By Anja van den Berg
In today’s world of work, employers are looking for skills that go beyond qualifications and experience.
As a rule, organisations are willing to train employees on job-specific skills, for example, how to operate assigned machinery, or how to use customised software required for a role. However, an employer usually expects employees to have soft skills before hiring, because these skills are much harder to teach.
According to skillsyouneed.com, soft skills are “employability skills”: they are what makes you employable.
Regardless of your job or industry, you will interact with other people at some level, says Lyndy van den Barselaar, the MD of ManpowerGroup South Africa.
“You will also be required to perform a specified amount of work or achieve certain deliverables every day. This applies to a construction worker as much as it does to a CEO.”
HR Future advises on how to develop soft skills to enhance your employability and deliver on expected productivity.
Interpersonal skills and communication
South Africa is a country with 11 official languages, which means that even small companies can have employees with multiple home languages. That can make communication in the workplace challenging, even (and especially) when one language is chosen as the official workplace language. Here are a few courses that can help you to be a more effective communicator in our diverse country:
- Understanding cross-cultural communication in international business (Alison): While this course is geared to international business, it has excellent value in a multicultural country like South Africa. It is also a great place to start developing practical communication skills
- Acting with diplomacy and tact (PowerYou): Learn two of the most critical business communication skills with this ManpowerGroup PowerYou course.
- Business writing skills (Confident Communicator): This course from a South African provider can help you learn to write confident, persuasive emails and other business documents.
- Communication skills for beginners (Udemy)
Time management and productivity
Time management is a critical skill to have in business. Yet, so many of us battle to get it right. Here are a few time management courses that will help put you on the right track from the start:
- Performing under pressure (PowerYou): Learn to keep your cool irrespective of the pressure.
- Ultimate time management (Alison): This course offers unique, cutting-edge time management strategies suited to today’s business world
- Time management mastery: Do more, stress less (Udemy): This course is packed full of great resources to help you master time management
If you are unsure about your interpersonal skills profile, or about which areas to focus on, you may find it helpful to take this Interpersonal Skills Self-Assessment to discover areas that need further development: https://www.skillsyouneed.com/quiz/343479