In an increasingly dynamic and changing world of work, it is no longer enough to have a university degree to guarantee good professional performance. On the contrary, there is a series of less formalized skills or abilities that are not usually acquired in the academic field but that are decisive for a satisfactory work career. These skills are often called soft skills, as opposed to the hard core of skills or requirements (training, technical, etc.) of a particular job.
What are ‘soft skills’?
As you may know, the hard skills required for a certain position are always changing and evolve at the dizzying pace of digital transformation and the emergence of new technologies. On the other hand, there is a valuable set of soft skills that tend to remain unchanged over time.
So what exactly do we mean when we talk about soft skills? Well, we call soft skills a set of personal attributes, own qualities and communication skills that allow a person to have an efficient and quality interaction with others.
It is, therefore, a series of interpersonal skills and personality traits that are much more difficult to quantify and acquire than hard skills.
10 usefull soft skills
- Ability for teamwork
- Creative thinking
- Problem resolution
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Conflict resolution
¿Why are they important?
As we said at the beginning, in a world of work so changing and dominated by technology, technical or training skills are no longer enough. It is in this dynamic framework where interpersonal skills and certain personality traits appear more necessary than ever. In this way:
- Soft skills are important in any type of position and in all types of sector, since the ability of an employee to develop a good interaction with others will always be valuable.
- Having soft skills makes you a versatile worker, since it is a set of skills that are transferable to any task or position.
- Soft skills are not usually acquired through training programs, in limited periods of time. On the contrary, they are skills that are developed over the years, through experience, and that, therefore, make the worker who has them a very valuable resource for any company.
- Soft skills contribute to creating a collaborative environment in the company, thus achieving a more productive and comfortable work environment.
- Soft skills facilitate coexistence, interaction and teamwork when we have workers of very diverse origins, generations or personalities. Good communication helps to develop a fluid work and to avoid possible friction due to misunderstandings.
Mix soft skills and tools
Working on soft skills is necessary, but having a tool that allows you to take advantage of them in the right way is just as important. Thanks to our software EVOLUTION you will be able to extract, analyze and interpret all the data of your contacts with the clients, in this way observe the evolution in the soft skills of your team through the duration of the calls, the satisfaction of the clients and other metrics of interest.
How to develop soft skills in a company
Although in part these types of skills are conditioned by one’s own personality or by innate abilities, this does not mean that they cannot be developed or learned. In this sense, we can point out a series of recommendations or initiatives that can contribute to the development of soft skills and that, in fact, could be carried out in any company:
- Program training activities focused on the development of soft skills. Beyond specific technical training for a certain position, it is very convenient to promote transversal courses within the company in subjects such as teamwork, creative thinking, communication, etc. These types of actions give the employee the opportunity to leave the strict framework of his job for a moment and develop versatile skills, having a very positive impact on his/her motivation.
- Promote a business culture and a work environment that favor the development of soft skills. The leadership style has a decisive influence on the promotion of these soft skills. In this way, if the management shows a conciliatory attitude, which values teamwork and acts with an impeccable work ethic, those values will be transmitted to the entire organization in a very natural way. On the contrary, training actions in soft skills will be of little use if the leadership style implemented in the company does not promote them through daily example.
- Establish a mentoring system that provides useful feedback for employees. It is about going a step beyond the traditional monitoring and evaluation systems, to establish a plan of individual meetings between mentor and employee where the latter can be heard and advised in a personalized way. This type of meeting greatly facilitates adaptation to new positions, contributes to improved performance, facilitates early detection of problems, etc. Additionally, it contributes greatly to the development of interpersonal communication skills.
- Set goals in improving soft skills. Just as we are used to setting productivity or performance goals related to hard skills, we must also do it in the case of soft skills. However, by the very nature of these types of skills, these goals will be set differently. For example, to improve communication skills, it could be established that each employee must make at least one public presentation per month (offering, of course, the necessary feedback that allows them to progress in their development).
- Assign complementary tasks within the work teams. It would be a matter of entrusting each member of the team with additional work to their own, related to one of these soft skills. In this sense, tasks related to communication between team members, time management, documentation of progress, etc. would be assigned.
A value for the future
We must not fall into the error of underestimating the importance of soft skills, since they decisively contribute to building stronger and more productive teams within the company. Dedicating efforts to promoting and improving them has an undeniable direct impact on achieving a better work environment and, ultimately, happier and more motivated employees.