When it comes to employment, a university degree used to be the gold standard, but as the world changes rapidly, so does the workplace too. The process of getting work done has evolved, and as a result the way companies screen and hire employees has changed too.

Whilst hard skills show your experience and understanding of a certain ability, soft skills have become crucial success factors.

According to Standford Research Institute International, just 25% of an employee’s performance is attributable to technical skills, whereas nearly 75% of an employee’s success is attributable to soft skills. These statistics clearly demonstrate how crucial soft skill development is for operating a successful business.

Why are soft skills important?

Hiring staff with developed soft skills can significantly impact an organisation’s ability to function efficiently and effectively. Soft skills offer many benefits including:

  • Increased productivity
  • More innovative solutions
  • Stronger interpersonal and professional relationships
  • Company growth

7 Essential Soft Skills

Employers value soft skills as it:

  • Demonstrates initiative, proactivity and confidence
  • Promotes better company culture
  • Helps them understand your professional personality

With that being said, here are 7 essential soft skills you should focus on acquiring to thrive in the workplace:

1. Emotional Intelligence & Empathy

Emotional Intelligence is a skill that once developed can serve you very well. By developing emotional intelligence, you are able to manage relationships better, avert potential conflicts, boost productivity, enable better listening leading to improved communication, and have an obvious advantage over their competitors.

2. Integrity

Integrity is not just about being honest, but also adhering to employee ethics, being dependable, and implementing good judgement. Integrity plays a big role in establishing a solid foundation for a successful relationship between employees and their employers.

A workplace with integrity has a culture where staff trust and respect each other, which in turn leads to improving productivity, and employee motivation.

3. Adaptability

At its core, adaptability is a readiness to learn new things and make adjustments as necessary. An adaptable employee welcomes change and innovation in the workplace.

Although new things can be intimidating, employers want to know that you won’t crumble under the pressure of any inevitable changes to the workplace structure.

4. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking entails using logic and reason to identify the root cause of an issue and creating viable solutions.

Our ability to solve problems – whether big or small – effectively depends on our critical thinking skills. The success of a company can be significantly impacted by having staff who apply critical thinking abilities.

5. Creativity

Creative minds foster innovation and improvement. Whilst you might not feel naturally creative, it’s a quality that can be found in all of us. We all have our own perspectives on the world.

In a professional setting, creativity entails using your unique lens to produce your best work.

6. Conflict Resolution

No matter how much you love your job and co-workers, you will inevitably get into conflicts at work. People with strong conflict resolution skills are often empathetic, rational and tactful, which allows the, to mediate with others.

Resolving conflict can be beneficial if opinions are shared through open, respectful communication. Employers wants to know that you are equipped to professionally deal with conflict in the workplace, and convert it into an opportunity for growth.

7. Teamwork

Collaborating well with your co-workers and employers is necessary for a business to run smoothly. Good team working is the backbone of all successful companies.