What are soft skills and how can they benefit your team? This blog post explores how these key skills enhance company culture and accelerate business success.
Did you know that soft skills, such as creativity and problem solving, are just as crucial to securing that dream job as hard skills? The problem is, many HR managers and hire leads don’t realize this until the role has been filled. Soft skills are crucial to a happy and satisfied team because they lead to strong internal communication and a receptive work environment. And soft skills aren’t just tied to one specific job, but are applicable to everything we do professionally, from leading meetings to sharing information to delegating tasks.
So what exactly are soft skills? These are the skills that make day-to-day interactions run smoothly. This includes good communication, diplomacy, the ability to give constructive feedback, strong decision-making, creativity and much more. Soft skills represent a huge range of dynamic competencies, and implementing them into company culture should be a priority for every team lead.
A common misconception is that soft skills can’t be learned, that they’re simply part of an individual’s personality or nature. However, that’s not true. In this blog post we’ll identify some of the key soft skills that are beneficial to any team and provide details on how to train them.
This is arguably one of the most important skills to have in the workplace. The ability to think creatively isn’t just for designers and marketers – it’s an advantage to developers, HR managers, IT staff, even the finance team. Why is this? The ability to think creatively means that unexpected challenges or hurdles can be overcome quickly, with minimal disruption, and, often, with exciting and dynamic results.
Creativity inspires people to work together and think outside the box. It builds a culture of resilience and forgiveness and ultimately accelerates a department beyond its expected parameters. This also applies to any individual role. A creative Operations Officer will be able to find new ways to get employees to hand in their timesheets, for example, or will implement new software or find inventive ways to save company time and money.
So how can you train creativity? There are many online workshops designed to boost your employees’ creativity during corona times and develop their innovation skills. For example, The Thinking Business specializes in creative skills, such as mind-mapping, imaginative thinking, idea generation, and storytelling.
A happy team knows how to talk, and that’s why soft skills training in communication is the key to a happy and flexible work culture. Communication comes in all shapes and sizes – for example, understanding when to loop colleagues into an email chain so everybody’s on the same page or knowing when to escalate a problem to a senior colleague or manage it yourself. Good communication also comes in the form of simply telling your colleagues what you plan to do that day, so tasks don’t get performed twice. All of this contributes to a well-run, organized, and robust team, and the good news is it’s easy to create a culture where this is the norm.
How? Online platforms such as Udemy have communication-specific training courses. It’s the perfect solution to developing your team during lockdown, as it’s all run remotely and can be completed during home office.
Adaptability is an underrated, yet crucial, skill for success in the workplace. It is the ability to rapidly learn new skills and behaviours in response to changing circumstances. Here at Babbel, we believe language-learning skills are one of the best ways to improve and strengthen your adaptability muscles. When a team member has access to a second language, they’re better able to communicate and react to changing situations – especially when working with overseas clients. This is particularly important in a leadership role. A strong leader must be able to adapt in a fast-paced environment, while communicating effectively and finding the best outcomes for all stakeholders.
If you’re interested in becoming a more agile and adaptable communicator, sign up for Babbel for Business today.
4. Time management
HR and recruiters are always on the lookout for applicants with great time management skills. The issue is it’s difficult to gauge from an interview whether somebody is able to meet multiple deadlines under pressure. The consequences of having poor time management skills can be extremely detrimental to a company and could result in angry clients, lost customers or a negative team culture. It can also lead to employees feeling overworked, stressed or demotivated.
Good time management starts at the top. A manager who understands the pressure their team is under will be able to allocate and delegate tasks in a conscientious way. So, why not invest in time management training for the entire team? The Haufe Akademie offers self-organization and time-management courses designed to benefit your team and the company as a whole.
5. Critical thinking
Critical thinking is a soft skill that will benefit every employee, whatever their position or role. As children, we’re taught not to question concepts or ideas but to accept what we’re told. Critical thinking is the exact opposite. It’s the objective reanalysis of an issue or idea that often leads to innovative solutions and creative results. A company should prioritize the development of critical thinking skills in order to rise above competition and position themselves as thought leaders and industry disruptors.
To train critical thinking as a soft skill, managers don’t need to invest lots of money in a training course – instead they can test their aptitude with online tests such as this one from aptitude-test.com. It’s free, fun and will get your team thinking in a brand new way.
Want inspiration on other skills you can train? Here are some of the top hard skills your team can learn on the job.
If you’re interested in expanding the soft skills of your team and investing in digital language learning, then sign up to Babbel for Business.