There are so many areas that can unlock a team members potential. Communication skills training is one of them. It is almost impossible to find some area of a business that could not be improved by better communication skills within your workforce.
A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 73 percent of employers want candidates with strong written communication skills. And it’s not just verbal communication, either. As a manager, how many times do you shake your head at a poorly-spelled email? To say that bad grammar can cost you business is an understatement.
As day-to-day communications become digitised, strong writing skills are a must for staff to be able to present themselves in a professional manner. And yet, improving a team’s soft skills – communication, negotiation, problem solving and more – are often last on a manager’s list when it comes to online training.
The reality? You’ll get better value for money as well as long-term tangible improvements when you invest in soft-skills training.
The ManPowerGroup annual Talent Shortage survey covers 39,195 businesses across 43 countries every year. The report found that nearly half of employers surveyed have trouble finding staff with the skills they require.
Retaining staff is especially difficult in the care industry. In fact, the survey found that health care professionals were the third-most difficult sector to recruit in.According to SkillsForce, the turnover rate is a shocking 30.7 percent, which represents 390,000 people leaving the care sector in the last 12 months.
The big challenge for managers is when poor communication skills can turn a healthy disagreement between staff into a full-blown argument. In high stress environments, they can become demotivated, upset patients or even lose you clients. Fortunately, these are skills that can be taught.
Training should cover three major skill-sets to create solid communication skills:
- Verbal skills. Good quality verbal skills are useful everywhere, but the benefits lie between teams and their management. Choosing words wisely, focusing on the positives, and giving clear instructions can help to make your line of reasoning more persuasive. Employees and managers with the best verbal skills can defuse conflicts speak directly to one another without getting into unnecessary squabbles. These skills are perfectly transferable to other situations, too, like sales and customer service.
- Visual communication. We live in a world where data is even more important to creating and demonstrating business growth. The Harvard Business Review found that visual communication is “a must-have skill for all managers, because more and more often, it’s the only way to make sense of the work they do.” Thankfully, the wide availability of free tools like Google Sheets means you can turn spreadsheets into useful charts with a few simple clicks. And there’s nothing like a well-conceived, well-presented set of data for convincing those holding the purse-strings to give you a favourable decision.
- Nonverbal skills. Nonverbal skills are often overlooked because they’re hard to quantify.And yet, they are the first thing a client will notice when your team arrives. It’s estimated that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. For example, eye contact can demonstrate politeness, facial expressions and tone of voice can express sympathy or agreement, and spacial awareness showcases respect. Positive nonverbal skills is the difference between trustworthy business allies and noncaring intruders with a hard-sell agenda. It really is that important.
In short, communication skills training helps to keep staff together for longer, and also attracts new employees to your team.