Most organisations today would acknowledge the direct relationship between developing their people and growing their bottom line. However where we still see a lack of realisation is the huge, direct impact soft skills and business etiquette have on the bottom line, as well as the equal importance of training and developing front of house and first line staff.
Business etiquette and soft skills training is unfortunately still highly underestimated and its importance often neglected. A polished professional is someone who makes an impact and can make a difference. Someone with good soft skills and highly employable.
According to a study conducted by Harvard University, Stanford Research Center and the Carnegie Foundation, 15% of job success is attributed to a person’s technical skills and knowledge whereas 85% is attributed to their social and interpersonal skills
These are the qualities that distinguish a polished professional.
To the business looking for valuable personnel: Having a polished professional representing your company means that you will stand out in the industry, giving you that competitive edge which, as research has shown, directly affects the bottom line.
To the individual looking to progress: Qualifications alone are not enough. Employers also value attitude, social awareness and the ability to fit in a multi-cultural work environment. In other words, your presence and executive image, business etiquette knowledge and cultural intelligence are the characteristics that will help you move forward in your career.
I have come across various situations that have had a negative effect on a company’s reputation when these soft skills were not applied consistently. Taking as an example the reception and the sales function..
The Reception Function. This is usually managed and run by junior to middle ranked staff, all too often we see that companies fail to understand the importance of providing an exceptional first and lasting impression to its clients. Poise, dress, disposition, communication skills and social awareness all play a major role.
The Sales function. In a global economy and with the increase in international business relationships, exceptional customer experiences increase customer loyalty, which in turn create repeat business. One way to achieve this is to create a level of trust. This becomes complex in international scenarios where cultural awareness is key. Knowing what to do, when to do it and how is critical in successful international business relationships – because what is considered correct in one culture may be insulting and rude in another. So the trick is to know before you go.
In 2015, McDonald’s UK launched a campaign to boost the value of soft-skills to the economy and demonstrate how such skills are as important for workers and employers as academic and technical qualifications. ‘Research carried out for McDonald’s, which employs 100,000 people in the UK, estimates that soft skills contribute £88 billion to the economy and that this is forecast to rise to £109 billion over the next five years. The research report, carried out by Development Economics, also warns that employers, government and educators are not currently supporting soft skills sufficiently to realise their potential contribution. According to the research, over half a million UK workers working mainly in food services, retail, healthcare and leisure industries will be significantly held back by a lack of soft skills by 2020.’ Maggie Pagano, Independent UK.
Distinguish yourself and your business.
First Class Etiquette provides training programmes delivered under licence from The International Etiquette and Protocol Academy of London.