Follow the Data: Make Soft Skills Your L&D Super Power

In a surprising study, Google discovered that its highest performing teams aren’t those stacked with scientists, but interdisciplinary groups heavily benefitting from employees bringing strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further, additional research found that it’s these soft skills, like good communication and empathetic leadership, not hard skills, that comprise the top predictors of success within the company.

Research from MIT Sloan echoed Google’s findings, showing that soft skills training, even in more hands-on, technical roles in a factory setting, can improve work productivity. Initiated at five Bangalore factories, a controlled, twelve-month trial revealed that training in problem solving, communication, and decision-making yielded a 250 percent ROI in eight months.

Time and time again, industry data, market trends, and insights from top business leaders highlight soft skills as important, and yet they’re still often overlooked.

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