There are many skills, known as soft skills, that are not job-specific, and may not be your focus when hiring a new employee, but are skills that you quickly learn are vital for any successful business.
Soft skills are things like people’s attitudes, time management skills, empathy, negotiation problem-solving, and communication skills. These often-forgotten skills are actually some of the most desirable you can find in an employee.
At the end of the day, hard skills like learning how to code or learning how to use your content management system can be taught. Soft skills, however, can take a bit more time to develop and nurture in your employees if they don’t naturally possess them.
Assess the soft skills your team already has
Before investing in training and additional resources, you should assess the skills you already have within your team. You can do this on an individual level, by discussing with each employee their existing knowledge and skills.
You can also conduct your own assessment into soft skills where you ask your team to fill out a series of questions to identify skills. You can then use these answers to spot any skills gaps and areas that need improving.
Offer soft skill training opportunities
There are various routes that you can take when it comes to soft skill training. You may choose to bring in an external trainer who can help your team along, but this is often the most expensive option.
You could also consider investing in e-learning platforms that offer soft skill training, which will work out a lot cheaper. There are plenty of platforms online that are suitable for a number of different businesses.
Don’t forget that you can also ask members of your team to train each other and collaborate to share knowledge and skills. For example, if one member of your team is particularly skilled in negotiating, ask them to hold a training session to teach what they know.
Also think about the soft skills that you’ve developed as a manager, and whether you can help your team to develop these skills too. If you want to develop skills without blowing the budget, it’s important to start by sharing the knowledge you already have within your team.
Continuous feedback and monitoring
Soft skills aren’t things that can quickly be taught, they have to be developed over time.
Training should be ongoing, and you should continually ask for input and feedback from your team on how you can improve and make the training process better for everyone.