Benefit = Soft Skills Translate to Hard Dollars

Benefit = Soft Skills Translate to Hard Dollars

People are promoted to supervisory roles because of their technical skills, and not usually their people skills.  The problem is that it is our people skills, or soft skills, that will either motivate or de-motivate a team to achieve.  Are your teams being managed by the power of the paycheck?  Is the fear of losing one’s job the most overused incentive to perform?  If so, then your team’s soft skills are costing you hard dollars.

  • A study published in the Harvard Business Review in December 2012(1) revealed that most people get promoted into supervisory roles, on average, at the age of 33.
  • The same study revealed that, on average, people received leadership training at the age of 42, almost a decade later. Often, they seek it on their own.
  • I believe that every bad/poor manager is a result of this gap in resources.
  • I believe that every bad/ manager has the ability to become a great leader, with the right attitudes and the right resources to help them change those attitudes.
  • Delaying management training costs real dollars.


It is often said that people join companies and leave managers. Bad managers will drive the best employees away, while only those employees who have fewer marketable skills will remain.  The company loses money in the on-boarding / termination processes.


Constant turnover decreases productivity — often for months. This lower productivity often causes the bad manager to become even more demanding, thus driving the turnover up and profits down. Those employees who did not leave on their own will begin to show signs of wear. It may be low productivity, or it can show up in other behavioral issues requiring counseling with HR. Absenteeism, presenteeism, reluctance to engage in tasks, and increased involvement by HR and team building consultant all cost the company money.


Imagine expecting to drive your car with absolutely no fuel so that you can get to the service station to fill it up. You can’t. You must put the fuel in first. The same holds true with your employees. Each new employee is like a new car with a full tank of fuel. You can drive them until they run out of fuel, then they will leave. If they don’t leave, and are out of fuel, they simply won’t perform. The other option is to look for ways to refuel them often. This is done through effective leadership. Every time you engage your staff with great leadership, you refuel their tanks and make them happy to work for you. The better quality the fuel, the higher the performance.


It’s the old adage “monkey see, monkey do.” Employees who did remain and eventually get promoted into supervisory roles themselves will naturally emulate those supervisors they worked for, especially if the previous supervisors were rewarded for their bad management through continued employment and perhaps promotions. As these managers are promoted, and cloned, more positions become subject to the same poor techniques that drive away good employees. Your tribal knowledge becomes fixated in the past as youngsters with different ideas move on quickly


Your reputation is your most valuable asset. Perform poorly with a customer and you may lose future business with them. Perform poorly with too many customers and word gets around that your teams do not deliver. Now it’s hard to get new work. Why? Because the only people left in your organization are the ones who didn’t have enough marketable skills to leave the bad managers. They simply can’t perform to the level your customers need.


Most parts of the United States are experiencing a serious shortage of skilled trades – particularly in the construction and technology industries. Many areas have a shortage of anybody interested in working on projects and contracts – they would rather wait for permanent-full time positions with some security.  And now you have trouble recruiting because of your employment reputation.


The most avoidable cost to the organization is calling a team of senior managers  or consultants to determine why things are going poorly and recommend solutions. These “Fix It” teams are called in when a project or department is already losing money. Now, the company pays the high salaries, and perhaps travel costs, of several managers, to come “fix” the problem. Sometimes, these managers are themselves the very same bad managers who demonstrated the attitudes and behaviors that led to the creation of the problem. Sometimes, the experts  know leadership but they don’t know your industry and their solutions aren’t workable. It is not rare to end up with many fixers and therefore conflicting recommendations. These teams end up costing a lot more money on an already unprofitable portion of the business, driving the project or department deeper into the red. Often, the cost to conduct initial leadership training is less than the cost of one “Fix It Team”. Once the initial training is conducted, the costs to maintain a solid leadership development program can be very low. The savings can be quite high.


Most companies agree that money spent on training would save money on performance issues later, yet they still focus on the cash on hand today and declare there is not enough money in the budget for training. Just about every company sees the value in being sure that their equipment operators know how to avoid driving a machine into a wall. Yet they assume managers can figure out on the job how to avoid driving the employees — or worse the whole company — into a wall. The sad truth is that many companies would rather pay the high costs of bad management than invest in the leadership training. Don’t let your company be one of them.


Think strategically about the biggest needs your managers have now so that you maximize your returns later on.

In the long run, an effective leadership development program will not only pay for itself, it will also pay dividends on that investment many times over. Best of all, the tribal knowledge in the organization perpetuates the positive leadership models so that each new leader has great role models to follow.

Can your company afford to waste more time and money on low production and high turnover?

If you are ready to invest in your organization’s future, please feel free to contact us to schedule your attitude check.

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