Professional training, work experience and technical skills certification are accomplishments that can transform any employee into a highly qualified professional. However, even if a person is capable of performing their job impeccably and free of errors on a technical level, they also need to develop additional skills such as teamwork, effective communication, and conflict resolution. These social skills are known as soft skills.
Soft skills can be defined as a combination of social, problem-solving, emotional and behavioral skills that, together, allow for effective interaction with others. Such skills are not directly related to technical knowledge, but instead concern a person’s behavioral style, and how they interact with their professional environment.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these vital skills, and highlight the importance of soft skills development for your own team.
The importance of developing soft skills in your team
In the workplace, soft skills are considered transversal skills because, although they are not technically required for a job, they offer multiple benefits both to the professional who possesses them and the organization that hires them. They can be used regardless of the specific job being performed, whether the employee in question is a salesperson, administrator, or IT technician. This differentiates them from purely technical skills which are normally unique to each job.
And, while technical knowledge will always matter, today it is crucial for companies that their talent has the soft skills that allow them to empathize with one another and work effectively as a team. Indeed, soft skills development has become increasingly important, since skills such as empathy, effective communication, conflict resolution and leadership not only improve interpersonal relationships within a team, but also have a tangible impact on productivity and talent retention.
When team members possess these skills, they collaborate more effectively, solve problems efficiently, and lead with empathy and understanding. This translates into healthier and more productive work environments. Developing soft skills within teams also has the following benefits:
- It contributes directly to an increase in productivity, by reducing communication errors and misunderstandings.
- Soft skills are a key component for employee satisfaction and commitment, so developing them improves talent retention.
- They encourage adaptability to changes, helping employees to manage stress and maintain an open mind.
Why are Soft Skills essential for the future of work?
Linkedin’s Workplace Learning Report 2023 revealed that the skills companies need most are communication, management, leadership, and teamwork. All of them are soft skills! LinkedIn data also shows that the skills required for jobs have changed by approximately 25% since 2015, and this figure is expected to double by 2027. Fortunately, 89% of L&D professionals agree that developing employees’ skills will help organizations face the future of work.
Employers value both hard skills and soft skills in a candidate and often seek people who have a balance between both skills. However, the growing interest of companies in soft skills is related to their importance for future jobs. Soft skills help professionals work well with others and are necessary for effective interaction with people, teamwork, and conflict resolution.
The workplace world is changing rapidly, and soft skills are necessary to adapt. People who can quickly and effectively adapt to new roles and responsibilities will be highly valued in the future. Communication, empathy, creativity, leadership, collaboration, and persuasion skills will also be highly appreciated.
Soft Skills: Examples of critical skills for professional success
Leadership means motivating, inspiring, and guiding others toward common goals. This is a highly valued soft skill, as organizations seek professionals who enable each team member to do their best to achieve a common goal.
Communicating clearly, concisely, and effectively is fundamental to any job. A professional who can convey information well, listen, understand the needs of others, and persuade them, will be highly valued in the job market.
3. Time Management
This soft skill is highly valued in an environment where work demands are increasingly high and available time is increasingly limited. Professionals who manage their time correctly can establish priorities and focus on the most critical tasks. They can also eliminate distractions, create a work plan, delegate, and meet established deadlines.
Another relevant characteristic of the future of work is its constant change and evolution. Professionals capable of adapting to these changes in situations, methodologies, and technologies are indispensable for a work team. Adapting also involves learning quickly, being flexible, and changing focus when necessary.
5. Creative Thinking
Creative thinking is a soft skill that has to do with the ability to consider something in a completely new way. Creative professionals bring different and novel perspectives to companies that help them solve problems, face challenges, or perform tasks.
This soft skill is closely linked to creativity because creative people can also analyze situations or problems and identify practical solutions. A professional with this soft skill can mediate disputes and achieve consensus, something extremely useful in any industry.
Methods for developing soft skills in your company
Promote a corporate culture that nurtures soft skills development
As mentioned, soft skills are developed through interaction and experience with the environment. If a company practices a leadership style that values teamwork and fosters communication through daily example, these values will be naturally transmitted throughout the organization.
Offer mentoring that provides fundamental changes in behavior
Mentoring is a traditional learning method that never goes out of style because it is a very human way of guiding professionals in their daily tasks. It offers the ideal opportunity to develop communication skills; promote collaboration, empathy, and adaptation to change.
Integrate activities that promote soft skills development into the workflow
We know that practice is the best way to learn; the same is true with soft skills. Offering opportunities for your employees to practice their soft skills at work is very simple if you assign team projects to promote communication, problem-solving, and creative thinking.
Offer corporate training programs focused on soft skills development
Developing soft skills in your team is necessary and possible through training programs for teamwork, creative thinking, or leadership skills. An excellent soft skills training program helps you identify the training needs of your staff, select the most appropriate methodology, and establish clear and achievable goals.
An innovative and personalized solution is required to train your professionals in soft skills. With isEazy Skills, our catalog of courses is designed with new digital learning techniques and dynamic e-learning content to provide a compelling and unique learning experience.
Offer training programs adapted to your modern learners
To enhance the training of soft skills in your company, it is important to consider the latest trends to create content that really engages your employees. Microlearning and blended learning are just a few examples. We explore these and more below.
Trends in soft skills training
Considering the latest trends in the soft skills environment is key to offering the best possible training in line with modern content consumption. Here are 4 key trends to incorporate into your content.
Microlearning offers short doses of content for students to study at their convenience.
It is surprisingly effective for the development of soft skills, thanks to its concise format and this type of content is faster to produce than a traditional e-learning course.
Blended learning is a type of learning that combines distance and face-to-face learning with the aim of achieving a more dynamic and efficient experience.
This model provides flexibility and makes it easier to watch videos and recorded lectures, study reading material online and even participate in online discussions through social features.
Personalization with AI
This technology allows e-learning solutions to learn about user behavior in order to generate a better user experience. An example of this is personalized content recommendations according to area, skill, or competency.
Gamification helps transform educational material into exciting and entertaining content. The rewards that are usually used in games such as reinforcement, also become a key motivator for many learners.
Meet isEazy Skills, the catalog of Power Skills courses you’ve been looking for
Developing soft skills in your team is not just an investment in interpersonal relationships, but also in the success of your whole organization. As we’ve seen throughout this article, these skills not only improve productivity, but also enhance talent retention, allowing your team to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business world.
It’s crucial for leaders to recognize the importance of these skills and encourage their development within their teams. Ultimately, the success of your organization will depend not only on what your team knows how to do but also, critically, on how they relate to each other and work together. If you want to train your professionals in soft skills, you need an innovative and personalized solution.
And here at isEazy Skills, that’s exactly what we offer! Our course catalog is expertly designed, packed with the latest digital learning techniques and dynamic e-learning content to provide an effective and unique learning experience.