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Closing the Soft Skills Gap in Your Organization

Today’s workforce has significantly changed from pre-pandemic norms. In 2021, 23% of the total US workforce, or more than 47 million people quit their job, and an additional 38 million quit in 2022.

The great resignation showed that employees were unhappy with their work environment. Low pay, no chance for advancement, and feeling disrespected all played into the discontent that led to quitting. With an increase in remote and hybrid work, an even greater appreciation and need for work/life balance was realized. The results of the past five years mean that both employees and employers are finding it harder and harder to make a perfect match.

As organizations continue to adapt to these changes, another significant challenge is looming: skills gaps or the disparity between the skills employees possess and the skills required to meet the organization's evolving needs. It has become a struggle to fill important roles in teams which leads to workers being stretched thin to cover the missing areas of productivity. The result is low morale, burnout, and even more turnover.

How does a Skills Gap Form?

Retention and hiring are major factors in our current skills gap crisis. A 2023 survey(1) of 600 HR professionals by Wiley, Inc. shows that 40% of respondents struggle to retain skilled employees, 26% struggle to hire, and an additional 32% find it challenging to do either.

Often, this is due to resource restraints. The same survey(1) shows that key factors include the lack of

  • employee development initiatives and options (41%)

  • in-house resources for training and development (38%)

  • leadership support or awareness about skill disparities (36%)

  • competitive compensation packages (35%)

  • ability to change with advancing technology (33%)

Soft Skills are Lacking

Soft skills are the attributes that make workers more well-rounded. This includes skills such as communication, showing up on time, working well in a team, being open to learning opportunities, and demonstrating leadership qualities.

Now, more than ever, soft skills are required to support the ever-evolving business landscape and many organizations do not have the in-house capacity to offer soft skills training and development.

In the Wiley, Inc. survey(1), the soft skills that were identified as being most in need are:

  • problem-solving (42%)

  • time management (36%)

  • adapting to change (35%)

  • leadership (34%)

  • creativity (27%)

  • communication (24%)

Upskilling through Training with The Folke Institute

In order to remain competitive, many companies have turned to upskilling. Upskilling is when an organization offers continuous learning through training and development opportunities. The goal is to expand the skills, knowledge, and competencies of the existing workers.

The Folke Institute offers soft skill upskilling opportunities for organizations to invest in. These five workshops can be easily tailored to your organization’s needs.

Inclusive Leadership

Our work "ecosystems" are increasingly diverse, multicultural, and global. Successful leaders maximize diverse perspectives and channel the power and potential of their organization.

The Folke Institute developed the Inclusive Leadership course for organizations ready to harness the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion. You'll learn how to transform your workplace, open lines of communication, and apply powerful strategies that can be immediately adopted into your organizational structure.

Communicating with Impact

Communicating with Impact is a full or half-day interactive workshop where participants are engaged in high-impact engagements and learn to use advanced communication skills.

Your team will walk away with a personalized action plan to enhance their personal communication skills. They'll gain insight into effective communication within a dynamic and diverse workplace as well as impactful and motivational external client and customer dialogs.

Communicating with Impact helps your organization develop the skills to have conversations that strengthen relationships and move people to action.

Influence with Integrity

What is your strategy for influencing outcomes, transformation, and positive changes for your organization? Building influencing skills is critical to your success. Without the right training and tools, you may be making the critical error of applying manipulative techniques.

Influence with Integrity is a workshop designed by The Folke Institute to teach you how to properly engage, persuade, and secure the buy-in of people whose support and commitment are critical. With these skills, you can successfully implement change initiatives and help your organization thrive.

Mitigating Unconscious Bias

You've heard the terms unconscious bias and micro-messaging, but what do they actually mean for your organization, your leadership, and your team? If you aren't addressing unconscious bias, it's likely there are members of your team who feel excluded, unrecognized, and disrespected.

The Folke Institute invites you to explore how unconscious bias can limit growth, creativity, productivity, and inclusion with our one-day workshop: Mitigating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.

With our expert trainers, you'll have hands-on learning experiences that will help you:

  • understand micro-inequities and micro-advantages

  • learn techniques to interrupt old patterns

  • stimulate open discussions to facilitate inclusion and belonging

  • practice leading with awareness and confidence in a diverse and inclusive environment.

Building Resilience

Disruptive change can happen in your organization.

In order to keep up with rapidly changing business and industry needs, your organization’s systems and processes have to adapt to remain effective and high-performing.

Building Resilience is a full or half-day workshop that gives your team the tools to cope and adapt to disruptive changes. They will learn how to:

  • Learn their personal response to change and identify factors that influence responses to disruptive change.

  • Apply actions that create and support resilience strategies based on their personal characteristics.

  • Develop long-term success strategies that build resilience and manage change responses for acute and chronic stressors.

Make resilience a key characteristic in your workplace culture and support your organization’s ability to handle stress and pressure both in and outside of the workplace.

Make Your Organization Stand Out from the Competition

These are just a few of the workshops offered by The Folke Institute. You can find a full list of our development and learning plans on our website.

As you invest in growing your employees, you’ll find that the supportive learning environment facilitates mentoring and coaching naturally. Your teams will thrive in the recognition of their growth opportunities and rise to meet the challenges highlighted and addressed in the workshops.

  1. Capranos, D., Magda, A. J. (2023). Closing the skills gap 2023: Employer perspectives on educating the post-pandemic workforce. Maitland, FL: Wiley Inc

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