In today’s digital era and growing world, the thing that becomes the basic necessity of every job is “Soft skills”. Soft skills in the workplace are in demand and most companies and organizations look for employees having incredible soft skills. Along with hard and technical skills, soft skills are also important. What are soft skills? And why these soft skills in the workplace are important?
What are soft skills in the workplace?
Soft skills are non-technical skills and these personal skills are related to your personality traits, qualities, and behavior and how you interact with others. Soft skills are developed with time and are associated with your attitude, communication, understanding, and your social interactions.
Soft skills in the workplace help you to fit in any organization and make you more considerable for a job.
According to the LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2019 report, 92% of the professionals verified that soft skills are equally or more important than hard skills to a new hire and 89% of the professionals said that due to a lack of critical soft skills, new hires does not work out.
Along with working on attaining hard and technical skills, also focus on developing soft skills that are more necessary to your job. Employees with unique soft skills in the workplace play an important role in the development, growth, productivity, and success of a company.
Soft skills Vs. Hard skills
Soft skills are also called Interpersonal, or nontechnical skills that revolve around how employees work in the organization, how they interact and respond to other coworkers, and what is the pattern of their behavior.
The qualities and traits of interacting and understanding others including empathy, listening, collaboration, decision making, communication, etc fall under the category of soft skills.
While hard skills are the technical skills that are required to perform a job, for example, having expertise in using a software tool, having technical knowledge about your field, knowledge of any programming language, etc. Hard skills are job-specific abilities and are relevant to a certain job while soft skills are required in every kind of job.
Unique soft skills are the unique characteristics of someone’s personality. Soft skills are difficult to develop and many employees lose their job due to inadequate soft skills in the workplace.
According to a report from the Society for Human Resource Management, about 84% of professionals reported a shortage of applied skills in job applicants in the last 12 months.
Both the hard skills and soft skills are important for a job application and an employee should display both of them for being more considerable for a job hire. Soft skills in the workplace display your personality traits and therefore, are difficult to quantify while hard skills are teachable and can be learned by any training or study material.
Communication, flexibility, learnability, risk-taking, motivation, patience, time management, etc are some examples of soft skills in the workplace.
Hopefully, you understand what are some soft skills in the workplace, so learn further to know the top 10 most in-demand soft skills in the workplace.
Top 10 essential Soft skills in the workplace
Soft skills in the workplace are essential for a successful organization because they help in the growth of a company and also help in fostering a positive work environment.
Here, I have shared some most important soft skills in the workplace that candidates must have.
1. Good communication
Effective communication is the backbone of an organization’s success and it plays a crucial role in the progress of a company.
Communication skills are the most important soft skills required at work to boost the morale of your coworkers, improve the understanding of ideas, and uncover hidden aspects that lead to success.
How you interact with others is not only about explaining your perspective, but it is related to your listening skills. Listening is a unique soft skill that one should have to listen attentively to others and understand their point of view. Learning, what are effective communication skills? is the basic need of all the individuals struggling for a prosperous future.
Due to this key soft skill, you can be a good listener, show empathy, and understand non-verbal gestures easily which helps in understanding others.
2. Teamwork capabilities
When you work together as a team, you can bring improvement in the efficiency of your work, increase the learning opportunities from one another, and take interest in your work. Team management makes employees more engaged in their work and they can develop good relations at work that surely help in fostering a positive work environment.
Not only workers but leaders are also a part of the team and according to NACE’s Job Outlook 2016 survey, they are looking for leaders who can work as team members.
You can share ideas, thoughts, news updates, and business issues conveniently with your coworkers when you are one unit and working as a team.
While working as a team, all the individuals use their efforts together to achieve a common goal that improves the productivity of work and reduces alienation in the workplace. Therefore, being a team player is one of the most important soft skills in the workplace.
3. Problem Solving
One of the most important soft skills in the workplace is the quality of being a problem solver. Problems are a part of life and many issues, conflicts, and clashes can happen in the workplace. Hence, employers look for a candidate having strong problem-solving skills who can solve the issues intelligently.
These problems give rise to misunderstandings, frustration, arguments, and a decrease in work efficiency and productivity. Therefore, an employee should have the soft skills of problem-solving to handle conflicts at work with a positive attitude. And problem-solving is also a significant soft skill among the top 10 most in-demand soft skills.
4. Critical Thinking
The soft skill of critical thinking enables a person to think, observe, and analyze a situation before making a sensible decision. A critical thinker never takes a decision based on imagination rather he focuses on the problem, looks for resources, and adapts to the situation for decision making.
According to an Indian actress and animal welfare activist, Amala Akkineni, Curiosity and critical thinking are the keys to creativity.
An employee is more remarkable to get hired if he is a critical thinker, and can think logically to troubleshoot the issues. A workplace will be successful when the employees have this vital soft skill of critical thinking.
5. Leadership compassion
Having leadership skills doesn’t mean that you are going to be appointed as a leader or you are applying for a manager position. So, do not think that why should I have the leadership qualities when I am not going to be a leader?
Most employers are looking for employees who can lead a team in critical situations, who can make sound decisions calmly whenever a critical situation exists, and who have the potential to manage and motivate the team members even when not playing the manager’s role.
According to Harvard Business Review, over 1,000 leaders were surveyed, and among them, 91% reported that the thing which is important for leadership is compassion and 80% of those leaders said that they are willing to improve their compassion but don’t know how to do it.
A good leader always has compassion for his team members, he listens to them, mentors, and supervises them instead of judging them or behaving harshly and rudely.
6. Flexibility skills
Flexibility skills have a huge importance in the workplace and can help your career to hit the big time. An organization can somewhere have to face a decline or a failure, but it is the employees who build up their courage again to take a new start.
