Power Skills are the Future of Talent Development

CoachHub · 16 August 2022 · 4 min read

A common misconception among HR leaders is that a company must simply offer competitive monetary benefits to be considered an attractive place to work. While competitive salaries, PTO and health care benefits are all factors that prospective employees consider before signing their contract, people are increasingly looking for benefits that do not necessarily have a tangible price tag―such as career mobility, leadership and talent development, work-life-balance and the company’s stance on DEI.

For example:

  • There are over 77% of voluntary turnovers that can be prevented, including factors like career development opportunities, work environment, management behavior, job characteristics, compensation, benefits, and work-life balance (HRD, 2022.) 
  • In the modern workplace, 88% of employees value work-life balance, mental health, and finding meaning over a steady check (Work Institute, 2019). 

As potential and current employees are shifting focus away from the “basic” benefits towards more holistic benefit offerings from HR, organizations have an opportunity to transform their talent development offering and help their employees develop and hone their power skills. In this article, we will break down ways that HR leaders can take their benefits packages to the next level in order to meet the diverse needs and priorities of their teams.

Prioritize resources that build critical skills and competencies

A 2022 Gartner survey revealed building critical skills and competencies will be HR leaders’ #1 priority in 2022. These skills and competencies incorporate not only technical “hard skills,” such as analytics, computer literacy, writing, or accounting, but also so-called “soft skills” such as empathy, self-awareness and inclusive communications. While once considered a “nice to have,” soft skills are becoming increasingly visible in conversations about overall business impact. Case in point, research shows that soft skills lead to a 12% increase in productivity and retention, with an ROI of 250%. 

While hard skills can be learned and improved on the job simply through experience and day-to-day work, soft skills often require more customized training and coaching. As HR leaders, it is more important than ever to ensure that your employees have the resources and support they need to grow both skill sets so that they will be not only productive individual contributors, but also collaborative and impactful team members.

HR leaders can provide support for their employees soft skill development through implementing learning and development initiatives such as:

  • Professional coaching (individual, group, and/or team coaching)
  • Employee resource groups
  • Mentorship programs
  • Corporate training sessions
  • And/or combinations of all of the above for maximum impact.

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Changing the narrative: Soft skills have become power skills

In today’s world, foundational soft skills are more important than ever before. Research indicates that over 80% of companies consider soft skills to be the most important attributes for leadership development (DDI 2021). As a result, the term “soft skills” has evolved into “foundational” or “power skills.” This is because these skills help employees―and their organizations―transcend peers who may have the same technical background by excelling in ways that are more foundational to long-term success when it comes to teamwork, leadership and innovation.

However important these attributes are to the modern workplace, one study reveals that 59% of hiring managers in the U.S. think finding candidates with these skills is difficult. So, where is the disconnect? An argument can be made that because these skills have not traditionally been highlighted in the corporate world as desirable or essential qualifications, there has been little done in universities or entry-level positions to develop them. This is why it is critical for organizations to ensure that they are not only offering learning and development opportunities to executives and C-suite employees, but also to people at all levels so that great habits and positive behaviors can be prioritized from day one.

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Modern talent development: How to learn and develop power skills

Learning power skills is different from learning traditional and technical skills. The development and implementation of these skills often requires behavior change, so consistent practice, reflection, feedback and measurement of progress are essential. That said, while large-scale corporate training programs can provide a jumping off point, the need for certain power skills is different for each person. As a result, employees need personal development and guidance which simply cannot be managed on a collective basis.

Coaching is an L&D approach that has garnered scientific support as an impactful and long-lasting solution to helping employees develop and implement their power skills into their everyday work lives. When used as a supplement or as a replacement for corporate training initiatives, coaches work with individuals to assess their skill gaps as well as the areas in which they are already thriving. Coaching is also an impactful investment for organizations because it is measurable, scalable and flexible as well as highly personalized. Working with a coach allows employees to continually hone and practice their power skills as well as to help them assess their professional goals and leadership aspirations within your organization. 

Professional coaching at all levels of your organization is also a key offering for potential employees. It shows your commitment to not only the growth of your organization, but also the development of your individual team members. So, whether your goal is to retain the talent you already have at the table, to attract new people and ideas, or all of the above, an investment in coaching will help your organization stand out from the competition by helping to develop the leaders and innovators who will shape the future of your industry.

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CoachHub is the leading global talent development platform that enables organizations to create a personalized, measurable and scalable coaching program for the entire workforce, regardless of department and seniority level. By doing so, organizations are able to reap a multitude of benefits, including increased employee engagement, higher levels of productivity, improved job performance and increased retention. CoachHub’s global pool of coaches is comprised of over 3,500 certified business coaches in 90 countries across six continents with coaching sessions available in over 60 languages, to serve more than 500 clients. Our programs are based on advanced R&D from our Coaching Lab, led by Prof. Jonathan Passmore and our Science Council. CoachHub is backed by leading tech investors, including Sofina, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Molten Ventures, Speedinvest, HV Capital, Partech and Silicon Valley Bank/SVB Capital. In September 2021, CoachHub acquired French digital coaching pioneer MoovOne to build a global champion focused on jointly democratizing coaching.
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