Rachel McElroy, Chief Marketing Officer at Solutionise Global explains why tech employers cannot over look the importance of soft skills.
Every tech leader strives towards having the full package when offering the very best service, meaning HR departments and hiring teams can spend a huge amount of time finding the right fits for their organisations.
An all-encompassing tech team builds out a business’s IT architecture and networks. It knows how to deploy a new software release with ease and can talk many different coding languages.
But as cloud services and technology become more user-focused and intuitive – and many traditionally repetitive tasks turn to automation via machine learning and AI – this has led to a shift towards the importance of being ‘human’.
Soft skills are playing more of a vital role within a digital team, and those who overlook the personalities and characters that can drive success, will set themselves up to fail, regardless of the amazing tech that the business possesses.
It’s therefore becoming inevitable that tech enterprises should be focusing on more specific traits and personalities that can add to a team’s dynamic – and here are six reasons why.
1. Improving communication
Unfortunately for the younger workforce, whilst being digital natives it’s also well-documented how many can often struggle to communicate face-to-face – 40% are lacking soft skills according to recent reports – because they are more used to online interaction.
But communicating strongly has a wide-reaching effect and having that ability to use appropriate language for different stakeholders, negotiate with several departments, and ensure feedback is constructive – and egos are left at the door – can all help individuals express themselves, and positively motivate colleagues.
Having the confidence to provide clear and concise solutions, whilst showing respect to listen to other voices, showcases overall, strong communicative skills.
2. Encouraging collaboration
The clue here is in the word ‘team’ – an acronym of this being ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ – as this is the essence of collaboration.
Yes, people are great individually, but the real power in business comes from assembling a group with varied strengths, in order to supercharge success.
Being able to collaborate effectively alongside diverse characters is a key soft skill. A team could have a wide and varied demographic, encompass on and off-site resource, or be made up of contractors and permanent workers, but if they can all work cohesively, they can deliver the best possible outcomes.
3. Instilling empathy
With the need to be user-focused and provide the greatest experience and products for end users, employees should be able to show they care and understand how others feel. Those who are empathetic towards customers interacting with their product and services can build strong relationships too.
Colleagues all have personal lives, real emotions and problems – as humans, there is a duty of care to be supportive, counsel, and acknowledge that many situations will manifest during working hours. A little empathy makes the in-house environment a much better place.
4. Proving to be adaptable
Digital disruption! The team should live and breathe change as new technologies, ways of working, software, hardware – and everything in-between – burst onto the scene. Those who fail to adapt or don’t see change as an opportunity, rather than a chore, will ultimately struggle.
Employees keen to upskill are vital when it comes to addressing the global tech talent shortage. By educating themselves to further understand emerging trends, a new platform or cloud migration, this can provide huge benefits – both individually and operationally.
On a mental health note too, taking up development opportunities or formal training paths can empower staff, and make them feel incredibly valuable to their firm.
5. Empowering future leaders
Many enterprises now exist with a flatter organisational structure and are moving towards a more agile approach – enabling the self-management of teams who are all focused on the operation’s overall outcomes.
A person with a natural flair for leadership will be self-motivated, interested in business development and have an entrepreneurial spirit. Within a successful tech team, these leaders should be capable of painting a strong picture of where the firm is going and the utopia that exists.
Effective collaborators should also be confident when helping others to visualise how they can consistently tweak and update projects in-line with the ever-changing market requirements too, and lead teams towards success – before competitors do.
6. Reinvigorating creativity
Strategy, planning and future results – what drives a team positively? This final soft skill covers employees who possess vibrant, engaging ideas that are essential to help a business stand out.
Some creative suggestions might seem a little off the mark, and others will be nearly spot-on and just a little tweak required. However, the point is to build a culture allowing people to feel comfortable to voice and share their thoughts – organisations empowering staff can be hugely attractive to top talent, too.
A popular interview question for many years was, “tell me when you used your initiative in a situation?” It’s time for employees to forget that, and instead explain how one of their ideas can improve the world!
Having a complete team boasting technical and soft skills is no mean feat, but personalities and certain character traits should not be overlooked when searching for the best talent. A group eager to disrupt the industry positively, work collaboratively and keep embracing change can be a huge advantage in the sustainability of a tech business.