What kind of people do you want working for you? Do they have the soft skills that make them an indispensable part of your team? Beyond their university degree, will they be productive, easy to get along with, an asset to the team? Some will be all of these and much more without the qualification. Others with the degree will be useless in your workspace.

Or, if hiring and firing is not your thing, how can you make sure that you will still be considered a valuable employee, regardless of tertiary qualifications? Having a ticket is needed for many occupations, but all jobs can benefit from the soft skills.

Unimenta, a UK-based training organisation, released a report called “7 Must have Soft Skills for the Workplace.” The skills in question can also be called personal development, but that gives the impression that it’s only useful after hours. More helpfully, some simply call it “employability.” Here’s the list from Unimenta:

1. Adaptability

An unexpected change in the playing field doesn’t have to mean you’re in a crisis. The adaptable person will look at this as a new opportunity. And if the change really is a setback, he or she can bounce back quickly. As humans, we are inherently adaptable. Just look at the rise of the smartphone in the last decade or so. Yet being adaptable at work may be harder than it seems.

2. Critical thinking

This includes skills like rationality, self?awareness, honesty, discipline and the ability to be a sceptical thinker. It can help you deal with stress in the form of an increasing workload and a flood of new information every day.

3. Empathy

This is an understanding of what makes other people tick, the ability to feel what they feel. It involves good listening skills and an ability to find solutions that not only work but that make everyone happy.

4. Integrity

A person of integrity has moral soundness, or completeness. He or she will be true to their word, won’t backstab in the office, and is less inclined to gossip. They won’t look for dodgy deals that in the end will damage your company’s reputation.

5. Optimism

“A hopeful view or disposition; a tendency to expect a favourable outcome.” Pie in the sky? Not necessarily. Bad things do happen, but the optimist will work to turn them around. That can be a powerful tool to produce positive results at work.

6. Being proactive

The proactive worker is the goal setter. He or she knows where they are going, and are taking steps to get there. They will meet their goals because they take control.

7. Resilience

Responding well to pressure and just shrugging off rejection are not automatic. Yet these skills will help workers survive in a risky and competitive business environment.


This list just about describes the perfect employee, colleague or supervisor. Let’s face it; don’t we want everyone around us to be like this? Not sure if that perfect workplace exists anywhere, but many of these skills can be learned.

Is it worth the expense? Delete any one of those skills entirely from your workplace, and not only will your company be less effective, but nobody will want to work there.


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