October 6

How to Develop Soft Skills in Staff: Hacks for Business Owners

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Soft skills help to solve everyday tasks and effectively interact with other people. In the opinion of 92% of managers, they are no less important than hard skills. Scientists from Harvard, Stanford and Carnegie Endowment agree with them, the results of which showed that 85% of professional success depends on flexible skills the same way a proper strategy affects results of playing at https://augustus-slot.com. Companies try to hire specialists with developed soft skills. However, due to the lack of such people on the labor market, many are ready to develop employees’ soft skills after they are hired. Here’s how to evaluate and improve the level of soft skills development.

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Soft skills include emotional intelligence, self-control, empathy, time management, decision-making skills, and a sense of humor. In other words, hard skills are the skills that help a person perform work tasks independently, and soft skills are the ability to work in a team, manage their time and grow professionally.

 

Many people find it much easier to learn a profession than to develop flexible skills, because the latter are tightly bound up with personality traits. That’s why it’s important for managers to pay attention to the development of soft skills when planning employees’ education.

Why Employees Need to Develop Soft Skills

The formation of soft skills begins in childhood and continues throughout life. In adulthood, this task falls on the shoulders of the person and the HR department of the company in which they work. Some people think that only those employees who work with people need soft skills. However, the ability to think logically, negotiate with colleagues, manage one’s time or communicate one’s thoughts competently to partners is important for employees in any profession.

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If you don’t pay attention to the development of soft skills of your team, the manager will have to regularly spend time on control, additional motivation and resolution of conflicts between employees.

 

Developing soft skills in employees helps:

  • Form a favorable psychological climate in the team and establish effective communication between team members.
  • Avoid conflicts between colleagues, as well as with clients and partners.
  • Bring up leaders within the company, who can then occupy senior positions.
  • Develop creative thinking, which also belongs to soft skills and helps to find more effective ways of solving work tasks.
  • Increase the stress resistance of the team, to teach people to act and make decisions in conditions of uncertainty.
  • Increase work productivity by instilling time-management skills in employees and teaching them to prioritize tasks.
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How to Determine the Level of Development of Soft Staff Skills

Before we move on to the development of soft skills, we need to understand at what level of development they are currently at.

 

Some companies test employees’ emotional intelligence, self-organization skills, stress tolerance, etc. even at the recruitment stage. To save time for the manager and HR specialists, this process can be automated.

 

Surveys, tests, and interviews should be conducted regularly, e.g., once a quarter or twice a year. This will allow you to track progress in the formation of flexible skills in employees and evaluate the effectiveness of the training system in the company.

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Differences Between Hard and Soft Skills Training

The main difference between hard skills and soft skills is that the former are much easier to master. Hard skills are the skills that people learn in universities and vocational schools, without which they cannot perform work tasks. There are hard skills for every occupation and position. For example, for a driver, it’s driving a car, and for a developer, it’s knowing programming languages.

 

Soft skills are universal skills, the same skill can be possessed by people of different professions. For example, the ability to make a decision in difficult situations is equally useful for a driver and a programmer. Flexible skills are developed throughout life, it’s impossible to pass a training session and develop once and for all resilience to stress and the ability to lead people.

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Hard skills are skills that are easy to test. A person who doesn’t have the right professional knowledge won’t be able to get a job. Evaluating flexible skills is much more difficult. That is why companies often employ applicants with good hard skills, and the missing soft skills are developed during corporate courses.

What Soft Skills Must Be Developed First

There are dozens of soft skills, which may be useful for a particular person, but not too interesting for the company in which he works. For example, such soft skills include entrepreneurial skills, the ability to self-reflection, networking, etc. Each employee can develop them individually.

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At the same time, there are flexible skills, the presence of which will directly benefit the company. The HR department and the corporate training department should be engaged in their development. Here’s a list of soft skills which most managers want to see in their employees:

  • The ability to build communication with people, the ability to listen and persuade interlocutors, teamwork skills.
  • Critical thinking, the ability to seek and analyze information, and make informed decisions.
  • Stress tolerance, ability to manage emotions, and work under uncertainty.
  • Public speaking and presentation skills.
  • Ability to set tasks for other employees, to motivate and control their execution.
  • The ability to set goals, plan and manage their own development.
  • The development of these flexible skills is the first thing to focus on.
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What to Do to Develop Soft Skills of Personnel

The development of soft skills requires the joint work of a coach or trainer and a trainee. First, the manager or HR identifies the weaknesses of the employee and builds an individual development plan. After that, you can choose and assign the person suitable courses which will give a good theoretical knowledge. After that, it’s possible to work on the acquired skills during a face-to-face training or directly in the work process.

 

The development of flexible skills directly depends on motivation. Therefore, it’s important to explain to employees the importance of developing soft skills and give examples of how the availability of certain skills helps to build a career and grow professionally.

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