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Why Hard Skills are Necessary in the Workplace

Posted on 01/28/21 By Lorman Team


Skills training helps employees gain the necessary knowledge and abilities to effectively perform their jobs. Hard skills represent the requirements necessary to properly perform a job, while soft skills help employees cope and react to situations. 

When you offer employees hard skills training, you are providing them with the tools necessary to learn and strengthen specific capabilities needed to carry out job functions. 

A combination of both hard and soft skills is necessary for a productive and well-rounded workforce. 

What Are Hard Skills?

Hard, or technical, skills are teachable abilities or skillsets that are easy to quantify. While soft skills are defined by individual behavior and trickier to measure, hard skills are far more tangible.

These skill sets are very general and can be broken down into many subdivisions based on job requirements. Technical skills involve everything from manufacturing to knowledge of working with different machines and computers.  

Not all hard skills are related to software or online programs. Some hard skills seem interpersonal but are considered hard or technical because they have concrete, measurable effects. 

Nearly all hard skills can be categorized into one of the following: 

  • People-oriented: Skills that require specific methodologies, such as administration, project management, and financial management.
  • Research & analysis: Skills such as statistical analysis or transcribing. 
  • Manual skilled labor: Skills such as plumbing, electrical, construction, and manufacturing. 
  • Professional services: Skills such as legal work, accounting, engineering, and programming. 
  • Creative: Skills such as copywriting, graphic design, and photography. 

Examples of Hard Skills

A hard skill would be an ability you would likely list on your resume or cover letter for potential employers to see.

If you’ve ever expressed your proficiency in a specific software, like Microsoft Excel, then you have a hard skill.

Management, leadership, and project management capabilities can all be considered hard skills. In many instances, these capabilities have tangible outcomes which make them technical, not interpersonal.

Below is a list of the most common hard skills

  • Technology
  • Computers and programming
  • Office skills including Microsoft Office
  • Marketing and sales
  • Presentation
  • Project management
  • Writing and language
  • Art and graphic design
  • Leadership or management

The need for people with these skills continues to grow as new technologies and systems are developed. 

Hard Skills in the Workplace

Hard skills are necessary in the modern workplace. It's imperative to organizational success that employees know how to understand issues, analyze problems, and build new solutions throughout the vast fields of technology.

There are thousands of hard skills out there to learn, and while not every skill will be applicable to your specific industry, there are some technical skills every professional should possess.

For instance, a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel is an essential skill for most office-based professionals today. Excel has become the standard for data analysis and spreadsheet creation, and businesses will continue to rely on Excel as the primary tool for diverse function and applications.

But hard skills don't always take shape in software or online programs. Some hard skills, such as the abilities to manage or lead in the workplace, seem interpersonal but have concrete, measurable effects.

Possessing management skills helps professionals become effective leaders and problem solvers, often increasing overall job performance and productivity. 

The Benefits of Hard Skills in the Workplace

Providing training for technical skills to your employees has an array of positive consequences, from better individual job performance to increased company-wide innovation. 

When employees learn new skills or strengthen old capabilities, they will become more productive in their roles. Plus, a highly skilled workforce only means more organizational success down the line. 

Hard skills training helps organizations: 

  • Increase productivity 
  • Increase employee engagement 
  • Reduce employee turnover 

Continuous learning helps employees feel more confident in their roles. When employees feel like their employers are invested in their development, their overall job satisfaction will increase. 

10 Hard Skills Training Courses

Lorman offers many courses and programs employees can take to improve hard skills in the areas of technology, management, and other technical categories. 

Below is a list of 10 hard skills training courses to include in your employee learning and development program: 

  1. Manager Documentation Do's and Don'ts

  2. Leadership vs. Management

  3. Be Assertive: Confrontation Skills for Managers and Supervisors

  4. The Long Distance Leader: Strategies for Leaders Separated From Their Team by Location and Time Zones

  5. Data Management Best Practices in Excel

  6. Utilizing Microsoft Word Features and Functions

  7. Create and Manage an Excel Database

  8. Advanced Microsoft PowerPoint Training

  9. Excel: Mastering Lookup Functions

  10. WordPress Fundamentals for Professionals

 

Conclusion

Technological progress makes continuing education on the job necessary for better performance. The need for people in the workforce to grow and improve their hard skills will only continue to grow. 

Learning and development of hard skills along with soft skills comes from education and work experience. 

Effective learning & development programs include both hard and soft skills training. Learn more about soft skills in the workplace.

 

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