5 Tips for Teaching Soft Skills to Your Employees
Yes, teaching soft skills is possible, especially if your employees are eager to learn. The hardest part is taking the time to mentor them. But, if you do take the time, you’ll be making the workplace a brighter and more fun place.
What Are Soft Skills?
During childhood, everyone builds their problem-solving skills and develops emotional control through empathy and assertiveness. These are the foundation for soft skills. Typically, these skills are bundled together, not necessarily in order of importance.
Soft skills include the following:
- Communication skills
- Willingness to change
- Time management
- Being a team player
- Work ethic
For recent college graduates, soft skills have become more prized than technical knowledge. The reason for this is because business owners can teach their employees how to perform tasks, but it’s difficult to teach them how to solve problems or positively interact with others.
5 Tips for Improvement
There are two questions about soft skill improvement that come up quite often. Why should I teach soft skills to my employees? Shouldn’t they know these things already? Sometimes, it’s necessary to improve these skills when there’s bad blood growing between employees and a resolution can’t be found. But, more importantly, over time your employees will learn how to be better communicators and problem solvers. They will be able to quickly resolve conflict and be more productive at work.
Research encourages employers to work with their employees and make them more aware of their actions, so they can become more proactive. Here are 5 tips to help you better understand the process and encourage improvement.
Annual evaluations are an excellent time to discuss areas in need of improvement and set a roadmap. Self-assessments and 360-feedback are great tools for you and your employee to understand where there are gaps in soft skills.
2. Clarity of communication.
“What we may have heard may not be what was said.” Asking for clarity on sensitive matters is a great way to develop a polite, yet confident tone. This is important for any relationship.
3. Personal accountability.
Improving an employee’s personal accountability will save your business time and money, while promoting trust and integrity. An honest person also has the potential to become an effective leader.
4. Conflict resolution.
Positive resolutions to conflict start with agreement. Look for common themes then work toward a solution. There will always be disagreements. To counterbalance these negative emotions, there should always be a feeling of mutual respect.
5. Goal setting.
Building a connection to the vision of the company extends beyond our own self-interests. Setting goals develops purpose and a way to reframe daily tasks that seem boring and not important. Your employees will feel more connected with their work.
Managing Company Culture
As a manager, you play an important role in creating a positive culture where everyone works together. This still embraces different personalities and ethnic backgrounds. Not everyone has to be the same, but they do need to be aware of their actions and respectful of others.
Any improvements in communication will raise employee morale and develop more trust. One benefit of having a good synergy in the workplace is that it alleviates stress and resolves conflict during difficult times. So, encourage your employees to improve their soft skills and learn more about themselves.