- For a Connecticut mold supplier company, the key to closing the skills gap for skilled manufacturing workers has been more about emotional intelligence than hard skills development, reported Modern Machine Shop. Emotional intelligence helps staff members recognize triggers that hold them back from success in their own work and in their interactions with others. It also helps them understand the emotions of others, leading to empathy and better team collaboration.
- For Westminster Tool, the realization that emotional intelligence was as mission-critical to their success as any other business acumen started about five years ago, Modern Machine said. Once the company decided to focus on these skills, the transition began. Not everyone was on board with the shift; productivity was affected during the training, while 40% of the experienced staff left the company rather than make the shift.
- Today, the company is fully staffed with employees more satisfied on the job, Modern Machine reported. New hires are trained more quickly; in fact some come to the company with no experience at all – a far cry from their hiring practices of the past. Productivity has risen, and the company boasts a pool of 13 potential employees who have already been vetted and are simply awaiting an opening.
Emotional intelligence has swiftly flown to the forefront of industry attention as the economy continues its growth trend. While many believed these skills — self-awareness, empathy and the ability to persuade others — were innate, new data reveals they may be trained for by employers and learned by staff. Such skills will be key as technology continues to transform industries at faster and faster rates; without soft skills, billions could be left unskilled and jobless, a Deloitte Global and GBC-Education report revealed last year. For employers to keep up, they may have to train up who they have on hand, rather than wait to hire individuals with the exact required skill sets.
Businesses in the skilled trades industries have been scrambling to maintain headcount in today’s challenging talent market. With demand critically higher than supply, many are looking for creative solutions, partnerships and paradigm shifts to keep production lines rolling. Recalibrating the talent pipeline is beginning at the high school level in many areas, as shop classes dust off equipment and retool for a new wave of students. In turn, employers are increasingly willing, as was Westminster Tool, to hire young workers who are not yet experts in order to build a sustainable pool of workers.