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Communication Deficiency

Communication Deficiency

David Grossman reported in “The Cost of Poor Communications”  that a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees.

Debra Hamilton asserted, in her article “Top Ten Email Blunders that Cost Companies Money,” that miscommunication cost even smaller companies of 100 employees an average of $420,000 per year." [Creative Communications & Training, 2010]

Let's look at one particular profession that is drawn to a coaching approach because of the importance of communication: HR.

Currently CCE participants include a high percentage of HR professionals. There are reasons for this increase. 

  • The HR practitioner often is strategically positioned to have significant impact in the workplace. In fact, today’s HR professionals have taken on a more strategic role that has increased their visibility throughout their organizations. HR professionals interact with executives, department managers, employees, and at times, outside stakeholders.

  • With increased visibility comes an opportunity for HR professionals to influence the organization and its strategic objectives.

  • This opportunity however, depends in large part on the HR professional’s ability to effectively communicate.

HR responsibilities have also expanded to integrating HR needs with the overall organization. This function may include crafting a recruitment strategy, interviewing, hiring, welcoming new talent aboard, and then training, managing, and retaining new talent. HR professionals must be competent communicators to succeed at this kind of workforce management.

Coach training provides tools and resources to help equip the HR professionals to excel in their job responsibilities. A communication deficiency in HR is a liability and companies are looking for ways to ensure that their HR department is equipped with the communication skills that help strengthen the company's effectiveness and employee satisfaction.

If you are interested in communication training as an HR professional, call our training office at 612.246.4787 for a free consultation.

Measuring the ROI of Soft Skills Training

Measuring the ROI of Soft Skills Training

By Mary Verstraete

There is a growing need for soft skills in today's businesses. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn recently discussed the LinkedIn study that identified a lack of expertise in interpersonal skills across the job market. He stated: The U.S. is short 1.4 million professionals with soft skills, with communication as the #1 skill in demand in all 100 metros we analyzed. 

Interview with Jeff Weiner

With soft skills training occupying a place in company budgets, the importance of measuring ROI is pressing for Human Resources. In CCE's training with companies, the recognition that communication is a major challenge is never questioned, but companies do want to know the "difference" that the training will make. This is one main reason, we customize the application of coaching skills within a company's context.

How to set up the process for soft skill measurement:
Key Performance Indicator [KPI] are activities that have to happen for successful measurement. For each activity the company identifies, there are competency requirements for that activity. Those requirements are listed. Communication training is applied directly to those activities and competency requirements. This then enables the company to tract the ROI. Matthew MacLachlan, global talent developer has this to say about ROI and soft skills: The ROI of soft skills is often questioned but can easily be proved. It’s crucial that alignment to business needs is done up front with training, so that when you are asked retrospectively whether there has been value added, you have clear answers.

Simple example:
If we apply coach training to conflict resolution to help deal with angry customers and a company can measure the customer losses both before and after the training, the company can then quantify the improvement and set it against the cost of the communication training.

Here is a partial list of how the benefits of soft skills can impact the bottom line and are easily measured:

  • Improved productivity

  • Improved retention rates

  • Improved teamwork and customer service

  • Lower absenteeism

  • Better workplace communication and a higher level of employee engagement

Studies back up soft skill training. If we look at the 2013 Google testing of its hiring hypothesis analyzing 15 years' of hiring, firing, and promotion information, it concluded that hard skills came in last in comparison to the seven top qualities of its top employees.

  1. Being a good coach

  2. Communicating and listening well

  3. Possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view)

  4. Having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues

  5. Being a good critical thinker and problem solver

  6. Being able to make connections across complex ideas

  7. STEM expertise (science, technology, engineering, math)

These findings create a strong argument for a company to investment in soft skills training as a "sound" and a "vital" investment.

There is a skills shortage in today's economy and along with that a fight for talent...soft skills have never been more important! As coaches, we have a tremendous opportunity to validate coaching, "maximize personal and professional potential," and support companies in being successful.

 I couldn't be happier with the training. As a professional coach, I’m now involved in living my vision of being an agent for positive change in people's lives.

Alan Smith
CBMC Northland Area Associate Director