What includes soft skills?

As per The Wall Street Journal, “Competition has heated up for workers with the right mix of soft skills, which vary by industry and across the pay spectrum—from making small talk with a customer at the checkout counter to coordinating a project across several departments on a tight deadline.”

Even though there is no clear definition of what comprises soft skills, the general perception is that these are overlapping characteristics that define who you are and how you react. It covers social and emotional skills, non-cognitive traits and habits, problem-solving attitude, and grit. These are an integral part of your personality and define how you interact with your colleagues in a professional landscape.

Over 90% of graduates who have good soft skills will become increasingly essential and contribute to the organization’s growth.

Here are some of the critical types of soft skills –

  • Self-awareness

    Self awareness

     

    Unless you know yourself, you will never know how to deal with others. Self-awareness refers to understanding your emotions, such as anger, motivations, inspirations, frustrations, and other key driving factors. It also includes how you perceive various situations, people, and how it drives your actions. It is about knowing how a mirror sees you.

  • Stress management

    stress management

    There can often be situations that pan out completely different from how we expected them to, and it is common in a workplace. One of the vital soft skills is the ability to stay calm and composed in any situation. It will ensure that your productivity level remains the same irrespective of the circumstances and prepares you for anything new that crosses your path.

  • Grit

    Grit skills

    We have good and bad days. Grit refers to the ability to bounce back from the worst of situations and still behave as if it was not a big deal.

  • Respecting other’s perspective

    respecting other people's perspective

    It is imperative to understand that you need to pay attention to others when you are in the workplace. It would enable you to pick up visible cues and understand someone else’s situation better. We speak more by way of our expressions than spoken words.

  • Negotiation skills

    There is a constant need in a workplace environment to find win-win situations that would benefit all parties involved. So employees must understand the other party’s motivations and forge a relationship that would satisfy both sides and work towards the betterment of the organization.

  • Problem-solving attitude

    Problem solving attitude

    There can be times when you are in a fix in a workplace and find it difficult to get out of it. Being proactive and looking for ways to identify and implement solutions is another soft skill crucial for the individual.

  • Interpersonal relationship skills

    Interpersonal relationship skills

    When we are in a workplace, the ultimate aim is to create meaningful relationships that help the organization achieve its purposes and help everyone prosper. It would require individuals who can find common ground, pay attention to others’ feelings, and ultimately find ways to help others grow.

  • Ability to resolve conflicts

    ability to resolve conflicts

    An employee must be able to deal with people effectively who may not agree to a common viewpoint and beg to differ, at times, for no apparent reason.

  • Growth perception

    Growth perspective

    Growth perception refers to enjoying challenging situations and taking them on as an opportunity to learn and grow. This soft skill helps employees take the situation head-on and not blame others or hand over responsibilities during a crunch period.

  • Ability to manage emotions

    Emotions often bar us from thinking in the right direction. So it is imperative for individuals to have the ability to regulate their emotions, good or bad, and act in the best interest of the organization.

  • A team man

    Even though it may not seem like a soft skill to many people, it is one of the most underrated ones. The ability to collaborate with your colleagues seamlessly irrespective of differences to achieve common goals is one skill that is a must-have for every employee.

How are soft skills different from hard skills?

If you are a Marvel fan, hard skills are like Hulk’s work, i.e., visible to everyone throughout, but soft skills are like Ant-Man’s modus operandi, i.e., not everyone gets to know what he does.

Soft skills include character traits and interpersonal skills that help individuals assimilate in a workplace and perform to their potential. These are very different from hard skills. The latter are job-specific and can be acquired through education, training, and work experience. Hard skills are also measurable, and we can test them through assignments.

Hard skills can be taught and honed over time, but soft skill training is much more demanding and challenging to evaluate. Soft skills in business play an essential role but often do their work unnoticed.

Importance of soft skills training

A Human Resource Management report states that 84% of HR professionals found a deficit of soft vital skills, such as the ability to be creative and think critically, among the candidates they interviewed.

We have seen corporate soft skill training as an integral part of workforce training for a long time now. It is because these nuances will always matter. The ability to assimilate and become one allows individuals to showcase their accurate technical skills in a clutter-free manner.

