Everything you need to know about developing soft skills

Table of Contents

The main challenge for recruitment specialists is to find the worker profile that best fits the position to be filled. But, for some time now, we have known that when it comes to achieving this connection, it is not enough for the chosen person to know how to carry out the tasks of the job offered.   In order to improve the efficiency of work teams, they should be made up of people who have different competencies and skills that can interpenetrate each other. This is where they come into play soft skills.   It is about that set of personal qualities that are not directly linked to the exercise of a specific job, but that are essential for success in any task   They are closely related to the person's way of being and their mentality, and determine how they interact and how they face the challenges that may arise within the workplace.  

Why are soft skills so important?

  The hard skill, or hard skills, those that a person needs to develop a specific job, only serve within that scope. If the employee decides to turn his professional career around and dedicate himself to something else, those skills will no longer be worth it, he will have to develop new ones.    In addition, the ways of working change over time, which makes it absolutely necessary recycle hard skills. If this is not done, we will be dealing with a worker who has become outdated and may no longer be suitable for the position he is occupying.   On the contrary, soft skills can be used both inside and outside the workplace. For example, if a person is a good communicator, this can come in handy at work, but also when negotiating a loan with their bank.    The soft skills do not become obsolete over time, but it is necessary to continue working on them to enhance them.   Another important issue to keep in mind is that it is precisely the soft skills that make each worker unique and, in most cases, these are the ones behind professional success.  

The worker with soft skills, is he born or made?

  We can say that it is a mixture of both. There are those who have a natural gift for leadership, communication, time management, creativity, etc., but the fact that these qualities are not innate in a person does not mean that they cannot develop them.   The skills that the person has been forging throughout their life experience can be added to the skills that can be learned through training.  

How to start developing soft skills?

 

identify opportunities

  A good starting point is to do a SWOT analysis of yourself, focusing in this case on the soft skills you they already own and in which it would be necessary to develop to find the desired job.    To achieve a good result, you have to do an honest introspection of yourself and your behavior, determining what your strengths are, and what aspects need improvement.  

Find a way to work on them

  The alternative of regulated training it is always there. Proof of this is that the offer of public speaking or leadership courses is becoming more and more extensive. However, classical-style training is not always necessary to develop new soft skills.   For example, if when analyzing your profile you have realized that you are rather individualistic and you are not good at working in a team, you can enhance this ability by doing volunteer work: a soup kitchen, Civil Protection, an association for the defense of the animals… what they all have in common is that they always work as a team.  

Putting new skills into practice

  If you have taken the trouble to start working on developing or improving your personal skills, do not stay only in theory. It is time to put them into practice in the workplace and check if you are really achieving the goals you had set for yourself.  

The role of the company in the development of soft skills

  We have already seen that each of us can do a lot to improve our soft skills, but also companies can do their part. Because having talented workers endowed with good professional and personal skills is for them a source of profitability.   In this sense, companies must play a facilitator role, approaching and promoting the training of its employees, helping them to develop new skills that will make them more effective when carrying out their work. This, in addition to improving productivity, also allows corporations attract and retain talent.   Let us now see what factors companies must take into account when promoting the development of their employees' soft skills.

training activities

  Not all the training given in the company must necessarily be related to the tasks of the job. Courses that promote the development of soft skills they can be imparted to the entire workforce and generate benefits in all the extracts of the company.   Some examples are courses related to teamwork, those aimed at improving communication, or those that aim to stimulate creative thinking or critical thinking.  

Corporate culture that favors the development of the individual

  It makes no sense to promote the development of soft skills among staff members if then The management team does not promote the use of these capacities.   There are still companies that restrict the development of their employees, in which there is no room for constructive criticism and the value of effective communication is not recognized. Luckily, companies of this type are less and less.   The current trend is for the corporate culture to promote the personal and professional development of its employees, taking into account their opinions and valuing them beyond the work they do.  

provide feedback

  Feedback is much more than an evaluation of the worker's performance, it is to establish a mentoring system in which there is a tutor who helps others in the development of new skills.   The mentor will be in charge of giving feedback to his “disciples”. Their criticism will always be constructive, encouraging to continue improving. But there will also be room for positive feedback, highlighting to each individual what they are doing well and recognizing their effort.  

Set the goals and the monitoring process well

  We can evaluate the productive capacity of a worker based on the number of tasks of their position that they carry out in a given time, but soft skills cannot be measured in this way.   How are we going to know if a person has improved their communication skills, or if they are now a better leader than they were a few months ago? the key is in schedule activities in which you can check on-site if there has been a positive evolution.   For example, if we want our employees to develop their ability to work as a team, a team building can be carried out after the training. In this playful activity you can check if the relationships between the team members have improved, and if they now synchronize and complement each other better than before.  

Assign new competencies

  As we said before, new skills must be put into practice, and certain soft skills may not have much chance of being effective in the job that a person occupies.   A good way to get around this problem is to assign employees complementary responsibilities in which they can put their new skills into practice. This has a great motivating effect.  

The most demanded soft skills today

  To finish, it is worth taking a look at the soft skills most valued by the companies included in one of the last LinkedIn reports  

Leadership

  It is a skill that allows people guide others in achieving their goals, so that the company finds it easier to achieve the goals it has set.  

Communication

  It refers to oral, written, and even non-verbal communication, all those forms of expression that give rise to a more effective expression inside and outside of work.  

Teamwork

  It is a set of skills such as the ability to coordinate, the ability to delegate, or the practice of active listening, which allow employees carry out their work together.  

Time management

  It is the ability to make a intelligent use of the time available to complete the various pending tasks.  

Problem resolution

  It refers to the ability of people to combine analytical and creative thinking and thus find the most appropriate solution for each problem.  

Critical thinking

  It implies being able to objectively analyze the information received and thereby reach logical conclusions, without being influenced by the personal biases or the emotions.   Soft skills are necessary in all jobs in any organization, although they will not always be necessary. For this reason, it is important for the company to be clear about which ones are necessary in each specific case, and look for workers who have them or have sufficient potential to develop them.   Evaluate the soft skills of your candidates in a selection process with an evaluation tool like Hirint, thanks to our software it identifies the key skills for your company. If you want to know more, book a meeting here