South East Asia is an emerging economic power, especially Thailand and Vietnam. Competing on the international market requires greater communication with Western, English speaking companies. So far, the studies are showing, SouthEast Asian nations need a lot of improvement in soft skills, business skills, and communications skills.
The Singapore Management University, in partnership with J.P. Morgan, showed that there are real skills challenges in countries that are part of the Association of South East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, especially Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Results indicated employees were receiving sufficient training in hard skills, but soft skills, which are essential for great business development are not being taught.
Soft skills are the characteristics and skills that employees can use anywhere they go, such as common sense, interpersonal and social skills, communication skills, and character traits. They are important for relationships with others, which is essential for any profession at any level of employment, especially when Asian professionals don’t communicate well with westerners.
Often the poor communications between western and Asian professionals is caused by a lack of soft skills training. This is especially alarming as it’s been shown that 75% of long-term job success depends on soft skills. In fact, the most sought after and hardest to find skills in the market today are soft skills. Vietnam needs to invest in soft skills training as their economy continues to attract international business.
Soft skills, or interpersonal skills, relate to employees’ ability to get along well with others, social graces and communication abilities. Soft skills training for managers and employees are vital to successful collaboration in the workplace and the ability for companies to compete internationally. As SouthEast Asia and Vietnam continue to grow, companies should take measures to train their staff in business and soft skills to ensure continued prosperity.