Not all employees come to you with an appreciation for soft skills. Younger workers and workers without much previous job experience are especially in need of guidance when it comes to things like tact, dressing appropriately and common courtesies. Often their own parents buffered them from criticism and so it may be up to you to clue them in about better ways to fit into a company culture. Remind them to question their own assumptions. If you prioritize and model proficiency in people skills and compassionate communication, which begins with listening, others will also see them as important. If you value continuous learning and offer opportunities to learn, employees will endeavor to keep honing these and other skills.
Bridging the Soft Skills GapJossey-Bass Inc. Publishers
Professionalism is the Golden Rule of the Workplace
Emphasize professionalism and encourage new employees’ ability to see themselves through the eyes of their colleagues; this is the first step to taking personal responsibility for their behavior.
The First-Time ManagerAMACOM
Have them ask themselves if they are working efficiently. Are they able to correctly prioritize their assignments? Good work routines lead to better, more consistent results. Offer productivity tips such as suggesting they take notes during meetings to remember better what was said and what tasks they were assigned. Learn to give constructive feedback.
Emphasize a judgment-free, curious approach to problem-solving, gathering information and being open to what the data shows. Show that sometimes the best options are the province of employees who’ve been around and dealt with similar problems. Here, respect for colleagues and an ability to listen come in handy.
Etiquette for Remote Workers
Make it clear to new hires that working remotely still requires the same high level of professionalism you would expect if they were in the office. For instance, punctuality is still important. Be aware that communicating remotely often leaves out nuances and nonverbal cues that are more easily understood in person, so be sure you are clear and understood. Emphasize respect for co-workers.
10 Rules of Professional Etiquette for the Digital WorkplaceLifehacker
Lastly, encourage all employees to make their voices heard by asking for their opinion, and giving them a chance to contribute in meetings. Before you know it, your awkward newbies will be confident, professional contributors to your organization.
These titles will provide insight into handling commonplace work relationship dynamics with respect and tact:
How to Listen and How to Be HeardCareer Press Read Summary
To Be HonestKogan Page Publishers Read Summary
The Revelation ConversationBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
Managers, stop catastrophizing. To build a successful hybrid workplace, you need trust, boundaries, flexibility – and not much elseMedium Read Summary
Wait, I’m Working with Who?!?Career Press Read Summary
The Anatomy of PeaceBerrett-Koehler Publishers Read Summary
How to Ask for HelpPsyche Read Summary
Performance ConversationsSociety For Human Resource Management Read Summary
Learn more about cultivating soft skills: