There are many soft skills that employees need to be successful, and many of them are also social skills. Interpersonal skills, communication skills and conflict resolution are just a few examples of the essential soft skills that support strong working relationships at organizations. Yet, these crucial social skills can be hard to come by. Add that to the loss of connection endured throughout the pandemic and the resulting decrease in social stamina and it’s no wonder that many professionals are feeling less equipped.
Even if you know that you need to develop better social skills in the workplace, you may have trouble doing so. It’s not just you; there are plenty of professionals out there who could benefit from additional coaching aimed at strengthening social skills. There are a few reasons why so many workers struggle with this issue.
One possible reason why employees often struggle with social skills and other soft skills could be because the educational system is hardwired to facilitate the development of technical skills, with less of a focus on those crucial soft skills. Think back to your school days. You took classes in math, science and English. You probably didn’t take classes in socio-emotional development. It’s possible that the increasing focus on standardized testing detracts from crucial soft skill development.
Technology and Remote Work Arrangements
Another contributing factor to why many professionals struggle with social skills in the workplace is that they’re out of practice, particularly since the COVID pandemic. Communications technology (e.g. texting and Slack) may make it easier to touch base with coworkers about project requirements, but it does little to build working relationships. It’s a bare-bones approach to interpersonal communication. Similarly, remote work arrangements mean that some coworkers may never meet each other face-to-face.
Burnout in the Workplace
In 2023, feelings of burnout are at an all-time high. More than four million Americans quit their jobs in 2022 and even more considered changing careers to better balance their emotional and mental health. While burnout is being felt across almost every industry, workers in the fields of healthcare, retail and education are feeling particularly stressed. Burnout can contribute to increased fatigue, mental distance to your job, and feelings of cynicism or negativity. These feelings can translate to more negative social interactions both within organizations and in customer-facing situations. It’s tough for an employee to put their best foot forward with co-workers or customers when they aren’t happy with their circumstances.
If you are seeking more clarity and security in your career, Crosworks can help with programs and services tailored to your unique needs and goals. Reach out to us on our website today to schedule a consultation with our career and talent strategists.