Learning & development in the workplace is often focused on hard skills training for employees. As people pros increasingly recognize the value of soft skills in the workplace and the importance of hiring for soft skills when building out their workforce, soft skills training should be equally prioritized.
To further strengthen their teams, it is also important for HR to support their people in improving these sought after human skills by providing a multitude of training opportunities.
Soft skills in demand in the workplace
As reported in LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 study, The soft skills that are the most in-demand in the workplace include the following five skills: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management.
Here are some tips on how to best help your people in developing those skills at work:
Creativity is not just limited to the creative industries and creative roles. The skills of being creative can be seen as problem-solving in original ways, which is a skill that cannot be easily replicated through automation. In fact, as technology transforms, the demand for creativity will rise by 2030.
To foster creative thinking and creative solutions in the workplace, management should encourage their people to contribute their innovative and unique ideas to projects and to decisions that affect the workplace. By offering opportunities such as brainstorming sessions, employees can have the space to ignite their creativity and become more open with sharing their ideas.
The clearest example of effective persuasion in the workplace is in a company’s sales division, where persuasive communication is used to get prospects and clients to see the benefits of their services and products. It’s this skill of influencing others that’s also needed in multiple departments across an organization. To be particularly skilled at persuasion involved multiple layers, communicating in an influential way, to understand how others think, how to connect with them, and how to use your knowledge to get their buy-in.
Communication and credibility. To enable your people to communicate in an influential way, connect them with opportunities to practice their communication skills by sharing their expertise with an engaged audience. Active listening and articulation at work. Speaking in environments such as panels and conferences, trade shows, and networking events will allow your people to practice their communication, build their confidence, and at the same time, raise your companies profile and credibility.
A team environment in which each member feels heard, respected, and valued is key to a happy, healthy, and thriving organization. For a team-based project to be successful, your people need to be able to collaborate together with clarity, accountability, and empathy.
Team-building activities are effective in fostering a sense of connection between team members. From team retreats to office activities which rally colleague for a common goal, these opportunities allow your people to strengthen their collaboration abilities while feeling closer to their team and to their company.
Being able to adapt themselves accordingly to change is a crucial quality for any employee working in a corporate environment where moving parts are constantly in flux. These team members that are open and flexible to change and are willing to adapt to new ideas and situations and ideas, even if they diverge from the intended path or plan, are needed in organizations.
Companies can support their people in developing their adaptability skills in the workplace by providing opportunities for team members to work on new skills outside of their current skill set. This can be facilitated through knowledge sharing sessions across departments at the office or by investing in professional development courses for people to bring back into their roles.
Time management is crucial when managing and handling multiple projects and priorities at once. To achieve success, an employee’s time must be allocated smartly and effectively.
Set up your people for success by giving them the context and the tools needed to succeed. When companies are transparent with their people on their organization’s goals, teams and individuals can prioritize their tasks to be in sync with the grand timeline. Then, enable them to manage their time via task management tools. At a glance, they can see where they are spending their time and strategize on how to use time effectively.
Over to you
By investing in the development of your people’s soft skills set, employers can effectively improve their employees’ work performance, job satisfaction, and leadership potential. In addition, having the most in-demand soft skills in abundance amongst your workforce will further add to the success stories for your organization.