Stay Ahead of the Curve: How to Turn Soft Skills into Building Blocks
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
Skill building is a lifelong process for any working professional. Hard skills development has always been a top priority for companies but being gifted at performing the technical aspects of a job will only take an employee so far. An outstanding employee possesses an arsenal of skills that are trickier to measure but crucial to success. Also known as “soft skills,” they are non-technical skills that relate to how you interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage your work.
In today’s hybrid-model world, soft skills are more crucial than ever. The last two years have shifted priorities in the workplace, and now employees with high emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills are the ones who stand out. Soft job skills allow your team to foster better connections with your clients and with one another, helping you achieve your business goals. You can transform these soft skills into developmental skills that your employees will carry with them as they grow in their careers.
WHERE TO START
How do you know which soft skills need shoring up within your team? To discover which soft skills are most essential to your organization, look to your most successful employees. See if they share certain traits that allow them to prosper in your workplace. By reviewing your company’s value statements and thinking about your company’s culture, you can determine which skills align with your overall mission.
Like technical skills, soft skills can diminish if they go unused. That’s why it’s essential to practice and develop them continuously. Don’t let your company skill training use a one-and-done approach. Changing from a one-time training initiative to a stair-stepping development method can seem daunting, and your employees and leaders don’t have the time to pause operations and attend a week-long training session. Instead, the key is to implement learning techniques that help your employees enhance their skills on a day-to-day basis.
TAILORED SKILLS TRAINING Not all companies operate the same, and neither do development processes. There are various ways to engage and enhance your employees, and developing a plan that suits your company is key. Use a combination of larger-group training, mentoring programs, and self-guided programming. You should also provide your employees with engaging questions, ask for feedback on current tasks and projects, and have them reflect on their existing skills.
THE LONG GAME It’s critical to show your employees why prioritizing soft skills training should matter to them. That might mean drawing a direct line between developing these skills and achieving higher pay or a promotion. When moving employees into supervisory positions, you will want candidates with a well-rounded skill set. Thanks to soft skills development measures, employees will be ready to transition into new positions with ease. Teaching employees to treat these skills as building blocks is not only beneficial to their professional development but the overall growth of your company.
Shifting workplaces, settings, positions, and priorities require a higher level of emotional intelligence, communication, and interpersonal skill. These baseline traits can be truly transformative, especially when you implement the right tools to promote their continuous development. By prioritizing soft skills, you are investing in the success of your employees and your organization.