CHIEF OF STAFF FIVE: Employees absolutely need specific hard skills, according to their profession, but those vocational abilities are no longer enough.
In addition, professional staff need to have competency in a wide range of soft skill areas, to enable them to work as part of a team and interconnected organisation. Regardless of industriy, soft skills are intangible character traits that complement the hard skills that employees need to succeed in the workplace.
This installment of Chief of Staff Five lists some of the most important soft skills now required for even the most vocationally skilled employee to have real success and impact in the modern business environment.
All employees can be leaders. Leadership is more than just about being a manager or a supervisor. It is about taking charge when things go wrong now and having a vision of how to prevent those issues from reocuurring. Good leaders create an environment where everyone can do their best work to achieve the organisation’s goals.
Creativity and innovation
“We’ve always done it that way.” The familiar and the routine are comfortable and easy, but they rarely lead to growth. Innovative employees look for ways and means to improve processes. They’re not afraid to challenge long-held beliefs; not for the sake of challenging them, but to push for change that will help the company succeed in an ever-changing world.
Billionaires and paupers obviously don’t have the same financial resources. But as far as time is concerned, they’re equal because both have 24 hours a day. That’s why in the workplace, it’s essential that employees make good use of their time. It’s a finite resource and therefore, workers should know how to prioritise tasks.
No matter how impressive an employee’s hard skill base is, it makes little impact if they can’t communicate with their colleagues, management, and stakeholders. Even the understanding of when it’s appropriate to use email, chat, or a phone or video call can be an important asset, complementing the hard skills to ensure things get done. For effective communication, employees should know how to speak properly and listen intently.
Employees with a positive attitude, even in the midst of adversity, are great assets for their organisations. When employees are optimistic about the future, they believe that what they do right now will have a positive impact not just on themselves, but for their employer as well. Studies have also shown that having a positive attitude helps improve life satisfaction, which means greater retention rates for organisations that can build this into their workforce.