The soft skills your employees need in 2021

Renate de Jonge

The past year our way of working transformed rapidly due to the sudden change to working from home. Working remotely was a temporary measure at first because of the pandemic, but many employers discover that working partly from home isn’t such a bad idea after all. 

Working remotely has in many cases a positive effect on the productivity and reduces recurring costs. It’s a realistic idea that companies will maintain the more flexible work weeks in the future. In that case human-centred skills are more important than ever, and many employees can use some extra help with this. 

Focus on soft skills

The value of good developed soft skills is thus extremely relevant right now. They make working remotely more easy and give your employees the resilience and flexibility they need. Which soft skills are essential to manage in these times? We’ll list the most important skills your team can use in 2021. 

1. Communication and cooperation

Many applicants say they are ‘real team players’ and are ‘communicatively skilled’. But to what extend is that really true? 

Practice shows that it’s exactly on the points of communication and working together that it goes wrong; these are the most important soft skills that employees often lack. That’s of course very worrying when you realise these skills are the fundaments of a work place. Teams that cannot communicate will not progress. 

To be a successful team, it’s important that employees listen actively, that they’re assertive and communicate empathically. By developing these skills, employees will learn to respect each other and to appreciate their differences instead of seeing them as obstacles. 

Our contact moments are limited and miscommunications occur easily, certainly now we’re all working remotely. These soft skills should thus get some serious focus so they can develop in a good manner. 

2. Being able to adapt quickly

Adaptability is one of the most valued skills of employees. The past year, employees needed quite some of it. They needed to adapt to working from home from one day to the next, and at the same time remain relaxed in very uncertain times. 

Adaptability stimulates flexible thinking and open-mindedness, but it also increases resilience. The way in which employees think about change will determine in the first place how effectively they’ll operate in circumstances with a less ideal or unfamiliar perspective. Employees with a proactive and positive mindset will face challenges better.

3. Time management

Another skill employees need on we should focus extra on the upcoming time is time management. Essential for both external and internal teams. 

When an employee doesn’t finish their work on the discussed time, you’ll get a domino effect of stress and further delays. So, don’t underestimate good time management! It’s not self-evident that an employee knows how to organise their time, even less when we can’t go to our work place and work life and private life literally happen in the same room. 

By setting priorities and managing time efficiently you’ll maintain control over your work pressure. This will help to achieve a better balance between work and your private life and to avoid stress situations as much as possible.

4. Critical thinking

Every employee must be able to estimate a situation and react in the best way possible. Critical thinking is essential in this. 

Employees with analytic and critical thinking skills will research cases from various perspectives. This way you’ll avoid pitfalls where other decision-makers perhaps got stuck. 

Training critical thinking skills gives employees the ability to make important decisions rationally and not to be lead by emotion.

5. Leadership

Not everyone is suited to lead, but developing elementary leadership skills is never a bad idea; every employee will profit from this. 

As an employee it’s important you take initiative, communicate new ideas and you provide feedback. Moreover, you must be able to overcome challenging situations and you should support your colleagues actively. The soft skill leadership increases trust and encourages employees to manifest themselves on the workplace.

Care for soft skills

In short, skill trainings in soft skills have high priority on your educational agenda! Certainly after reading this blog ;)

Make thus use of our great offer of e-learnings about soft skills in our learning platform! The library in our academy was already filled with many default micro-learnings and e-learnings, but thanks to our integration with GoodHabitz, our content offer in soft skills has expanded greatly; extensive trainings that vary from inspiring leadership to commercial skills. 

We do everything to make learning as easy and clever as possible for your organisation. That’s why we continuously set up integrations with other systems and providers. This way we use other’s expertises beside our own, so you can receive the best of breed learning solution! Curious how you can design your online academy? Contact us, we like to help you!