Updated: Feb 10
Many organizations are dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic by having to establish a virtual work and learning environment all while adapting to the altering demands of the millennial and Generation Z workforce. As a result, businesses are delegating more attention to implementing the necessary soft skills within their company culture that go along with the technical aspect of their department's operations.
A lack of soft skills such as adaptability, time management, and critical thinking can derail a technically gifted employee in a variety of ways. In fact, Deloitte conducted a study which revealed that over 90% of respondents admit that soft skills play a major role in employee retention and solid company culture (Inglethorpe, Developing soft skills: 10 top tips 2022).
What Are Soft Skills?
Recruiters and managers usually look at the candidate’s hard and soft skills. The former refers to the person’s qualifications and competencies directly related to his/her field of work.
The latter refers to the candidate’s behavioral qualities that characterize their personality traits, communication and social skills, as well as language efficiency, etc. Soft skills usually reflect the person’s work style across a variety of settings.
The Most Sought After Soft Skills in 2022
Recruiters value a candidate’s quick-wittedness when it relates to coming up with solutions to problems. In a fast-paced corporate environment, tackling a challenge from various angles and thinking critically about the best way to approach a challenge helps you stand out from the rest.
A recent analysis conducted by Mckinsey & Company reveals that most HR professionals agree that problem-solving is the most important skill they look for in an employee candidate. 83% of employers also attest to that, saying that problem-solving, along with teamwork, is the most significant skill that entry-level workers can put on their resume (Five Fifty: Soft skills for a hard world 2022).
Many organizations rely on tools to develop their employees’ problem-solving skills. MindManager is the perfect example of that where departments and employees organize their projects with mind maps, organizational charts, diagrams, and so much more. This tool facilitates the implementation of the vision you have for a problem and makes it easier for you to share that with your department or team.
Decision-Making & Conflict Resolution
Working as part of a team is grounds for many conflicts and disagreements, which is fine as long as these disagreements are for the benefit of the end result. However, some conflicts among staff can arise that debilitate the working progress.
According to recent studies by the American Management Association (AMA), managers spend 24% of their time addressing workplace conflict, sometimes with little to no certainty of resolution (A Brief Guide to Conflict Resolution in the Workplace 2022).
When that occurs, employers and managers value a candidate’s ability and initiative to come up with solutions to the conflict and take the needed decisions for the betterment of the team. Regardless of your position, it is highly commendable to show that you are a decision-maker rather than being silent and letting other people take the spotlight.
Communication Across All Platforms
Because many jobs are still remote or a combination of remote and in-office, having great communication skills can help your team succeed. With less opportunities for face-to-face interaction, written communication skills, in particular, are becoming increasingly vital.
According to Team Chat App Pumble, effective communication in the workplace is proven to increase productivity by as much as 25% (Workplace communication statistics 2021).
Whether it's a fast Slack message, an engineering blueprint, or a formal whitepaper, employees who can effectively and convincingly communicate critical themes will see their team prosper.
In addition to written communication, employees need to project their likeability and character through video chat apps such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, etc. Showing employers how easy it is for you to portray efficiency and likeability through a screen proves how invaluable you are.
Project management is no longer a skill that is restricted to managers or team leaders. In fact, many people have relied on this skill without even knowing it. Project management includes the ability to discern between excellent and bad ideas, undertake risk analysis, and debrief a project.
Recruiters now more than ever look for candidates who can exhibit project management skills no matter the position because they need people who are reliable when put in a difficult situation and can easily organize the work among the team, especially when the workplace environment is strictly a virtual or remote one. This approach shows that you have initiative and can someday become a great leader.
There are plenty of project management tools that unify the working process in one software for all departments such as Wrike, Asana, Clickup, and so on. While each one of these tools have their own set of features, they all work towards the same objective: simplifying project planning, tracking the team’s work, monitoring deadlines, and collaborating easily with all stakeholders involved.
Tech-Savviness & Willingness to Learn New Technologies
Naturally, the events that have occured in the past few years propelling the digital shift of almost all businesses, it is now a requirement for employees to have the basic skill set for technologies.
By 2025, 50% of all employees will require reskilling as technology advances and rises in value (Whiting, 2020). The 2021 Learning Report conducted by LinkedIn affirms that statement by revealing that technology actually prompted 59% of Learning and Development professionals to launch upskilling and reskilling programs which help managers and employees alike prepare for the future (Workplace Learning Report 2022).
Creativity & Adaptability
This skill is probably the most important and constant parameter when looking for effective employees and leaders. In order to attain and maintain success, one should be ready for anything and find creative ways to adapt to the new situation.
Adaptability is a critical skill for employees to learn in 2022 and beyond, according to Michael Page, a recruiting agency based in the United Kingdom. Employees that can adjust to—and even suggest—changes in meeting styles, connecting with your team in new ways, or engaging clients using new media or tactics will thrive (Skills to Put on Your Resume in 2022).
To be adaptable, you also have to think creatively when faced with new obstacles and make use of the resources around you to train your mind on how to make use of your creativity to navigate challenges in your career. For instance, A fresh-graduate who is new to the day-to-day life of a workplace environment will surely be faced with never-before-seen challenges. Here comes the role of managers where they act as guides for their employees on how to keep the creative juices flowing, ready for any kind of change.
One perfect example of this is the approach that Google has on encouraging a creative culture in their company. Google allows engineers to use up to 20% of their workday to work on creative projects, which generated the concept for Gmail, one of the company's most successful efforts (5 Soft Skills Successful Companies Teach Their Workers To Remain Competitive 2020).
Having the necessary qualifications and experience in your job field is important to get the job done. However, in order to thrive in your career and ascend the ladder of success, you need to showcase your soft skills and distinguish yourself among your peers. The above-mentioned soft skills should also be taken as grounds for businesses around which to build their company culture as they tackle the new challenges in order to increase their productivity.
If you are a manager and want to implement training or reskilling programs for your team, take a look at this video that guides you on how to properly design it for a satisfying result.
Become a better and well-rounded leader and motivator to your team by taking part in Lurning.eu’s intensive workshop on Virtual Environments & Team Motivation; Book your spot here.
Future Skillsets for Employees To Learn Today. (2021). Future Skillsets for Employees to Learn Today. https://teleperformance.com/en-us/insights-list/insightful-articles/global/future-skillsets-for-employees-to-learn-today/.
Skills To Put On Your Resume In 2022 | Michael Page. (2022). Michael Page. https://www.michaelpage.com/advice/career-advice/cover-letter-and-resume-advice/skills-put-your-resume-2022.
A Brief Guide To Conflict Resolution In the Workplace. (2021, June 7). Nurture an Engaged and Satisfied Workforce | Vantage Circle HR Blog. https://blog.vantagecircle.com/conflict-resolution-in-the-workplace/.
Inglethorpe, R. (2021). Developing Soft Skills: 10 Top Tips. Developing soft skills: 10 top tips. https://www.clevry.com/insights/developing-soft-skills.
Five Fifty: Soft Skills for a Hard World. (n.d.). McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/five-fifty-soft-skills-for-a-hard-world.