Gone are the days when the technical skills required for a job were the only thing that mattered to employers. Nowadays, companies value soft skills just as highly when it comes to a person’s ability to perform their responsibilities. For this reason, soft skills are becoming more and more in-demand in most workplace environments.
Soft skills are the more personal or social skills an employee possesses which allow them to work well with others, find solutions to problems, become effective leaders and more. They are, generally speaking, less tangible and harder to measure which means they often play a less important role in corporate training programs.
However, they are just as important as technical skills when it comes to developing well-rounded and effective professionals. In this post, we explore the importance of soft skills in the modern working world, the ones companies look for the most, and how to develop them within your team.
The rise of soft skills in the modern workplace
According to research by Business Insider, soft skills are actually more important than hard skills when it comes to employees searching for the right candidates. But why exactly is that?
While hard skills are an obvious must-have to perform the tasks of a specific role efficiently, soft skills can be applied to any job, making them an invaluable and transferable asset for professional development.
Conflict resolution, communication, and time management are just a few examples of the essential soft skills that can have a huge impact on the day-to-day running of a company and, ultimately, its success. When mastered, they can increase productivity, encourage talent retention, increase sales, and beyond.
The in-demand soft skills companies want
While all soft skills are important and relevant in the workplace, there are some that are highly valued by companies today and can help you reap all the benefits mentioned above. Let’s explore the six most sought-after soft skills and how you can foster them in your team through training:
Leadership is the ability to guide, influence, or motivate others while fulfilling the organization’s objectives. It is a powerful skill as leaders are typically empathetic, versatile, problem solvers, creative, reliable, and effective communicators. By fostering leadership as a skill in your team, employees will be able to assume responsibilities, learn to delegate, work in teams, and achieve goals.
2. Time management
Every professional should know how to self-manage, going beyond just planning and organizing tasks. This means being able to deal with distractions or unforeseen events, concentrate, handle and manage stress, and prioritize to achieve goals effectively.
3. Adaptability to change
Given the current landscape and the changes brought about by the digital era, adaptability to change is an indispensable soft skill for any professional. Training in soft skills like adaptability to change creates resourceful professionals who can respond to challenges and changes in a creative and innovative manner.
4. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to understand and manage their emotions, and those of others. Doing so successfully can lead to all kinds of advantages including problem-solving, increased collaboration, and effective communication which makes it an essential soft skill for professionals of all experience levels.
Assertiveness is related to the ability to express and communicate thoughts, ideas, opinions, and needs clearly, fostering a transparent environment, effective communication, and healthy work relationships.
6. Self-motivation and continuous development
Lastly, self-motivation and continuous development are soft skills that add value to any employee within an organization, as they have an impact on personal and professional success. They are associated with staying motivated, committed, and constantly seeking growth and improvement. These skills are closely related to adaptability, resilience, innovation, autonomy and growth mindset.
Developing soft skills in your team
Now that you know why soft skills are so important, and which ones are the most in-demand in the current professional landscape, it’s time to explore how to develop them in your team. Below we look at different strategies and resources you can use to develop the soft skills of your professionals.
Strategies for developing soft skills
- Microlearning and gamification
Microlearning provides employees with short form, easily digestible content designed to make the learning experience more engaging. The same goes for gamification. By adding elements of fun and competition into the process, learning is transformed from a chore into a dynamic and motivating activity.
Through social learning, users can share their experiences, provide feedback, and work with other team members to make their training experience more collaborative. This makes it an ideal strategy for developing soft skills like communication and teamwork.
Learning by doing is a methodology which is based on experiential learning. It gives employees the opportunity to develop skills in a real-world context as opposed to just theory. This helps them to tackle professional challenges later down the line since they have the practical experience needed for problem-solving.
Tools and resources for soft skills development
- Feedback and evaluation tools
In order to develop soft skills in your team, you first need to understand which areas to work on. Using feedback and evaluation tools, you can identify the soft skills they currently possess and establish areas for improvement. Questionnaires and assessments that offer immediate feedback are ideal for this activity.
- Online learning platforms
Once you have established which soft skills you need to work on, it’s time to choose a training platform. Online training platforms are increasingly popular thanks to their ability to provide courses, resources, and other materials remotely, in a way that’s tailored to modern learning preferences.
isEazy Skills is an online catalog of over 500 courses designed to boost your team’s talent by improving their professional skills. Discover agile and dynamic resources to capture their attention and prioritize their professional development.