In a technology-driven society, almost anyone can learn whatever hard skills they desire if they want to. For example, anyone can learn how to code even if they don’t have a degree related to it. Of course, this is thanks to the Internet, where a plethora of information on any topic is available.
But some skills that a person can’t really learn completely just by watching some videos online or reading books are soft skills, which refer to character traits and interpersonal skills. They need to be taught in a hands-on environment since many of these skills must be practiced with others.
In a national survey, 41 percent of American adults say that they use soft skills at work more frequently than other skills. Soft skills are essential in the workplace since they promote a good working environment.
Thus, employers need to ensure that they conduct training on these skills to improve their employees’ work performance and competency and for the benefit of their organizations. Some soft skills to prioritize are as follows:
One essential soft skill to have is effective communication. It usually entails three things: active listening, good verbal and non-verbal skills, and effective writing.
In the workplace, an employee communicates with different types of people. For example, someone working in a web development agency will have to communicate with coworkers, clients, and third-party vendors. Knowing how to communicate effectively will help this employee build good working relationships with these groups of people and perform better at work.
Effective communication benefits both employees and the company since it helps maintain a strong network and fosters a welcoming work environment.
Many employees work in a virtual environment these days because of the pandemic. This setup can be challenging since the line between work and rest at home has been blurred. It can have two different effects on employees. They will either be more productive because they get to work in a comfortable work environment. Or they will become less motivated and feel unproductive.
And this is exactly why it’s important to teach emotional intelligence to employees. High emotional intelligence enables people to manage their emotions so that they can motivate themselves when needed and manage their stress.
There are many ways to help employees improve their emotional intelligence. One possible method is to teach them meditation strategies. Another method is guiding employees in identifying, acknowledging, and managing their emotions.
For work-from-home employees, they may no longer feel like they’re working in a team since they don’t spend time with their team members in a physical environment. Also, working from home for more than a year may have taught employees to be fine with working on their own.
To some extent, being able to work independently is a good thing. But in a team environment, this can be difficult. Without teamwork, the members of a team won’t be able to collaborate effectively. The lack of teamwork might also result in friction between some members.
Thus, employers need to train employees on how to work more effectively as a team. This is especially important in a virtual environment where several team members are in separate work locations. Team members must be able to collaborate and help each other so that they can work more efficiently.
During the pandemic, more employees are working longer hours, so they can’t achieve work-life balance. This issue can result in several negative outcomes. For example, they won’t have enough time to rest, which can then affect their physical and mental health.
As such, it’s even more important than ever for employers to help employees manage their time. This can be done by teaching employees effective time and task management strategies. For example, employers can teach employees how to use the Pomodoro method. It involves working in small chunks of time with short breaks in between.
Employers should also teach employees how to delegate tasks. This skill ties in with communication and teamwork. If an employee can effectively communicate their hardships in managing their tasks, they are more likely to ask for help from other team members and their manager. And together, the team can figure out which tasks to delegate and to whom to accomplish these tasks sooner.
Of course, there are many other soft skills that employees must master. But communication, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and time management are some of the most important ones to learn now that employees are working in a virtual environment.