Soft Skills in the Workplace
Posted on 01/26/21 By Lorman Team
The job market is constantly changing and jobs are evolving. In today's workforce, possessing a single skill or capability is insufficient to guarantee a successful career.
Soft, or interpersonal, skills are in high demand. Employers seek candidates with strong communication skills who adapt easily and are productive.
Soft skills enable employees to work and interact effectively with each other, customers, and the environment to perform optimally.
The Demand for Soft Skills
First, it's important to know the difference between the two most common skills categories: hard and soft skills.
Soft skills refer to personal attributes that impact how well you work or interact with other people. These skills help you form relationships, create trust and dependability, and become a more effective leader.
The following is a list of common soft skills:
- Time management
- Written & oral communication
- Critical thinking
- Conflict resolution
Hard skills are teachable technical skills that show your experience and expertise in a particular field. While hard skills define what work you do, soft skills define how you work.
Soft Skills in the Workplace
One cannot overlook the importance of soft skills in the workplace. You might have employees with tremendous technical capabilities; however, expertise without the soft skills is in vain.
A Deloitte analysis predicts the number of jobs in soft-skill intensive occupations to grow at 2.5 times the rate of jobs in other occupations. In short, strong soft skills will only become more important for professionals to possess.
It is often, mistakenly, thought that soft skills are attained for personal benefit and development. While this is true, it cannot be ignored that soft skills are highly transferable and sought after in the workforce.
The best employees are those who have the right combination of soft and hard skills. Employers are constantly emphasizing the need for soft skills, even ahead of quantitative skills, which is why soft skills need to be included in your employee training and development program.
What are the Benefits of Soft Skills in the Workplace?
According to iCIMS Hiring Insights, 94% of recruiting professionals believe employees with strong soft skills have a better chance of being promoted to a leadership position than those who have more years of experience, but weak soft skills.
The lack of soft skills in the workplace is detrimental to productivity, innovation, customer relations, and overall business growth.
Below are some of the benefits of incorporating soft skills courses into your training and development program:
People need to communicate well when working together. Employees need to interact with one another and with customers constructively. Soft skills training equips individuals with these skills.
Higher workplace productivity
Soft skills boost employee performance and overall workplace productivity. People become better time managers and communicators, meeting deadlines while maintaining quality. Teamwork improves as the employees' interpersonal skills become better.
Enhanced customer relations
Soft skills training equips staffers with the right skills to handle customers. Compassion, empathy, and effective communication skills are key in attracting and maintaining customers.
Strong leadership and problem-solving abilities
Employees who have soft skills training are good at evoking action, motivating themselves and others, and taking responsibility. Furthermore, they become better problem-solvers.
Improved employee loyalty and retention
Employees define what your business or firm is all about. Good employees will help you build a strong brand, giving you a competitive edge within your industry.
Soft skills training helps employees grow professionally and will help your organization retain great workers, so you get the best value for your investment.
Employees determine the quality of your products and services. Unskilled workers are likely to render substandard goods and services, meaning you risk losing customers and revenue.
10 Soft Skills Training Courses
Talent and work proficiency are easy to find in employees. But talent and ability plus the right soft skills is rare.
Many employees lack the right social skills, such as communication, which can undermine organizational success. Committing to improving soft skills in the workplace will ensure you have well-rounded employees.
Below is a list of 10 soft skills training courses to include in your employee learning and development program:
- How To Organize and Prioritize Your Workload
- Grammar Rule Basics for Business Writing
- Tips on How to Sound More Professional at Work
- Solving Problems With Critical Thinking
- Maintain Strong Relationships in the Era of a Global Pandemic
- Techniques for Getting and Staying Organized
- Best Practices to Improve Your Communication Skills
- Business Writing Fundamentals
- Best Practices for Networking Inside and Outside of Your Organization
- Developing Active Listening in Order to Avoid Conflict
The right soft skills in the workplace enable employees to effectively communicate, solve problems, work together in teams, and organize successfully.
The modern employee must work on developing soft skills in tandem with strengthening their technical capabilities.
Effective learning & development programs include both hard and soft skills training. Learn more about hard skills in the workplace.
Managers face the challenge of overseeing employees remotely. This may be the new normal as offices changed the way they functioned as a response to the pandemic.
Creating a training program doesn't have to be overwhelming. Follow these simple steps (and download our interactive workbook) so you can get started on building an effective employee training program.
Employee development is vital for steady growth, productivity, and the ability to retain top talent. Employee development goes a long way towards creating a highly skilled workforce in your organization.