Improving Productivity with Soft Skills in the UK
In order to optimize productivity in the UK, experts across industries have identified the importance of soft skills, particularly effective communication and engagement skills. Notably, leaders in the retail, hospitality, care, and consultancy sectors have emphasized the need for bosses to prioritize soft skills to enhance productivity.
Operational Coaching™: Key to Enhancing Productivity
Experts discussed the key benefits of Operational Coaching™ – an approach to management that fosters innovation and creativity – at a panel on productivity hosted by performance consultancy Notion. Professor Martin Green, CEO of Care England, emphasized the importance of valuing people over processes: “Processes become ends in themselves. We need to fight that so we can unleash the talents of everybody, from colleagues to residents to families”. Similarly, Jillian Maclean, founder of Drake & Morgan, urged her sector to adopt more flexible mindsets to enhance productivity. Stuart Comer of Sainsbury’s also addressed the crucial role of soft skills in enhancing productivity in the face of challenges, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as an example.
Coaching as a Driver of Productivity
Comer also highlighted the role of coaching as a major driver of productivity. Recent research at the London School of Economics found that a transformation program, STAR® Manager, that focused on the development of coaching-related behaviors and an Operational Coaching™ style of management, led to significant improvements in workforce engagement, productivity, and capability in as little as six months. The findings suggest that managers need to prioritize coaching team members and providing feedback in the moment to drive personal growth.
It is clear that soft skills and a coaching culture are essential for unlocking the UK’s potential productivity in all sectors. Adopting an Operational Coaching™ style of management can help enhance productivity, promote creativity, and build an engaged workforce. By valuing people over processes and prioritizing effective communication and engagement skills, leaders can foster innovation and creativity at all levels of their organization.