Soft skills in the workplace comprise one of the most critical resources an employee can have in their arsenal. Every one of us possesses both soft and hard skills – the question we must consider is determining which soft skills we possess, to what degree, and to what extent they can help us achieve our objectives and function effectively in our team. We discuss more on this topic in this article.
What are soft skills in the workplace?
Soft skills in the workplace are a set of abilities relative to an employee’s interpersonal talents: their way of being, how they behave, and how they develop relationships. Therefore, soft skills are not related to one’s hard skills or one’s technical knowledge required for a job.
People in the same work team with the same position, training, and duties will undoubtedly share similar hard skills. When looking at these individuals from a more psychological point of view, however, we see that they have a set of soft skills in the workplace that are quite different from each other: perhaps one expresses himself better than the other, one is more shy, and the other more easy-going, one is more patient, and the other more impulsive, or one can generate a good working environment with their good humor while the other tends to make it worse.
What soft skills in the workplace are the most in-demand?
Every large company has numerous departments with a wide range of objectives and the procedures to achieve them. This means that not all positions within a company require the same soft or hard skills. However, some skills are generally more highly valued by employers regardless of the sector or department to which the employee is assigned. We discuss this matter in detail:
Creativity is one soft skill in the workplace that cannot be absent from this list, given that it refers to the unique talent of producing something out of nothing: connecting existing ideas or reconstructing them all together, finding new versions or methodologies, and executing either new tasks or the same old tasks in different ways.
Flexibility and creativity are mutually reinforcing. Flexibility is the ability to adapt successfully to a changing environment. It gets reflected in the people we work with, the instructions we receive at work, the objectives we strive to achieve, how we organize our tasks, and the physical space or time available to perform them.
3. Communication Skills
Communication skills are the ability to articulate and express our ideas with order and clarity and to listen carefully to other people’s ideas. This helps us understand ourselves clearly through the person we are working with and provide effective feedback that allows us to work and connect with them satisfactorily.
While we could have included empathy in the previous section as an important aspect of communication skills, given its importance in relationships, we have decided to give it its own separate section. This soft skill helps us focus on the internal states and needs of the person we are working with and respond to them to the best of our ability.
In addition to what we have just mentioned, if you are going to occupy a position of responsibility, leadership, team management, etc., your employers (and the people in your charge) would likely value certain additional soft skills in the workplace, such as assertiveness, the ability to offer someone recognition for a job well done, the ability to model corporate values, and personal charisma, which would distinguish you as someone of high importance among your colleagues.
Can we train soft skills in the workplace?
Normally, when the distinction is made between hard skills and soft skills in the workplace, it is assumed that hard skills are to be developed through training and coaching, while the employee already comes to their position with soft skills. This is not to say that one’s set of soft skills are fixed or inflexible. Instead, this implies that the interpersonal talents of employees are generally not thought of as something that should be given as much attention to in such a manner. However, soft skills are so important that they can be as important as an employee’s hard skills.
Just as there are technical and theoretical abilities in which we reach a certain ceiling in terms of skill and knowledge, why not treat soft skills in the workplace with a similar mindset regarding our ability to develop them? We can be quite predictable or stable regarding our personalities, talents, behavior styles, and way of interacting with others.
Nevertheless, we are more than capable of maturing, acquiring stronger communication skills, becoming more assertive, opening ourselves more often from a place of sympathy and trust, enhancing our capacity for observation, and reinforcing our patience and open-mindedness when understanding the world.
So the short answer is yes. Soft skills form an integral part of every employee’s personal journey. Soft skills in the workplace not only can be trained but should be trained.
This is part of each employee’s personal trajectory but can be and should be deliberately encouraged by the Human Resources department.
Fostering emotional well-being in companies
Aiming to be the perfect employee who has achieved all the necessary hard and soft skills in the workplace is not a realistic goal. Instead, actively trying to expand and develop our current technical knowledge and interpersonal skills in a manner compatible with the framework of who we are and how we function best is a more reasonable goal.
Especially for more abstract areas like psychology or interpersonality, which have no direct ties with one’s hard skills or duties relative to the job, ifeel offers a global emotional well-being program for companies, designed by our team of psychologists and experts in well-being at work. This collaboration allows managers in the People, Talent, and Human Resources area to receive personalized, data-based advice on the best care for the psychological well-being of the teams under their charge.
Do you belong to your organization’s Human Resources department? Try our program now to see how it could help you.
In addition, our program offers all employees a complete mental health care service that includes emotional support and online therapy with one of our professionals.
Moreover, in our Resources section, you can find different materials, such as podcasts, HR guides on various topics (e.g., employee experience or how to design a good HR strategy), or Interviews with leading HR managers. In addition, we have a Psychosocial Risk Factors Template, which you can use to comply with the requirements of the Labor Inspection.
We hope you found this post on soft skills in the workplace interesting. If you would like more information about our emotional well-being program for companies, all you have to do is request it, and we will contact your team as soon as possible.
What are soft skills in the workplace?
They are a set of interpersonal, social, and emotional skills that employees have under their professional belt.
Why are an employee’s soft skills important for a company?
Work is not just a simple task but involves a high component of interaction, coexistence, and coordination with other people. It is here where soft skills in the workplace have relevance.
Can soft skills be trained on the job?
Of course. We are constantly undergoing the process of improving and refining our interpersonal style and who we are. We can change and improve our skills in the interpersonal sphere as well.
What if I don’t have any soft skills?
Everyone has some sort of soft skill in the workplace – no one is a robot that only knows how to develop in technical areas. We must detect those soft skills we lack, and if we see that they are either impeding our performance or our relationships at work, we must take responsibility for improving them.