Human skills are often referred to as soft skills. These are the techniques that your employees use to relate to each other and to customers or clients. Whether you're hiring for a role in human resources or any other department, these human skills are crucial.
Essentially, human skills are based on empathy, compassion, and communication. They are non-technical skills such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, motivation, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. In fact, Pearson has discovered that the top five most in-demand skills are human skills, including customer service, leadership, and attention to detail.
Whether you want to help your employees build a strong foundation in your organization or you'd like to attract and retain new talent, finding ways to foster human skills is crucial. These tips will help you develop human skills in new and existing workers.
1. Provide resources for communication classes
One way to assist your employees is to provide resources they can use to improve their communication skills. Good communication reduces conflict and makes the workday more efficient. Your workers will learn how to not only clearly articulate their ideas but also actively listen to others. Communication classes are often available through local organizations and educational institutions, including community colleges. You may even host a seminar for your employees or new hires interested in building these beneficial skills.
2. Emphasize the importance of nonverbal communication
Body language and other nonverbal cues provide important context in communication. In fact, nonverbal information often reveals more than spoken communication, even though many overlook its importance. It's a good idea for employees to develop an understanding of body language and changes in vocal tone. You can foster the development of this skill by paying for employees to attend communication courses or offering seminars that focus on this aspect of engagement.
3. Offer constructive feedback – and welcome feedback in return
One way you can build a positive relationship with your employees and improve communication is by offering constructive feedback. It should be clear and actionable, giving people a way to move forward positively. You can motivate your staff to make beneficial changes and see growth in the way they use their soft skills.
Additionally, you should welcome constructive feedback in return. Look for patterns and areas where you can improve the workplace, showing your employees that their feedback is useful. Honest communication about these changes will also foster strong relationships in your organization.
4. Lead through example
You can set the bar for your employees by using your own human relations skills. This is a great technique for managers because it helps build a foundation of trust with all workers. This strategy also models the skills and behaviors you want to see, setting clear expectations across the board. When leadership is transparent and empathetic, other employees will feel much more positive about developing their human skills.
There are several ways you can lead by example. One way for you to model behavior is to take ownership of your mistakes. It's also a good idea to show empathy and compassion, demonstrating the behaviors you hope other workers will display. You can also attend communication courses and seminars alongside other workers, which shows the importance the company places on building these new skills.
5. Encourage strong conflict resolution skills
Conflict will arise in most workplaces at some point. Even in a workplace where everyone knows their expectations, you may find that there is an overlap in roles and responsibilities that leads to a specific challenge. Additionally, many people become frustrated when they feel that they are not being heard or they don't have the appropriate training for a project or task.
Conflict resolution skills can help avoid passive-aggressive behavior and low morale in the workplace. Additionally, you can boost happiness and productivity at work by providing resources for conflict resolution. For instance, you may provide mediation or facilitate a discussion so each person can share their perspective of the situation. You may also offer workshops and seminars that focus on resolving conflict in the workplace and at home.
6. Ask for volunteers for community projects
One way to develop human skills is to encourage your team to volunteer regularly in the community. Perhaps your company chooses one day each month to help at the food bank, or maybe you have a weekly litter pick-up event that keeps your community clean. The goal is to help your employees form connections and use communication skills to work in a new and possibly unfamiliar area. Everyone will have the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone and try something new.
Volunteering also helps foster many of the soft skills you want to build in your employees. For instance, you'll encourage your workers to build empathy and compassion for those they're helping. They'll also learn to communicate and work as a team to complete a new project, building self-esteem along the way.
7. Encourage diversity in all hiring practices
Everyone brings something unique to the workplace. When you have many different voices speaking up, you collect more thorough feedback. Diversity helps break down old walls and rules and brings new attention to problems and challenges. Workers benefit from this change in perspective.
Establishing more diversity in the workplace means adjusting your hiring practices to attract talent with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. You can also ask your existing employees to participate in discussions and workshops that help build new policies in the office.
"An inclusive culture in your workplace will help each member of the organization feel comfortable expressing themselves."
You may also find that this is a good time to provide resources that promote inclusion in the workplace. An inclusive culture in your workplace will help each member of the organization feel comfortable expressing themselves.
8. Encourage collaboration among departments
In many workplaces, few departments ever get the opportunity to work together. Blending several departments for a project fosters stronger communication skills, as each member of the group will be required to share new information with others who may not be familiar with it. As a result, each worker will have to communicate with compassion and listen actively. People will learn how to share information, and they'll also build empathy for those working in other departments who may not have access to the same information.
Why are human skills so important?
Human skills are arguably more important now than ever before, especially with the introduction of artificial intelligence in the workplace. While there is certainly a lot that computers can do, there are some skills that a machine cannot replicate.
Establishing strong human skills at work fosters better relationships among team members and with customers and clients. You can help reduce conflict and knowledge gaps by encouraging each member of your team to develop these beneficial skills. With improved soft skills in the workplace, you can see efficiency and communication blossom.
As technology improves, human skills will become more important in the digital age. A workplace with great human skills has a lot to offer in an age where many businesses are focusing on technical skills.
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