What Lack of Soft Skills Competence Can Do to Your Team.- Beyond ChatGPT’s Capabilities.
No matter how you think of professional interactions at work, an action that shows a lack of empathy by your team can derail your organizational goals. Most businesses that fail to embrace the soft skills development of their team, struggle to keep staff loyal, suffer higher attrition levels and are most likely to be sued by employees for workplace toxicity, sexual harassment, and a lack of compliance to diversity, inclusion, and equity goals.
Organizations like these are waiting to explode (if you doubt me, I will suggest that you read about Uber for reference). No doubt, we want higher performing staff or team, however, without proper cohesion and intentional development of a conducive environment, your team will struggle to stay committed to a common goal which is to serve your clients better for improved results and profitability.
Now, let’s do the mathematics. What is the total cost of an unsettled workforce? I will give you some scenarios.
Scenario 1: Leaving a meeting without permission ( insubordination- lack of respect to laid down protocols). Messi would be out of action for two weeks because he went to Saudi Arabia without seeking the permission of his boss.
Implication: When a leader or staff leaves a meeting ( no matter how important) without taking permission or abruptly without explaining, what he/she communicates is that his/her time is more important than whatever the group are doing. This shows a lack of courtesy. A discourteous staff member can cause a business immense loss. Would you want a staff member to destroy all the work you have put in to make your brand appealing to your market?
Scenario 2: Laughing at a colleague that just got laid off ( lack of empathy- one of the emotional intelligence skill sets that are scarce within the corporate space). Remember that tables do turn, and they turn very fast. You might take the boot at some point too. Imagine how it will feel to be laughed at publicly for losing your job. Empathy shows that we care and that we feel the other person’s pain even if we don’t want to put ourselves in their shoes ( which is fine). Encouraging toxicity such as this would damage the culture of your organization( I will write more on that in another article) and would drive the best talents out of your organization. If care is not taken, your organization might be the next one to be laughed at.
Implication: Taking pride in other peoples’ misfortune does not show a sign of brotherliness and is unethical. This can breed disloyalty among staff members and lead to disenchantment and loss of enthusiasm for productive activities.
Scenario 3: Hiding information from subordinates ( lack of delegation and empowerment- breeds a culture for the lazy and unmotivated workforce). I once had a boss that does everything by herself or finds fault in all her subordinates’ assignments. Guess what? She screams a lot and has lost the respect of her team. A lack of delegation and empowerment will turn your organization into a mediocre company. Steve Jobs once said that it makes no sense to employ intelligent people and restrict them from using their intelligence in improving the organization’s fortunes. Why would you employ someone that you do not trust their capabilities?
Implication: Information drives decision-making, however, decision-making done with half-baked information can backfire and cost your organization a lot. One of the ways to deal with this is by identifying mentors and empowering them to make decisions that can be mitigated and built upon.
Scenario 4: Telling subordinates to do your work ( lack of integrity and buck-passing- this erodes the integrity of the supervisor). Most team leaders in many organizations pass their work to their subordinates because of the power and authority that comes with their roles and position. This is a bad signal and must not be encouraged in any organization.
Implication: A boss is a leader and leaders ought to set examples for others to follow. Abdicating your duty and shoving them down the throat of your subordinates amount to taking advantage of their position. This smirks of a lack of accountability and a dent in the organization’s leadership structure.
There is a lot that organizations need to know about human attitudes toward organizational productivity, and one of the steps to take is enrolling them in soft skills training. The reward outweighs the investment. Soft skills cannot be automated, and technology is not going to replace that ( at least shortly). Organizations that undermine the impact of soft skills development will struggle to attract the right talents and will struggle to justify their existence. This is beyond ChatGPT’s capabilities and is not good for stakeholders’ expectations.