The 2019 LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends showcased how hiring managers associate soft skills with success. The WFH (work from home) scenario, which became the norm for most of 2020, further elevated the need to have cordial people who are team men.

The added level of flexibility required for the WFH scenario has further propelled the case for soft skills. Individuals who are more caring and willing to fulfill the role of others without constantly pestering about it are better placed to succeed.
h2>Benefits of soft skills training in the workplace

A recent report by Burning Glass states that one in three skills requested in job postings pertain to soft skills. It is prevalent even for technical jobs, such as healthcare and IT. After all, friendly behavior is a crucial addition irrespective of your job profile.

Given that so many people fall short in displaying their soft skills, corporate soft skills training is a must-have for every organization. It would help them hone the interpersonal skills of their employees and also bring about a host of additional benefits as listed below –

  • Improved workplace productivity

    When employees know how to keep their personal and professional lives separate, it automatically helps them perform better at their workplace. Having soft skills in the business allows individuals to manage their time more productively and speed up tasks without affecting quality.

    Corporate soft skills training helps build improved understanding amongst the team, leading to enhanced collaboration, communication, and creativity. It not only pushes individuals to attain personal goals but also makes them strive harder for common goals.

  • Risk mitigation

    When there are differences in communication, an employee will be reluctant to pass on complete information to others in the group. It can cause confusion and sub-par performance of the team. It can also lead to employees unknowingly failing to adhere to instructions and violating critical rules.

    Instead, a functional corporate soft skills training will help the team imbibe empathy and use creative reasoning to understand the repercussions of their actions better. It allows them to judge a situation better and execute decisions that adhere to organizational rules and meet the set performance standards.

  • Improved customer experience

    When the employee relationships are cordial and favourable, it would also seep down to the impeccable overall customer experience that the team can achieve. When there is no animosity within the group, they are more open to listening and understanding customer grievances and finding ways to resolve them at the earliest.

    When the work environment is positive, the team can deal with the grumpiest customers with ease. Their emotional intelligence helps them stay collected and ask meaningful questions that would show them how to solve the issues rather than complain about their behaviour.

  • Forging a stronger team

    Undertaking soft skills training brings about a holistic improvement in the work environment. Such change not only impacts the front-end but also brings about collaboration across the board. It helps bring the team closer and work towards collective betterment.

    Investing in developing soft skills helps companies fine-tune their processes and allows employees to deal with adversities better. It means that these efforts inadvertently contribute towards building a stronger team where individuals care and have a sense of belonging.

  • Higher sales

    A positive working environment coupled with a problem-solving attitude and a constant tryst to improve customer experience will inadvertently bear results in the form of increased sales. In addition, when your team is high on skills, both technical and soft, they can leverage these to rake in more customers and higher sales numbers.

    A capable corporate soft skills training should help employees use a mix of communication and interpersonal skills to help your workforce better persuade potential customers and improve sales.

  • Higher employee retention

    Every company looks to build a workforce with all the essential skills and is on a drive to improve. When you invest in corporate soft skills training, it provides a platform for all your employees to sharpen their skills and perform better at their job. The constant scope for improvement also ensures that their creative side finds a reason to continue with you and not look for something better.

    When you are able to achieve it, it means that you no longer have to carry out continuous recruitment endeavors, saving you money and time. It also indicates that you have the top talent for helping you improve your profits. In contrast, if you are ignorant, it can lead to high employee churn and adversely impact your customer experience and profits.

Wrap up

The current market scenario has made it difficult for employees who lack a dynamic outlook to survive. Also, AI and automation have further led to the work environment shifting from a relatively static to a continually changing space. It has led to organizations emphasizing incorporating soft skills in their business and utilizing them as a critical enabler for organizations to drive profits.

At Centum Learning, our owners have a collective experience of over 13 years and across 21 industry sectors. Our corporate soft skills training has helped transform the workforce of over 350 global firms.

Be it managerial, leadership, or skill development that you are looking for, our team is well equipped to create customized solutions for you. Transforming employee attitudes, values, and norms and preparing them for the next stage has been Centum Learning’s motto, and we are relentless in our approach towards achieving it.

Click here to explore our corporate soft skills training solutions.