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Joan Tanner

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Why soft skills and managerial skills are important across the company


For many businesses, ensuring your sales and marketing staff are properly trained in soft skills is a high priority.  However, many make the mistake of ignoring this same principle with staff in other areas.

This can mean that valuable resource can be lost across the business due to a lack of efficiency, especially in the case of soft skills. A lack of managerial skills can have negative effects in other ways. With administrative staff likely to have a lot of contact with colleagues across the business, it’s important that they know at least some basics of management.

The importance of soft skills in businesses

When talking about soft skills, we’re referring to those skills that some businesses will never dwell on for too long when hiring staff, or perhaps promoting from within. Assertiveness, confidence, communication and time management could all be considered as soft skills.

Read over those skills again, and then consider how much time a business can potentially loose without staff in all positions having these?  A lack of assertiveness or confidence can create hesitation when it comes to making key decisions.  The decision could be as trivial as a query relating to putting a stationery order through, or as important as which conference line to book out for a management or client meeting.

If a member of your admin team is dwelling too long on any type of decision, it is almost certainly going to have repercussions elsewhere.  In this examples mentioned above, it could be a meeting room running out of marker pens and flip chart paper, or an important sales call being delayed or postponed.  These are decisions which can cost your business money.

Time management is another soft skill which is priceless for any member of staff and office administration courses usually incorporate this.  Prioritising workloads and ensuring the correct resource is dedicated to tasks in order of importance is something many of us don’t even think about, but for some staff, it may not be a skill they have.

In the grand scheme of things, soft skills training is cheap when compared alongside many other forms of professional training, but it could save your business money in the long run.

Management skills at admin level?

While admin staff lacking soft skills may be seen as an obvious situation to put right, eye brows may be raised when we say that it’s nearly as important for your staff across the business to have some sort of management training.

Using the example of your administrative staff or personal assistants again, people in these positions are likely to have a greater cross-over and involvement with teams across your business than any other.  Let’s consider some skills that you’d think of as being aligned to management.

Leadership, motivation, objective setting and providing feedback.  For every single one of these, you will be able to find merit in your administrative staff possessing these skills.

Leadership and motivation are two that could carry huge importance when your admin staff are interacting with colleagues across the business. You want a cross-team communication to be decisive, efficient and not likely to harm motivation. If booking colleagues in to meetings, chasing invoices or performing other tasks, you need your admin staff to be able to motivate your Account Managers for example to reach agreement on costs with a client.  Objective setting can also come in to this.

Soft Skills Training for Admin Staff

Think also of a time when your admin staff are waiting for a specific job to be performed by a colleague. 

Providing feedback to this colleague about how that task could be completed more efficiently, or even how successful the result was last time, could be vital.

Positive Outcome from Soft Skills Training

Having your workforce trained with both soft skills and management skills could be one of the best moves your business makes this year. The increase in an awareness for training in managerial and soft skills for Administrative professional is only now growing. However, the benefits in encouraging this style of training for Admin professionals has shown positive externalities at both personal professional developments levels, department levels and for the whole organisation.


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