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Soft Skills & Hard Skills

How to Choose the Right Soft Skills for Your Company?

eye 70 Published on 29 Apr. 2024
tag #Soft-skills

Soft skills: those famous future-proof abilities that everyone talks about. They promise to boost your company's growth and sustainability. Sounds amazing, right? But when it comes down to it, figuring out where to begin can be a bit tricky but in practical terms, you still don't know where to start. However, every company benefits from identifying the skills that are part of its DNA and cultivating those that will aid in its development.

Let's consider three perspectives to determine the skills one needs: knowing the teams, determining the company culture, and anticipating the future.

Mapping Your Teams

One approach involves determining the skills already present within the teams. The goal is to have a comprehensive view of one's skill pool. This allows for a better analysis of the skills that are abundant and strong, which are solid assets for you. This gives a clear picture of  the team's strengths and pinpoints any missing pieces in their skills set. Understanding what is already mastered and what is lacking helps the company to align its team development strategies effectively with what's really needed. 

For example, if a team is strong in analytical skills but lacks human relations skills, it might be wise to consider targeted training plans or to hire folks who bring those skills to the table.

Understanding The Company Culture

An often overlooked but essential element: understanding the company culture to reinforce it through the soft skills that define it. Company culture is a foundation that defines the values, norms, and behaviours that guide the functioning of an organisation. Soft skills must therefore be in harmony with this culture to promote employee engagement, collaboration, and performance.

For instance, if a company embraces a culture of innovation, it should look for skills such as creativity, open-mindedness, learning agility, and project management. Similarly, if a company is more performance-oriented, it would be rewarding to focus on skills such as competitiveness, charisma, dedication to work, and the ability to identify opportunities.

Anticipating the Future

It's no longer news that the world of work is rapidly evolving and it can quickly become overwhelming if one remains short-sighted. Anticipating the skills needed in the medium and long term is therefore a key element in maintaining direction. To do this, it is recommended to monitor market trends to keep up with developments and innovations in your sector. By anticipating these changes, one can more easily spot emerging skills and prepare to integrate them into your teams.

For example, with the strong emergence of AI, skills in data analysis, problem-solving, and critical thinking are becoming increasingly important. Likewise, skills in human relations and adaptability are equally sought after. By investing in the development of these skills, you ensure that you have the means to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Choosing the right soft skills for your company thus requires thorough analysis and a fine understanding of your current and future needs. With these three perspectives, you will be able to assess and more calmly consider the future. Your next step is to define a strategy for investing in your skills: how to value those present and how to develop and/or attract those that are missing.

Helen Simard

Consultant psychologist (career guidance and psychometrics)

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