Employee soft skills are essential for the successful running of any business. In fact, employees who received comprehensive training in a number of soft skills (such as, time management, communication, teamwork, and problem solving) turned out to be 12% more productive than employees who didn’t receive this training, a study by researchers at Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business found. As a result, the company partaking in the study experienced a whopping 256% return on investment in just nine months. Working to strengthen your employees’ soft skills through various proven methods — along with the help of the PomoDone performance-boosting app — can improve the productivity and, ultimately, the bottom line of your business.
In today’s busy and constantly connected society, it’s not uncommon for the majority of employees to juggle jam-packed and often overwhelming workloads. As a result, time management is a vital soft skill that’s becoming increasingly important to cultivate in your workplace. In fact, employees can free up as much as 20% of their week just by improving how they manage their time and workload. There are a number of ways to help your employees manage and optimize their available time. First, encourage your team to set goals for any given task. Employees should know how to break down tasks into more manageable segments, as well as set daily, weekly, or monthly timelines to keep them on track to completion. Also make sure your employees know how to identify tasks that are most urgent and therefore need prioritizing, and be sure to provide them with the necessary information, tools, and materials needed to meet the deadline.
Moreover, task management software like the PomoDone app can help you effectively track time in the workplace. It involves your employees compiling a list of tasks they individually need to complete that day. They then get to work on one of those tasks for a straight 25 minutes — this is kept track of by a handy timer displayed on the side. Once time’s run out, the employee can take a five-minute break before returning to work. This system repeats for four 25-minute cycles. After this, the employee is free to take a longer break. This effective method is built upon the idea that stopping frequently for breaks promotes mental agility, focus, and flow.
However, even with these beneficial changes, time management training may still be necessary to create permanent results among your employees. You may be interested in looking for online time-management courses and webinars. Alternatively, you may want to kickstart on-the-job time-management skills training — this can involve either individual learning, on-site classroom training, experienced employees mentoring and advising juniors, or blended learning — an effective approach that combines classroom learning with online learning.
Teamwork and collaboration
The ability to work in a team should be an essential requirement for employees in any workplace. In fact, businesses that communicate effectively are 4.5 times more likely to retain the best and hardest-working employees. They also typically experience a drop in employee turnover by an impressive 50%. Team building exercises are a great way to strengthen this soft skill in your employees. When selecting a suitable exercise, however, be sure to focus on addressing the specific challenges your team are currently experiencing. Do they need to get to know each other better? Or perhaps bonds need to be strengthened following a recent conflict or dispute? Their team building exercise should be personalized to their collective and unique needs at the time. Additionally, you’ll find team building exercises more effective and the results longer lasting if you do them often. Holding them weekly at most or monthly at the minimum will help you reach your team building goals faster.
It may not be immediately obvious, but solid teamwork and collaboration is also an important element in maintaining a safe workplace and eliminating potential workplace hazards, accidents, and injuries. Make sure you prioritize workplace safety and hold regular meetings with your team to discuss relevant safety-related issues, problems, and solutions. You should also keep them updated with any changes to safety policies and procedures. Get employees directly involved in making their workplace as safe as possible by having them participate in group activities like hazard detection, problem solving, and feedback sessions — they may be able to identify safety issues and make suggestions on how to solve them. By strengthening their teamwork skills, they’ll be able to work together smoothly to prioritize safety, share information, follow correct procedures, identify hazards, give warnings, and prevent accidents.
No matter how careful you are, however, workplace injury can still happen and has the potential to significantly damage team morale, decrease productivity, and lower levels of job satisfaction. Fortunately, small business insurance is available to help protect both employers and employees in case an accident does occur on the job. Regardless of the industry you’re in, workers’ compensation insurance will financially cover potential medical treatment and wage replacement for injured employees, as well as protect the employer from an expensive lawsuit. It’s legally required for small businesses in most states.
Excellent communication skills are essential for both in-person interactions and written correspondence at work. However, over half of employees say they’re not usually provided with clear instruction, while 69% of managers don’t feel equipped to communicate effectively with employees, statistics from Harvard Business Review reveal. In fact, employees spend roughly 2.5 hours everyday searching for the information they require to complete their work — which drastically cuts workplace productivity. Across the U.S., poor workplace productivity costs businesses as much as $550 billion every year.
On the other hand, employee productivity increases by 20-25% when employees are able to communicate effectively. Strong internal workplace communication can therefore optimize information flow between both larger departments and smaller teams, boost productivity, and save money. The PomoDone app, in particular, is a great way to facilitate effective workplace communication. It allows teams to communicate and collaborate in real-time — which is particularly important if you have remote employees. Managers can use the app’s live chat feature to instantly communicate important information whenever necessary.
Additionally, the task comments and push notifications features ensures each and every team member is kept updated throughout the day. They’ll receive email notifications informing them when they’ve been assigned a task, as well as task feedback via comments. As a result, employees are better able to coordinate their efforts, get to work on tasks immediately, improve productivity, and reduce the risk of missing deadlines. The PomoDone app also allows files to be shared between team members in a single portal. This boosts workplace communication by allowing managers to track the team’s work log and give feedback efficiently. There’s also no need to make room for internal storage since all your data’s conveniently saved on the cloud.
Time management, teamwork and collaboration, and internal communication are some of the most important soft skills you can cultivate in your employees. While taking the time to upskill your employees is a big commitment, it’ll pay off big time. Strengthening your team’s soft skills will boost workplace productivity, as well as your bottom line.
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