Dr. Phuong Le Callaway, PhD
Good questions David. Soft skills are critical in the management of people and organizations; unfortunately, the Federal government only pays attention to the SES level but not the managerial level. We all know supervisors and managers will build or break the organization or the mission. People with soft skills can create a harmony workplace, build a better collaborative and efficient performing workforce, minimize workplace conflicts which will help reduce litigation costs, understand the importance of organizational trust and job satisfaction, employee motivation and engagement. Most often, Federal employees with soft skills are underutilized, are in the wrong positions, or are invisible to top management as they are the folks who care for others to succeed but not for themselves. More than ever and during the periods of continued reduction in the Federal budget, incorporating the soft skills as a qualification and selection criteria for all supervisory and managerial positions is a must if Federal agency leaders want employee to do more and more with less and less. Supervisors and managers are far more important than leaders in the day-to-day management of people and the operations. People with soft skills understand what takes to build a harmony workplace, are fair with all employees, and use their organizational authority appropriately to transform the workplace to one that everyone wants to be a part in that performance culture. Federal agencies cannot afford to ignore the critical soft skills requirements for all positions that have the authority over personnel management practices and decisions. Make it a qualification and selection criteria. Society needs it; our country needs it; the Federal workplace needs it; employees need it; the taxpayers need it. Thank you for the post.