What Are Soft Skills in the Workplace?
When evaluating job applicants, employers should rely on more than a person’s industry experience. While job-specific skills are important, the applicant’s soft skills must also be considered. This guide will introduce you to soft skills and help show why they are highly desirable characteristics for your employees to possess.
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are non-technical abilities that positively impact employee performance and transcend industry-specific knowledge. For example, the “hard skill” of knowing how to code only applies to certain occupations, while understanding how to work in a team can be applied to any position. The latter is a “soft skill.” Soft skills generally consist of traits gained from social interactions and workplace experiences. Some examples include being:
- Skilled at conflict resolution
- Emotionally intelligent
- Skilled at networking
While some employees may benefit from these skills naturally, others may require upskilling or reskilling to develop and hone these essential characteristics. Indeed, those who possess soft skills are valuable assets for all organizations, so it’s essential for employers to recognize these traits in their job applicants. Companies should also be encouraged to invest in professional soft skill career coaching.
Soft Skills Examples ;
Communication skills will improve how employees collaborate with their peers and prevent misunderstandings. Those with soft skills related to communication may also be good at negotiating, presenting, and writing.
If a customer has a complaint, for example, it would be ideal to have a professional with problem-solving soft skills handle the situation. An employee with such skills can work with the customer without feeling stress. They may also have the knowledge to quickly solve the issue without escalating it to a manager.
- Time management
Professionals with excellent time management skills will stay productive throughout their shifts and know how to prioritize their tasks. Employees who manage their time effectively are also typically better at multitasking, juggling different projects at once, and still meeting agreed deadlines. This makes it a crucial workplace skill.
- Critical thinking
Many teams will encounter daily challenges during their workday that require critical thinking skills to overcome. Employees who are critical thinkers skills are analytical, flexible, resourceful, and can make helpful observations about situations.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
Hiring professionals who possess soft skills will result in positive changes to all aspects of a company. The work culture of an organization can improve by employing those with collaboration skills and good emotional intelligence. Businesses may increase the quality of their services by hiring detail-oriented individuals, and finding professionals with excellent social skills and dispute-resolution abilities can improve how customers feel when interacting with a company.
Remember—soft skills are attributes that will never lose their importance in the workplace. These characteristics are what shape employees into highly sought-after team members who can be an asset to companies in every industry.