Most businesses understand the importance of soft skills training. It boosts productivity and retention rates 12% and delivers a 250% return on investment based on higher productivity and retention, according to research highlighted in this Forbes article.
[Note: we covered the five “hard” skills in a previous post.]
Here are the five soft skills your employees must learn in 2018.
1. Leadership and Problem-Solving
The more empowered your employees feel, the more likely they are to seek out their own answers and work to solve problems as they arise. Even though technology is advanced, it can’t be relied on to solve every problem that arises. Leaders are expected to know things or to figure things out and problem-solve. They don’t wait for someone else to tell them what to do next. And if they see something that doesn’t look right, they’ll work to fix it instead of waiting for someone else to do all the work. In 2018, you’ll want your employees to be problem-solvers who seek out answers to their own questions and who work to resolve and recognize issues as often as possible.
2. Effective Communication and Collaboration
With all the tools and platforms in the workplace that connect us nowadays, it’s more important than ever for your employees to know how to effectively communicate and collaborate with one another. They’ll need to know how to clearly articulate their ideas in a concise and professional way across communication mediums and how to build long-lasting professional relationships with internal and external stakeholders and customers.
3. Time Management
It’s getting easier and easier for employees to feel overloaded with work when they have multiple browser windows open at a time with multiple notifications buzzing in their ears. Train your employees on how to prioritize tasks and projects with project management tools and cloud-based calendars. It’s all too easy to get distracted with things that aren’t a priority; to be productive, employees need to know what to focus on, when, and for how long.
4. Stress Management
Stress at work is becoming an epidemic. Eighty percent of workers claim that they feel stress while on the job. To mitigate the stress your employees experience, offer stress management training programs, more personal time off, and flexible schedules, among other things. Ensure that when your employees show up to work, they’re focused and productive.
5. Flexibility and Agility
Project parameters and requirements can change at a moment’s notice nowadays due to the ever-connected databases and tools we use. Ensure your employees are prepared to keep up with new expectations and requirements as new technology and data become available to them and your organization. They will have to learn to be comfortable with constantly learning new things and remaining as agile as possible as technology and data are updated in real time.
To stay ahead in 2018, make sure your employees learn the soft skills outlined above.