Project Management

How Much are Soft Skills Worth?

Isn’t it time for the greater project management community to demonstrate the value of soft skills? Communication, decision-making / problem-solving, self-management, teamwork, professionalism, leadership, the list goes on. But “the list” isn’t showing up on enough résumés these days, says Lynda Bourne writing for Voices on Project Management. As a report conducted for McDonald’s UK states, a lack of soft skills and of soft skills knowledge is affecting economic productivity.

Hard Facts on Soft Skills

The McDonald’s study finds that managers tend to possess soft skills, but do not adequately invest in soft skills for their employees. This is attributed to the lack of measurable value perceived in soft skills by companies. Soft skills represent one fifth of the skills category that is itself one of the five drivers of economic productivity, along with investment, innovation, entrepreneurship, and competition:

Soft skills matter and contribute significantly to productivity. But there is a measurable—and widening—skills gap, and soft skills are underrepresented in skills development initiatives probably because results are hard to measure. Changing this attitude is a major challenge for organizations, business and individuals seeking career development.

Most employers rate soft skills as being more important than academic credentials. Unfortunately, employers also perceive a chronic shortage of soft skills on most résumés and job applications. With millions of potential employees being held back by soft skills deficits, isn’t it time to demonstrate the value of soft skills?

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