There have always been certain skills and talents (alongside your degree or training) which are necessary to enable you to do your job most effectively, and which employers look for when interviewing. These are often known as ‘soft skills’.
Soft skills are generally considered to be characteristics such as, analytical thinking, reasoning ability, or persuasiveness, and they are found naturally within most of us, to varying degrees.
However, in the last couple of years, these soft skills have been changing.
Of course, we still need to possess an analytical mind, or be able to persuade others, but nowadays many industries are looking for a new set of transferable skills in their employees.
Theses ‘core competencies’, which employers and commerce leaders are now looking for, reflect the changing face of business in a highly technological world, and are driven by these advances.
The core skills listed below are transferable skills, vital to employers in industries as diverse as law and tourism, or finance and education. They are not necessarily innate human talents, but can instead, be learned, developed and advanced through training, application and practise.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to recognise and manage your emotions. It can also be described as empathy, compassion, understanding, respect, awareness or personal engagement.
Skills such as self-regulation, self-awareness, motivation, and social skills are key components of emotional intelligence.
Human resource departments have discussed emotional intelligence for years, but only recently has it been recognised as an essential element for all employees. This is due to the fact that we all have to interact with other people during our working day.
High emotional intelligence leads to improved working relationships, positive collaboration, increased productivity, and a more settled working environment.
If employees are able to establish personal connections with others they are more likely to encourage others to succeed, understand their problems (helping solve them when possible), respect others’ perspectives, and engage in collaborative projects with enthusiasm.
When working within an international business arena, and collaborating with people from different cultures, emotional intelligence plays a key role in the success of these working relationships. Understanding how diverse cultures view working environments, relationships, and hierarchies is vital in achieving objectives.
Working well as part of a team has always been vital in business, but effective collaboration takes this one stage further.
The ability to function well in a multi-faceted environment, ensuring that the process and results are achieved despite any personal issues, is a vital part of collaboration. Working for the ‘greater good’ as opposed to satisfying your own ego, or climbing the hierarchical ladder, is viewed as the goal within collaboration.
Lone wolves, who prey on weaker members to achieve their personal objectives, will no longer be required in the workplace of the future. There is no space for individuality if it is at the expense of others. Instead, businesses are looking for employees who will reach out to help their colleagues, use their strengths and support their weaknesses in order to ensure that their common goal is achievable.
Employees who are collaboratively minded will embrace the wisdom of the collective group and aim to bring out the best of all those involved.
3. Management and Leadership
Good leadership qualities are often sought by employers as they show a high level of both emotional intelligence and collaboration.
A manager, or leader, who can galvanise employees, co-ordinating their talents for best results, increasing productivity, and creating a happy workplace, is highly prized.
Add to this the skills of time management, budgeting, strategic thinking, and decision making, and you’ll have the perfect leadership qualities.
Learning to become a good leader is possible with training and patience. Understanding processes such as, time management, effective communication, and mentoring, can be hugely beneficial in helping to advance your success and career.
4. IT Competence
Every industry has been influenced by the massive technological advances made over the last few years.
With the fourth industrial revolution now well underway, tech-savvy employees are vital to the success of their company.
The basics of emailing, using the internet, managing your mobile phone, and having a simple understanding of security, are absolutely essential in almost every industry.
For employers, the costs involved with staff who can’t operate or manage basic IT systems can be seen in time, money, and results.
Educating yourself with the basics is vital, but there are also many training courses that can offer industry-specific IT assistance so that you can get the most from your training.
5. Financial Knowledge
Lack of financial knowledge is a widespread issue at present and likely causes many businesses to suffer extra expense needlessly.
Fields as diverse as law, IT, travel and tourism, or marketing, can all benefit from good financial acumen.
Understanding financial issues can enable employees to make more informed decisions, manage projects within budget, cut costs where possible without reducing quality, and help with planning.
Fortunately, financial knowledge can easily be gained through training and education.
Specialist courses in VAT, FinTech, Tax and so on, can increase understanding, strengthen knowledge, and support employees, ensuring they are operating with the highest regard for financial stability within the company.
There is no longer a valid excuse for employees who claim they don’t understand the financial aspects of their company, or how it relates to their projects and departments.
These five skills are achievable for everyone with effective training and education. They will help employees make informed decisions, encourage improved working relationships, and generate greater productivity.
The question shouldn’t be ‘can we afford to train our staff?’ it should be ‘can we afford not to?’
If you are looking for a professional training company within the GCC, with access to highly skilled trainers and bespoke courses tailored to your company’s requirements, which offers a variety of learning methods including classroom or virtual, then please contact Creative Word Training.