In the modern workplace, people-orientated, soft skills are equally, if not sometimes more important than technical skills. A Stanford University study noted that as much as 75% of job success is reliant on well-developed soft skills such as communication, time management and flexibility.
This should hardly come as a surprise, as soft skills underpin every aspect of business operation, making them essential to any successful company. Without such skills, teams can fall apart, projects can fail, and discontent can spread within the workplace.
Really, the bottom line is that every workplace can benefit from soft skills training. Just as other more practical skills can be honed and improved with training and practice, soft social skills can also benefit from just that.
Unsure where to begin with introducing soft skills training to your workplace? Well, here’s our guide as to how and why you should introduce soft skills training into your workplace!
Where to begin
We’ve highlighted the importance of soft skills in the workplace – they directly impact an employee’s performance, while also shaping your workplace culture. But what is the best way to approach soft skills development, particularly when you have a large number of employees in your workforce?
Directing this training towards employees in leadership roles is a great and effective place to start. Well-refined soft skills are an essential trait for any manager to have, allowing them to handle challenging conversations, manage people effectively, and set an example in the workplace.
The following soft leadership skills illustrate exactly how training will provide leadership figures with the soft skills they need to excel as a manager.
In today’s world, the structure of the workplace is changing more rapidly than ever. The Covid-19 pandemic illustrated to all business owners how having a flexible, adaptable team of employees is essential to keep operations running smoothly when crisis strikes.
Being an adaptable manager is all about being a problem solver and embracing change, even when it is unexpected. This requires management figures to think quickly, critically, and creatively, with little doubt. In doing so, other co-workers will be motivated to follow suit and do the same.
Soft leadership training can help to develop problem-solving skills, primarily through shifting the way we naturally view change. Managing change requires seeing it, not as a challenge, but as an opportunity — a key perspective for those in leadership roles to embody.
When leading a team in the workplace, no manager can be solely responsible for how successful a team of individuals are when they come together. Instead, leadership figures are responsible for creating an environment within which collaboration and teamwork have the potential to excel.
Soft leadership training is incredibly beneficial in regard to developing good team leadership traits. Expanding knowledge of management styles and understanding the common causes of both high and under-performance will equip any manager with top management skills they can apply to their own team.
As a manager, having emotional awareness is critical for ensuring the health and wellness of co-workers, as well as handling challenging conversations at work. Over the past few years, there has been an influx of employees opting to work from home, so ensuring the well-being of co-workers working outside of the physical workplace is important.
Soft leadership training is particularly beneficial in relation to empathy as it equips leaders with the ability to look at situations from a position other than their own. Putting oneself in another’s shoes is the best way to control and manage conflict, but it certainly takes time, patience, and practice.
Productivity in the workplace relies primarily on balance and time management. Knowing which tasks to prioritise and which tasks to delegate are management decisions which make or break the success of a business.
Additionally, excelling as a manager in relation to productivity means setting objectives for your team and ensuring co-workers stay motivated in moving towards these goals. These are critically important skills for a good manager to have, which can be developed and greatly complimented by soft leadership training.