In recent years there has been a push towards soft skills in the workplace. They have become the true marker of a valuable employee. But what exactly are they and why are they so valuable?
The Collins English Dictionary defines the term “soft skills” as “desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude”. This is a wide net and can be hard to define but the following are great soft skills that could mark out your employees as future leaders in your business.
Think of Hard Skills as the skills needed to do a task such as experience with a particular piece of equipment, or with sales, or a professional typing speed. Soft Skills relate to how the staff carries out this task or interacts in the workplace.
Important Soft Skills Examples
As Darwin reportedly said ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change’. Adaptability is certainly a valuable attribute and one that is surprisingly difficult to find. We have all seen the staff member who takes it all in their stride whether a deadline gets moved, a team gets reshuffled or a new project takes precedent. If you have a truly adaptable staff member, they are a keeper!
They don’t have to be handy with a paintbrush but some creative problem-solving can be immeasurable in the workplace. Train your employees to be individual thinkers and praise those who are can pull a solution out of the air due to out of the box thinking.
A team is strongest when those within it wish to collaborate and support each other. There will always be those who work best alone, and that can be an effective strategy for them, but a team player who truly sees that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts can be the glue that holds your team together.
Emotional intelligence can be a tricky one to gauge but it is often seen as a combo of self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills. A person who has a strong ability to read and understand the emotions of both themselves and those around them has high emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence can help team dynamics, client/customer relations and has even been linked to being more efficient. A staff member who reads emotions with ease and always says the right thing has a bright future as a team leader or in a client-facing role.
Persuasion is a soft skill often exhibited at a managerial level but if you witness it in those outside the ranks of management it is a skill to be nurtured. These staff can be a powerful force either in sales or client relations and can be essential team members to help smooth transitions through difficult times.
There to maximize their potential
Your staff are your greatest asset so let them realize their true potential – nurture their existing skills, train skills gaps, and create a team that is a force to be reckoned with! Now you have some examples of soft skills and how they can impact your staff you can appreciate their prospects on a whole new level.
Our team specialize in recruitment, development, retention, and leadership for businesses of every shape and size. If you would like to discuss how we can develop your staff and prepare them for the future, get in touch today.
Connecting people with opportunities.