Posted in:Training & Development
When it comes to professional development, an area that can be challenging for employers is encouraging the development and growth of soft skills. Unlike technical skills, which are comparatively easy for employers to evaluate, soft skills are intangible and, in many cases, somewhat subjective.
Identifying Key Skills
Different positions within your organization will benefit from different soft skills, depending upon the responsibilities of the role. Customer service representatives, for example, are expected to be polite, patient, and excellent at problem-solving. Office administrators should have strong organizational skills and attention to detail. Someone in a role that involves managing many competing projects will be well-served by strong time management skills. The first step for employers is to identify which soft skills are most important for each role, and work to bolster those skills. There are many approaches to gathering this important information, Honiva Consulting Ltd. can help you build the right framework to unmask the hidden strengths and weaknesses of your company.
Soft Skills Development
Ways employers can help employees to grow their soft skill sets include:
• Reviewing Performance
In the case of a customer service representative, for example, calls/online interactions with customers can be reviewed together, and suggestions for improvement offered. There are many monitoring tools available to monitor work as it happens, so you get live data and can provide immediate feedback.
• Team Building
Employer-led team building activities can help employees to work more cohesively as a team, ensuring ideas and resources are freely shared among team mates. It also helps to keep communication and collaboration skills sharp, while strengthening the bonds between team members as they undergo shared experiences and create collective memories.
• Mentorship Programs
Pairing junior employees with more senior employees who exhibit the soft skills needed in your organization can help the junior employee to see those skills in action, and in turn develop and refine those skills themselves. Plus, senior employees have a chance to keep their skills and knowledge current through collective learning and information sharing with a peer.
Note when your employees show growth and improvement in their soft skills; a little positive feedback can go a long way. Similarly, constructive criticism can help an employee when you notice an area requiring improvement. Sometimes, outside perspective really helps to look at the same situation from different angles.
It is important for employers to look beyond degrees and certifications, and consider the whole person – both during the recruitment phase, and during ongoing employee development. If you want your people to grow, support them throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
Here to Help
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