Soft Skills & Productivity

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance, and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills are interpersonal and broadly applicable.

Soft Skills covers a wide area of skill sets. When skills are put into this category, they are being labeled as those that are not quite as important as technical skills, but they are also necessary. For example, email etiquette is not something that is traditionally taught to incoming staff. Some think it is expected that people know how to communicate properly. However, many people don’t know these skills and it can affect the company overall.

These skills are a good way to increase productivity in a workplace. Even brushing up on soft skills can remind staff that doing things the correct way makes things easier and more efficient. 


Workplace productivity is influenced by much more than just your employees’ technical skill sets. A range of soft skills have been shown to impact the productivity of an office, so developing these skills should be prioritized. In fact, research has indicated that improving the soft skills of even a few of your employees can have notable effects on the efforts of your entire team.

In an office setting, having solid communication skills is key for both verbal interactions and written correspondence. Employees who have clearly and succinctly relay messages to internal departments or clients can reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary or time consuming clarifications. Clear communication is also an essential skill for successful senior management teams—including facilities managers—with studies showing that employees who exhibit high levels of productivity receive the most effective communication from their superiors.

Companies are looking for knowledgeable employees who can do the technical basis of the job description. More often now, though, companies also want candidates that can be versatile, communicative, and literate and many others. Some of the most requested soft skills are:

Soft Skills Needed For Productivity

Problem solving

Easily one of the most underrated soft skills; problem solving is a valuable employee attribute. Staffs who excel at problem solving exhibit highly attuned research and analytical skills, which helps make employees self-sufficient and able to tackle difficult issues independently.To find out if your employees need to improve their problem solving skills, consider conducting surveys or interviews that test their comfort and capabilities with hypothetical situations. These surveys can help you understand how they would navigate those situations and the insights you’ll gain can help you pinpoint each department’s strengths and weaknesses.

Time management

Overwhelming workloads are a common theme in most offices around the world, meaning that time management is one of the most important soft skills to cultivate in a workplace. While time management is a skill that all professionals need to learn, there are ways to enhance this soft skill for employees who have different levels of mastery of it. Firstly, it’s important to provide employees with the tools and technology that will help them efficiently manage their time.

Communication Strategies

Communication doesn’t just involve talking to others but also written communication skills. Other things that fall under this category would be presentation skills, conflict resolution, teamwork and team building, interpersonal skills, and many others. This is being a bit broad with the term but anything that has to do with communicating plans, goals and ideas falls under communication strategies.

Secondly, communication also plays a big role in productive time management, with goals and deadlines being clearly communicated in order to ensure they are managed effectively. To help your employees improve their time management skills, FMs can speak with employees to better understand the kinds of work that they’re doing, and then supply software that allows for easy prioritization of tasks, or training sessions to manage those projects.

How can it help? The reasons listed above are enough to make this skill necessary. Having clear communication skills helps to get projects started quicker and correctly, makes talking with clients easier and more natural. 

Decision making

Are your employees involved in difficult decision-making processes? Allowing employees to participate in high-level decision making from time to time can heighten their sense of investment in the company’s overall success. By increasing an employee’s responsibility and involvement in important outcomes, they have higher stakes in the results and are therefore more likely to increase their efforts to ensure success. Simply allowing employees the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes can also improve employee satisfaction, morale and teamwork.


As much as it goes without saying, being adaptable to a job is a necessity. Employers with staff that fit a wide array of needs that could come up. Making sure that sales people are properly trained can also help to cut down on calls to management or IT for questions on how to use software.

How can it help? Adaptability will increase employee utilization around the office. Having an IT person who can also train on the programs makes it easier to get results faster and cuts costs by only having to hire one person.

Critical Thinking

This skill goes without saying for almost any job. While it comes naturally to most people, it is a skill that can be progressed through training. Critical thinking will help potential employees really think through problems and help to create solutions and new ideas for companies. This skill correlates to someone within a decision-making position. How can choices be made if the ones who make them do not think everything through?

How can it help? This will help employees to get a better sense of what is expected of them. More so, it will help managers define a clear leader; the one who helps most with decision-making and is there to answer questions. There is a major soft skill gap when it comes to critical thinking and people in decision making positions.  

Project Management

This is a skill that can be gained through proper training and experience. Project management helps with analysis, budgeting, time management, communication, and many other skills that keep being added to a long list. This will help keep staff on track with projects, goals, deadlines, etc. and will help management have a better idea of what stage projects are at and when they can be finished. 

How can it help? Project management leads to a more productive way of doing things, if done effectively. Project managers can benefit from having all the skills listed above and then some. Because of this, they prove themselves to have a lot of adaptability as well as technical knowledge about basic needs for your business. 


Once you have an understanding of what you should be learning, how can you actually go about learning them? Training is everything.  Public speaking is a huge fear to many. Other skills, such as project management, are better developed with training and experience. Some of these skills come naturally to people, but that doesn’t mean that they are born with perfect communication skills. Practice, experience, and training are the key to increasing productivity within business. It can be stated here that there is a positive relationship between training, soft skills and work performance. Both soft skills and training appears to play an important role in employees’ performance on their job. The predictors of work performance – training and soft skills training – were used to assess employees’ leadership skills, ability for teamwork, creativity, communication skills and problem-solving skills before and after the soft skills training programme was conducted by the trainer. In summary, work performance was predicted by soft skills and the training adopted. It might be expected that the training (time-spaced learning) has an impact on the employees’ transfer of the soft skills acquired during the training to their job, which invariably improves work performance.

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