SOFT SKILLS

The modern workplace is a living organism that is constantly evolving, and the only way to stay relevant as an organisation is to keep abreast of industry trends and implement programs that promote growth and efficiency within the organisation.

We have been looking at 2020 workplace trends, three weeks ago, we considered Trend #2, Remote work. We determined that remote work is rapidly gaining acceptance in workplaces, especially in Information Technology companies. We concluded that promotes work-life balance and increases productivity while cutting cost for employees as well as the organisation. 

The third 2020 Workplace trend we want to consider is the development of soft skills.

According to the Arkansas Department of Education, 2007, Soft skills are a cluster of productive personality traits that characterize one’s relationships in a milieu. 

Soft skills include social graces, communication abilities, language skills, personal habits, cognitive or emotional empathy, time management, teamwork and leadership traits. 

Soft skills cover three key functional elements: 

  1. social skills
  2. people skills 
  3. personal career attributes 

These skills are crucial for today’s workplace as they complement hard or technical skills. Soft skills have become a major criterion for employment as well as advancement in an organisation.  

An employee’s soft skill is a crucial part of their contribution to the overall success of their organization, especially if such an organisation deals with customers on a face-to-face basis. A critical success factor for an organisation like this is the ability to promote activities that help employees develop these skills through team-building activities and wellness enhancing programs. 

Soft skills

The following is a top ten list of soft skills compiled by Eastern Kentucky University 

  1. Communication – oral speaking capability, written, presenting, listening, clear speech & writing.
  2. Courtesy – manners, etiquette, business etiquette, gracious, says please and thank you, respectful.
  3. Flexibility – adaptability, willing to change, lifelong learner, accepts new things, adjusts, teachable.
  4. Integrity – honest, ethical, high morals, has personal values, does what’s right.
  5. Interpersonal skills – nice, personable, sense of humour, friendly, nurturing, empathetic, has self-control, patient, sociability, warmth, social skills.
  6. Positive attitude – optimistic, enthusiastic, encouraging, happy, confident.
  7. Professionalism – businesslike, well-dressed, appearance, poised.
  8. Responsibility – accountable, reliable, gets the job done, resourceful, self-disciplined, wants to do well, conscientious, common sense.
  9. Teamwork – cooperative, gets along with others, agreeable, supportive, helpful, collaborative.
  10. Work ethic – hard working, willing to work, loyal, initiative, self-motivated, on time, good attendance.

Although difficult to quantify, soft skills play a critical role in employee performance and productivity. They help facilitate human connections needed for high-performance and efficiency in the workplace. 

Building New Habits

Building New Habits In The New Year

We put up a post last week about making new habits. This week we would like to elaborate on it.

Habits are important parts of our lives, they determine a lot of things about us, ranging from our health to our success; and ultimately, who we are. 

Good habits are important because they make you a better person. Good habits when accustomed to, become good behaviors, lifestyle, ethics, and practices that consequently result in making you the best version of yourself.

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. However, how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

Today, we will talk about the steps to follow in building a new and good habit.

You can change any bad habit you already have by following these steps.

Take Baby Steps

A very important part of new habit development is to make micro-commitments and focus on small wins. Start small, don’t set big goals and targets when creating new habits, it can get overwhelming and discouraging.

The idea here is to create very little commitment that can be done easily and then consistently build on your success. It’s more important to stay consistent with a little commitment needed than it is to hit a huge target. 

Examples of baby steps in your habit changing journey include: taking a five-minute walk every day, drinking a glass of water, writing a paragraph of your book, taking one short course in line with your career, reading a page of a book you’ve always wanted to read.

Commit For A Minimum of 30 Days

Some people say it takes three weeks (21 days) to build a habit. Others claim it takes up to 66 days. The truth is, how long it takes to make something habitual depends on the habit, the person in question, and a few other things.

In all of these, we believe a minimum of 30 days, which is well in-between all other claims should do justice to any new habit you’re trying to create.

However, just ensure you are disciplined and consistent.

Have An Accountability Checker

There will be days when you see no point in continuing your journey towards building a new habit. There will be days when you are not naturally motivated to carry on with your task. Your accountability checker’s job is to check your level of progress and consistency.

Your accountability checker could be a person, an activity or even a reward. However, your best option here would be another person, as this is a factor that is outside your control and can check you effectively.

Reward Your Small Wins

Building a new habit should not be a boring journey. You can make it fun! Ensure you reward your small wins after each one. This will help you realize how much progress you’ve made and keep you a lot more motivated to carry on.

Fix Your Mind On The New And Forget The Old

As you keep winning, your challenges will keep growing. You will need to change your state of mind about yourself, the environment, and the people that relate to your new habit.

It doesn’t get easier, you get tougher. Your mind will be your greatest asset, you have to keep your mind on growth.

Straying from an old habit is not an easy task. Consistency will be your greatest weapon.

Finally, you should know that you don’t need a new year or season to bring changes to your life. You can change and create new habits whenever you want.

So go all out and win. You have our permission.