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The Importance of Core Skills in the Workplace

Updated: May 6


So, what are ‘core skills’? Perhaps you’ve previously heard them be called ‘soft skills, however, they are far more integral in the day-to-day skill set of your staff to be called ‘soft’. These core skills contribute to enabling a strong business strategy and focus amongst staff, helping your organisation deliver what it needs to and prepare for what is to come.


Often core skills are either taken for granted or forgotten about when planning and implementing personal development strategies, they commonly fall into the categories below:

  • Communication Skills – Building on your existing skills by providing insight into the communication process and the methods that are used to help you assess and communicate to peers and colleagues effectively.

  • Leadership Skills – This set of skills is vital to developing and strengthening attributes, behaviours, and values of effective leadership. You will use toolkits and methods to identify what type of leader you are and how to improve.

  • Time Management Skills – This is how you plan and manage your own time, whether you set objectives and goals, how you motivate yourself and what methods to organise your time.

  • Presentation Skills – This is to enable you to be more confident in delivering messages and how you communicate to your team/organisation with more impact. Enabling you to structure and engage your audience.

  • Performance Management Skills – This helps people recognise their role and the contribution to effectively managing performance and conduct in the workplace. Showing you how to manage conflict and how to support and assist performance when not meeting requirements on a project or deadline.

  • Customer Service – All people are customers in a company internal and external. Customer service training is about improving skills, knowledge and understanding of the principles of customer service and how to use that within your workplace.

To be effective in business, you need to ensure the core skills are developed to enable a successful project implementation. Accepting the current skillset and skill level without this development and evolution of these skills is not enough.


“Education makes you sufficient and skills make you efficient” – Anon

Some organisations focus heavily on the face-value skills needed to do the job, as opposed to digging deeper to understand the potential skills to enhance. Thus enabling the person to therefore exceed in that role.


HOW DO CORE SKILLS SUPPORT PROJECT MANAGEMENT OR ANY CHANGE?


If we consider core skills to be the oil in the machine, we see how without this key component, each area doesn’t align properly or is inefficient. For example, if a company has not implemented core skills when challenges arise like COVID-19 and other associated changes, the adaptation and shift to change is harder and takes time to be successful.


The company would require effective meetings with stakeholders, presentation skills to communicate the timescales of the project, questioning skills for stakeholders and negotiation skills to aid buy-in.


This list is not exhaustive. Without an excellent grasp on how to adapt and develop the skills within a project or implementation plan, many will set themselves up to fail. This could be when individuals have not fully embraced the change or idea due to poor communication or a part of the project is delayed due to someone not pulling their weight. This would mean the use of Performance Management skills to assess the challenges and why that person is not hitting the targets.


HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE LOOKED AT?


“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” – John Wooden

Adopt a skills matrix for your project or implementation plan. This will look at all sections of what needs to be completed and the necessary skills that are required to enable it to happen within the timescales you have set.


The main factors to include in your matrix are the following:

  • The audience you are evaluating

  • The skills and knowledge needed for the job

  • Scoring system

If this feels a little daunting, worry not. There are many skills matrixes and templates available online, however, at PPS, we can work with you to identify specifically what needs to be developed. Our Knowledge Assessment is an innovative approach to solution planning, delivery, support, and training. The assessment allows you to truly understand the needs, experience and competency levels of your staff as well as identify skills gaps and how to resolve these.


PPS can also help you by providing a tailored skills matrix for your company and then evaluate the necessary core skills to help your project planning and project implementation. You can find out more about Core Skills here,


We would work with you on the skills enhancements you may need and the learning initiatives that we have, including being assigned a dedicated learning and development professional to develop the skills and knowledge of the existing teams you already have. This can be assessed and delivered in varying methods to meet all styles.


Join our upcoming webinar 'Enhancing your people's skills in a hybrid workplace' on 25th May at 2pm BST. We will be discussing why enhancing your people's skillset has never been more important to your continued growth and success! Register now here.