According to Tony Robbins, you should stay committed to your decisions, but be flexible in your approach.
When individuals are flexible, they can accept the changes and instead of getting disheartened, they are willing and motivated to stand up again. Your adaptability and flexibility skills demonstrate how you embrace the changes and adjust to them.
7. Emotional intelligence
The ability to accept, assess, and control your emotions while dealing with a situation is an important soft skill that employees should have.
Employees who have emotional intelligence can impact others positively, build good relationships with them, and enhance collaboration in the workplace.
An emotionally intelligent person knows, How to interact with others while keeping their emotions in control? And how to distress the emotions and be calm without affecting the workplace environment and functionality? Controlling emotions and not reacting without analyzing the condition is one of the most important soft skills in the workplace.
8. Feedback willingness
It is a significant soft skill to be open to feedback and not take it negatively. Having employees who have the willingness and courage to accept the feedback leads the organization to success.
Employees should be willing to ask questions, inform others if they have a suggestion, engage with others, present their ideas to the table, and also welcome the ideas and criticism of others constructively.
This is also a good aspect of effective communication and due to a lack of proper feedback, many ideas stay under the pocket that could be beneficial if applied.
9. Work ethic skills
It is a soft skill that is almost applicable to every job and is necessary to make your work worthwhile. Work ethic skills include discipline, time management, responsibility, and commitment to your work.
Developing these soft skills in the workplace is necessary to perform the tasks within time, and be responsible for what you are accountable for.
You can make any dream comes true if you have got the confidence and work ethic, Bret Har says.
Employees who have the dedication to their work, show a willingness to learn more, provide reliable work, and meet their deadlines last for a long time in a company. Working well under pressure and being a self-directed person towards your goal are the most important soft skills in the workplace.
10. Interpersonal skills
Whatever your job is, you need to interact with others whether your boss, colleagues, or coworkers. The ability to deal and interact with others at the workplace are interpersonal skills.
These soft skills are important in all the jobs because there is a need to develop good relations with others everywhere you work and spend a great amount of time in a day.
Interpersonal skills let you have patience and tolerance in your character. By having good interpersonal skills, you can inspire others and avoid toxic people at work. A friendly working environment and team atmosphere are essential to make employees stop feeling left out at work.
Importance of soft skills in the workplace
Unique soft skills matter a lot and have a huge importance in the workplace. Hard skills let you perform your job with expertise and excellence but you need soft skills to grow within your organization. Developing soft skills leads you to communicate effectively and share innovative ideas with others effectively to make the organization successful.
According to Forbes, In 2017, Deloitte reported that by 2030 the soft skills intensive employment will account for almost two-thirds of all the jobs. Also, the revenue could be increased by more than $90,000 by hiring employees with more soft skills.
This clearly shows the importance of soft skills in the workplace and explains why these skills matters a lot.
A lack of soft skills will results in poor understanding, inadequate collaboration, bad team management, insufficient efforts to reduce alienation at the workplace, poor presentation of ideas, etc.
iCIMS Hiring Insights (2017) find out that 94% of recruiting professionals acknowledge that an employee having strong soft skills has more and better chances to get promoted to leadership as compared to an employee with many years of experience but poor soft skills.
The benefits of developing soft skills in the workplace are huge because the productivity and efficiency in work of the employees get a boost.
The quality of work improves when all the workers work collaboratively as a team and motivate each other. When the employees knew thoroughly what are effective communication skills, they can present their ideas in a better way and can lead their teams suitably.
Promising leadership is also one of the unique soft skills in the workplace and by being a good manager or a good leader, you can conveniently make someone feel comfortable in the workplace.
The findings of a new study on worker manager relationships show that 50% of 7200 surveyed adults left their job due to bad managers.
Understanding what are some soft skills in the workplace and developing top soft skills needed in the workplace will help you to spot which skills you need to improve for a successful future.
You can read more about the qualities of a strong and successful businessman here.
Some frequently asked questions (FAQs) associated with soft skills in the workplace are the following.
Q: What are soft skills in the workplace?
Soft skills are the qualities related to the attitude and behavioral patterns of an individual that specifies how a person interacts with others. Most important soft skills include emotional intelligence, empathy, time management, teamwork, collaboration, communication, work ethic, etc.
Q: How can I improve my soft skills?
You can improve your soft skills if you are willing to do it. Observe others and interact with them, improve your conversation skills, come out of your comfort zone, analyze others’ behavior, take interest in developing good and healthy relationships, understand others and listen to them attentively. Constructively take feedback and adapt to whatever happens in your life.
Q: What skills are employees lacking?
Soft skills are necessary for a successful life but many employees lack these skills. The top 5 most lacking soft skills include effective communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and leadership. Be a responsible person and develop unique soft skills to work effectively and efficiently.
Q: Why soft skills are important for managers?
Soft skills are important for managers because it helps them lead the team in a good way. They can make employees feel secure, valued, and respected in the workplace. Due to empathy and good leadership qualities, managers can develop good relationships at work, and employees do not feel left out at work. Therefore, it od necessary to learn about soft skills in the workplace.
Q: What are hard and soft skills?
Hard skills are job-specific abilities of a person or specific knowledge and expertise in a certain field that can help in performing the job with great effectiveness. While soft skills are the personal qualities or traits that employees have in their character and utilize them while communicating and interacting with others in the workplace.
When screening for potential employees, a great factor that makes you a remarkable hire is your grip on soft skills. Soft skills in the workplace play a huge role in your career development and successful future.
Therefore, make sure to learn what are some soft skills in the workplace that can help you grow your career. Develop good and unique soft skills to reduce alienation in the workplace and make the workplace a happier place.