The Fine Art of Teaching Soft Skills

Cultivating an appreciation for tact, basic fairness and responsible behavior in your employees makes life easier for everyone. 

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. 

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If your gen Z workers are getting a rep for unprofessional social behavior, help them shape up.

Bruce Tulgan Jossey-Bass Inc. Publishers

The Golden Rule of Professionalism 

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.

Have them ask themselves if they are working efficiently. Are they able to correctly prioritize their assignments? Good work routines will lead to better, more consistent results.  

Offer productivity tips such as suggesting they take notes during meetings to better remember what was said and what tasks they were assigned. Learn to give constructive feedback

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Relax rookie managers. Here’s your playbook. Now go build your team.

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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 comes 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. 

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If you work remotely, use exceptional digital etiquette to build respect and a strong reputation.

Aaron Orendorff Lifehacker

Lastly, encourage all employees to make their voices heard by asking their opinion, and giving them the chance to contribute in meetings. 

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An Adult’s Guide to Social Skills, for Those Who Were Never Taught

You’re never too old to improve your social skills.

Eric Ravenscraft The New York Times

Before you know it, your awkward newbies will be confident, professional contributors to your organization. 

Learn more about cultivating soft skills: 

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Soft Skills

Work colleagues who get along have a record of working better and more efficiently together than co-workers who rub each other up the wrong way. So get the chemistry right between you and your team members.

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