand, as hard skills are ones that bring about immediate value and output, while soft skills are needed for growth and development.
If you are an employer or a manager of a team or department in your company, you want nothing more than working with people who possess both of these skills set.
But, in a less than ideal world, that can be hard to find. It can be tempting to take preference over candidates possessing hard skills. After all, who doesn’t want employees who contribute a lot to the company, even just on their first week?
Here’s the thing: there is no need to pick between hard and soft skills. These are both skills, which means, with the right training, anyone can possess them. For this article, we will share with you why hard skills are important, and how to develop them over time.
Hard skills are used on a daily basis
Simply put, hard skills are important for the basic fact that these are the skills needed to perform job functions on a day to day basis.
A carpenter needs to know how to use a hammer, and an accountant needs to know how spreadsheets work. Of course, there are more complicated and advanced skills than these, but you get the picture.
Regardless if you hire interns, fresh graduates, or veterans in the industry, there are certain tools of the trade that they need to be familiar with.
Hard skills bring profit
Because these are the skills used on a daily basis, hard skills are what gets the job done, which in turn brings in the profits for the company.
Following the examples above, a carpenter requires his skills (and tools) to finish construction and repair projects, and an accountant needs his own skills and knowledge to perform an audit.
Without these skills, employees cannot perform their duties, which means no output (or at least quality ones that pass industry standards), which in turn means no profits.
These being said, hard skills are constantly changing. It’s the normal course of things, and with rapid technological advancements here and there, it can be hard to catch up. The skills, the knowledge, the tools, and the software we need today may be obsolete 5 or 10 years from now.
Which is why, it is important to constantly train your employees on the newest up and coming things in the workplace. Whether it’s a new software or program, a new tool to use, or a new script to follow, and so on, constant and up to date training is a must.
More than that, employees need the opportunity for self development, which you can help by providing books and other reading materials, online courses, self help tools, and other software.
Finally, if your company can afford it, a great way to assist your employees in their growth and development in the industry is by offering assistance programs for continuing education. These can be funding and grants for short courses and certification programs, or scholarships for secondary or postgraduate degrees in fields that are related to your industry.
A fully knowledgeable and competently skilled employee will perform well in the workplace, so don’t forget to take good care of them, and help them develop their skills!