Businesses face different challenges today. The preparation of employees in technical aspects or hard skills, such as accounting management or knowledge of the market, is of great importance for daily development. However, when a business goes through a contingency, soft skills, that is, those skills that allow people to function easily in their environment and work well with others, are those that allow an effective resolution to be achieved.
“Soft skills are becoming a big differentiator when hiring new talent or starting a successful career in most organizations. Today, business leaders seek that the skills and values of their future collaborators match the philosophy of their company,” says Caty Di Maggio, Regional Vice President Sales and Marketing for Latin America at Brother International Corporation.
At the beginning of 2020, 50% of the managers and owners of SMEs in the region were confident that investing in better training for their employees would bring them a greater return, according to findings from the sixth edition of the Brother International Corporation’s Vision SMEs annual survey. Faced with the challenges of the new reality, maximizing the soft skills of the team becomes an opportunity.
Below, we share expert recommendations on skills that can be improved in the working group:
Effective communication: For every business, it is important to have a team that knows how to communicate effectively. This factor will facilitate and improve staff relationships, both inside and outside the organization.
According to Alejandro Carbonell, CEO and co-founder of Tutorez, an online education platform based in Panama, “fostering effective communication opens the way to a large number of skills that are essential not only on a day-to-day basis but in the dealing with clients and other target audiences, such as the ability to express themselves in public, persuasion, empathetic listening and the ability to tell stories, which are very useful to promote projects”.
Leadership and management: It is advisable to encourage employees to have the ability to lead and manage. This will allow them to take advantage of their full potential and help them develop managerial skills to act in any scenario, in which the manager or the person in charge is not present.
For Graciela Dixon, owner of Project Wellness, a company of services related to health and well-being in Panama, “Many people are afraid to lead because they have doubts about it. Training in this area is essential because it will allow them to adapt to the different profiles that run a business, also, they will be able to guide and supervise their colleagues regardless of the situation”.
Developing management skills also brings other benefits, such as boosting the ability to prioritize tasks, set deadlines, delegate tasks, and consider the real needs of clients, conditions that are undoubtedly essential in business leads.
Adaptation to change and new technologies: The digital transformation of a company is a process that depends, to a large extent, on the people involved. For this reason, leaders can ensure a good result, fostering in their group the ability to adapt to change and the use of new technologies.
At the beginning of 2020, 62% of small and medium-sized companies in the region had planned to renew their equipment and incorporate mobile technology to improve their competitiveness and performance, according to the sixth edition of Vision Pymes.
However, this decision also implies generating new skills in the employees, through training, says Ilana Milkes, founder of World Tech Makers, a Colombian SME focused on educational technology solutions.
For the Colombian entrepreneur, “any investment in technology must take into account the cost of training employees so that they can implement and manage the new technology.”
Optimism and improvement: Optimism is undoubtedly an essential factor in the face of adversity. This skill will allow collaborators to seek a positive approach to a critical situation and take advantage of it.
An optimistic team builds trust and can convey that feeling to customers. Also, the workspace must foster the attitude of wanting to grow and improve daily. This motivation will contribute to the professional and personal development of each employee, improving their performance and productivity.
Teamwork: Currently, work is interdependent and the relationship with others is important. In any organization, the willingness of employees to work on a common project, putting team goals before individual goals, allows achieving significant results. This skill, in general, will improve the work environment of any business.
Training employees in soft skills can bring many benefits to a company
To thrive in a highly competitive and challenging market like the current one, organizations have the opportunity to foster these capabilities and differentiate themselves from the rest.