The 8 Top Soft Skills Sought by Manufacturing Leaders

Technical skills and experience are most certainly a requirement for a successful in career in manufacturing. But did you know that a significant number of manufacturers are altering their recruiting processes to screen for critical “soft skills”?

Listed below are the most desirable “soft skills” shared with us by leaders of manufacturing companies:

1. Self-Motivation and Work Ethic: The ability to be action-oriented and work autonomously with a high regard for quality work. Leaders are seeking employees that don’t require constant oversight and can drive results.

2. Communication: The ability to clearly communicate ideas to team members, subordinates, and supervisors. Examples of these skills include writing, presenting, active listening, conflict resolution and negotiation, and yes, the dreaded public speaking.

3. Collaboration: The ability to work with team members and other departments effectively. In business, you may be required to work with people from various backgrounds, generations, or possibly even people that you do not get along with.

4. Time Management: The ability to prioritize the work and perform above standards. In many instances, you may find yourself working on several projects under differing timelines.

5. Critical Thinking: In a nutshell, problem-solving. Leaders appreciate when you can solve problems on the fly rather than constantly bringing the problems to them.

6. Dependability: Leaders like to know that they can depend on you to do your job. In a manufacturing environment, team members and even other departments are reliant upon one another. If someone is consistently unreliable, it could negatively affect the productivity of other team members and departments.

7. Coachability: The ability to accept the training of leaders and senior associates to learn new technical skills.

8. Flexibility or Adaptability: The ability to perform when things go awry. In the robotics age, automation may take over your current job. Will you be willing and able to perform in a different role, if required?