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7 ways to work on the soft skills of my team

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LCandidate selection is an increasingly complex activity. If we want to be sure that we have chosen the right person to perform a job, we must look both at the skills that are essential to carry out the tasks of said position, and at another series of skills not directly linked to the job. This leads us to differentiate between hard and soft skills, of which soft skills mainly have to be worked on.

hard skills or hard skills are those skills that are closely linked to the tasks that a person must perform in their job. Knowledge and specific skills that allow you to perform a professional job.

For example, if we are recruiting a forklift driver to work for a logistics company, one of his hard skills should be knowing how to operate a reach truck. If we are looking for an accountant, we need them to be aware of how the most popular billing software works.

At the other extreme we find soft skills or soft skills, which are skills that are not directly related to the job to be developed, but allow those who have them to perform their work better. 

Let us now imagine that we are looking for a manager for the communication department of our company. We are going to demand a series of skills from the person who occupies the position that are essential to carry out the job, but it would also be interesting if they had soft skills such as creativity.

The soft skills allow a better adaptation of the person to their work environment and, therefore, a better integration in the company. Hence the need to promote them within the template and, therefore, we are going to see seven different ways to do it.

1. Soft skills can be developed as a way of working on soft skills

The first thing to keep in mind is that soft skills they do not necessarily have to be something innate in the person. There are those who naturally have extraordinary leadership skills or great communication skills, but this does not mean that other people cannot learn these skills.

Everyone needs education and training to develop soft skills. Even one who is a natural leader you will end up stagnant if you do not continue to develop this capacity.

That is why a good way to work these skills in the company is to establish a specific technical training program for certain positions. In addition to helping to develop new skills, this type of training has a very positive impact on employee motivation and increase their loyalty to the company.

Beyond learning in a more or less regulated way, employees must also be given the opportunity to learn from each other. A good way to develop new skills is to observe others, to have something like a tutor.

In the same way that when a new employee arrives at the company, we assign him a mentor for a few days so that he adapts to the way of working, we can also create small work teams in which a mentor is in charge of sharing his experience with the members. and help them develop new skills.

This increases interpersonal relationships within the company, which also contributes positively to raising motivation rates.

2. Individualized mentoring plan

It implies going a little further than what we have just exposed, because in this case the mentoring will be developed through private evaluation meetings between the mentor and the person he is guiding in his learning process.

Since it is a somewhat more complex and expensive procedure, it is usually used only when it comes to developing new soft skills in people who have just started to occupy a position of responsibility or are about to do so.

Here is set a full trust relationship between the mentor and his "disciple", so that the latter feels freer when exposing his doubts and uncertainties.

On the other hand, in this mentoring system the guide is much more involved in the employee's evolution and provide your feedback so that the improvement is continued over time.

It has been shown that this measure improves the performance of workers and Facilitates adaptation to positions of responsibility, while allowing early detection of problems. And, in any case, it contributes to the development of interpersonal communication skills.

3. Define the objectives as a way of working on soft skills

Each person has their own soft skills, although they can later develop more or improve those they already have. On the other hand, each job requires different soft skills. So it is the task of the company to define what objectives it wants to achieve in terms of this issue.

Just as goals are set for employees in matters such as productivity, it must also be done with respect to soft skills, determining which are the priorities and to what degree they should be developed. 

What we must bear in mind is that developing a competition is not a matter of two days, it is usually about long term goals. Therefore, it is advisable to divide these goals or objectives into smaller sub-objectives that can become a reality in the short or medium term.

These mini objectives allow progress towards the goal to be safer and the employee does not lose motivation, because he can Gradually see the results of your effort.

For example, if we want an employee to develop his communication skills, we can set him a challenge: in one month he should be ready to make a small presentation in public, in two months his presentation should be more extensive, in three he should answer the questions of his audience after the exhibition, etc.

4. Include soft skills within the company culture

Many candidates work hard to have the essential skills to fill a job, but few focus on developing soft skills. Now, if the company that hires you has these soft skills as one of the focuses of your business culture, things are going to change.

The employee will be willing to know more about this type of skills and will surely be willing to make an effort to develop them if he understands that these are a added value for the organization (and for him) and that this can help him advance professionally.

If the management team itself displays a wide range of soft skills, such as conciliatory character or work ethic, these values will be transmitted through the entire chain of command and will permeate the way of working throughout the company.

In other words, the management team must lead by example when putting soft skills into practice and, on the other hand, the company must promote better knowledge about them among its employees.

5. Putting new skills into practice as a way of working on soft skills

Skills and abilities must be put into practice, it is not enough to learn the theory about them. If we want to be experts in time management, it is not enough that we read everything that has been written about it, there comes a time when we must put it into practice to see if we have really assimilated the knowledge that has been transmitted to us.

A good way to put soft skills into practice is assign complementary tasks within work teams. For example, the employee who is always in charge of the accounting aspects of the project, we can assign the additional task of mediating possible conflicts that arise between colleagues.

It is not about overloading a person with work, but about assigning small new responsibilities that involve putting into practice skills and competencies that you do not use on a daily basis in your job.

6. Practice active listening

Active listening is a dimension of communication that is useful on many levels. It is essential for the leader, but it also serves to avoid conflicts between people who are at the same hierarchical level, stimulates communication, etc.

Therefore, putting active listening into practice is essential for all employees to begin to better manage verbal and non-verbal language resources, that will be the best foundation to develop soft skills from there.

7. Involve all employees as a way of working on soft skills

In some companies, soft skills are only really interesting when they refer to employees who have a position of responsibility. Although it is true that in these cases they are very important, we must not lose sight of the rest of the staff.

Even the employee with the simplest job should develop these types of competencies. In this way, you will feel much more comfortable and valued and, in addition, the talent development is key for the company to continue gaining competitive advantage.

Soft skills are now more important than ever in the labor market, both for companies and for their own employees. Hence the need for total involvement in its development process, because the results will be beneficial to all.

Carry out competency assessments and identify the soft skills of your candidates and employees quickly and efficiently thanks to Hirint. If you want to know how, book a meeting with us here

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