Everyone agrees that finding employees with the right technical skills is important. However, fundamental soft skills like communication, critical thinking and teamwork are now sought in every employee irrespective of their seniority level, job function and the type of industry. Nine in 10 employers believe that graduates with soft skills will become more important as globalization speeds up, according to a survey by Talent Q, part of Hay Group. Following are the top 10 soft skills that job hunters need to develop to keep up with the ever changing workplace:
Communication: The ability to communicate is the basis of any working relationship and good communication skills are required to effectively work with supervisors, co-workers and clients. Effective communication skills can either help propel your career forward or derail them entirely. It can help to skirt problems and avoid mini-disasters that tend to be associated with the workplace.
Team Work: Team work is an essential ingredient for a well-functioning organization. Proper teamwork is essential for quality output, productivity, morale and retention. It increases learning and accountability, improves project momentum and keeps up the morale. It also rings in more creativity due to increased collaboration among team members.
Critical Thinking: The global world, places individuals in an unique position—To analyze and integrate information from diverse and multiple sources to solve never-ending problems. Clear and structured thinking helps individuals save a lot of time, effort and energy. It will also help people to gather all information, analyze objectively and make the right decision.
Adaptability: Change is the only constant. The digital age calls for increasing multi-tasking along with handling extremely complex tasks that require individuals to think, plan and act in ways never before imagined. Individuals need to be flexible and have the ability to learn new skills as you grow and also showcase the ability to adapt to the changing needs of the organization.
Creativity: “The whole idea behind creative problem solving is the assumption that you know something that will help solve this problem, but you’re not thinking of it right now,” explains Art Markman, cognitive psychologist and author of “Smart Thinking”. Finding the essence of a problem is an art and without combining problem solving with innovation and creativity, one cannot expect to achieve lasting success.
Empathy & Listening: Empathy is important for developing better interpersonal interactions. It can help to resolve disputes and thereby reduce tension by encouraging dialogue between the disagreeing parties. Without empathy, communication with others will be more like a one-way traffic.
Presentation: Self-awareness and self-confidence are attributes that we often take for granted. They are essential building blocks to help develop networking skill sets. In this hyper-competitive world, it helps to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and market yourself better.
Delegating: Delegation requires a great deal of finesse and people skills to motivate employees. For effective delegation, it is necessary to define the task, communicate effectively, explicitly state the results, agree on deadlines for review & completion and finally provide feedback on the results.
Recognition: Saying thank you goes beyond a simple pat on the back. When you recognize an employee who goes above and beyond his work, it helps them to feel a sense of belonging and leads to increased productivity at the workplace.
Manage diverse environments: In a globalized world, organizations have to be more collaborative as diverse cultural environments dominate today’s discourse. Managing in a global environment requires integration and coordination with people who are separated not only by time and distance but also cultural, social and language barriers. Cross cultural training plays an effective role in this.
These soft skills can be developed and learnt. Developing soft skills will make you stand out from the crowd. Specific on-the-job skillsets are prone to change and leaders across the world are looking for talent who they can work with and develop, people with the right kind of soft skills.