How Managers Can Promote Better Soft Skills in the Modern Workplace
In today's fast-paced, highly competitive business environment, organizations must do everything they can to ensure that their team members have the skills they need to succeed. This includes not only technical skills, but also soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration.
Soft skills are often referred to as the "missing piece" of a successful career, as they are critical for employees to be able to work effectively with others and contribute to the overall success of the organization. In fact, soft skills may have become even more important to consider as flexible and hybrid work opportunities have increased, and as a result, the need for strong interpersonal communication abilities has increased as well.
One way that organizations can drive the development of soft skills in their team members is through the use of employee performance reviews. Traditional performance reviews, in which an employee is evaluated by their manager, can be limited in their effectiveness. A more comprehensive approach is the use of 360 reviews, in which an employee is evaluated by their manager, peers, and subordinates.
360 reviews offer several benefits over traditional performance reviews. First, they provide a more complete picture of an employee's strengths and areas for improvement, as they are evaluated by multiple sources. This can be particularly useful for identifying and addressing any weaknesses in soft skills. Second, 360 reviews can be more objective, as they are based on the perceptions of multiple people rather than just one individual.
The trick is...can managers implement an easy and ongoing method of collecting 360 feedback that is consistently providing new information without taking up time from the normal course of work. WorkStory can help with that 😉.
Overall, the importance of soft skills in the modern workplace cannot be overstated. By focusing on the development of these skills and using tools like 360 reviews effectively, organizations can better support the growth and success of their team members.
There are many resources available to help managers support the development of soft skills in their employees. Some ideas worth brainstorming and/or resources include:
- Holding training programs or workshops
- "Effective Communication" - a workshop that teaches strategies for effective verbal and written communication, including active listening and clear, concise messaging.
- "Leadership Development" - a program that helps employees build their leadership skills, including goal setting, decision making, and team building.
- "Conflict Resolution" - a workshop that teaches employees how to handle conflicts in a constructive manner, including strategies for negotiation and problem-solving.
- Referencing books or articles
- "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey - this classic book offers insights and strategies for personal effectiveness, including the importance of communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.
- "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie - this best-selling book provides tips and strategies for building relationships and persuading others, including the importance of active listening and empathy.
- "The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle - this book discusses the importance of "deep practice" in developing skills, and offers strategies for how to practice effectively to improve performance.
- Hosting coaching or mentoring sessions
- One-on-one coaching sessions with an experienced coach or mentor, focused on specific areas of development such as communication or leadership.
- Group coaching or mentoring sessions, in which employees can work with others to develop their skills and share best practices.