Mastering the Art of Giving Feedback: How do you Tell an Employee to Improve Soft Skills?

How Do You Tell An Employee To Improve Soft Skills?

Soft skills are an essential part of any employee’s performance. They involve the ability to communicate effectively and collaborate with others in the workplace. As such, it is important to ensure that employees have the necessary soft skills and that they are able to demonstrate them in the workplace. This article will provide guidance on how do you tell an employee to improve soft skills.

The importance of communicating clearly and working closely with colleagues should not be underestimated; it is paramount for achieving success in any organization. Therefore, it is essential for human resources managers to assess an employee’s soft skill levels and provide appropriate feedback when there is a need for improvement.

This article will focus on how to approach conversations with employees who need assistance in developing their soft skills. It will provide strategies on how best to discuss this topic, as well as advice on how to ensure that employees understand what needs to be done and are motivated to work on their development.

How Do You Tell An Employee To Improve Soft Skills?
How Do You Tell An Employee To Improve Soft Skills?

Defining Soft Skills

Soft skills are a critical component of any employee’s professional development. These qualities, often referred to as emotional intelligence or interpersonal skills, can range from communication and leadership qualities to problem-solving and critical thinking. Understanding what constitutes soft skills is the first step to helping an employee improve them.

Soft skills are generally defined as abilities that enable an individual to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. They include the ability to communicate effectively with others; the capacity to maintain a positive attitude; the capability to think critically; the capacity to resolve conflicts diplomatically; and the ability to work collaboratively in teams. Additionally, they encompass creativity, flexibility, self-discipline, motivation, empathy, problem-solving abilities and organizational techniques. All of these soft skills are important for employees looking to develop their professional potential and lead successful careers.

Identifying areas of improvement requires an assessment of current strengths and weaknesses in order for employees to further develop their soft skills.

Identifying Areas Of Improvement

Identifying areas of improvement related to an employee’s soft skills is an essential part of any performance evaluation. To accurately assess an employee and identify weaknesses, it is important to assess their strengths as well. A manager should have a clear understanding of the soft skills needed for success in the workplace and evaluate the employee’s current proficiency level. The goal of this assessment is to identify opportunities to improve the employee’s soft skills over time.

Measuring improvement in soft skills requires careful evaluation and monitoring. The manager should track progress by observing changes in behavior, attitude, and communication over time. This can be done through assessing performance in various tasks or interactions with other team members or clients. Additionally, feedback from supervisors or colleagues can provide valuable insight into how the employee is developing their soft skills. Finally, evaluating the progress made towards improving their soft skill set will help to ensure that development goals are being met.

Creating A Plan For Development

Creating an employee development plan is a key element of improving soft skills. It should be designed to provide the employee with a clear understanding of what is expected from them and how they can reach those expectations. The plan should outline the specific skills that need to be improved, the steps needed to get there, and any resources available for assistance. It should also include milestones so progress can be measured and tracked. Furthermore, it should allow for flexibility in order to accommodate unforeseen changes in circumstances. This includes revising objectives as needed and setting realistic timelines for completion.

It is important to communicate this plan effectively with the employee and to establish an open dialogue between manager and employee on their progress towards improvement. This should include regular check-ins where managers can offer encouragement, support, and feedback on the employee’s performance. By providing employees with a comprehensive development plan, they will have all of the tools necessary to become more successful in their roles and develop their soft skills.

Establishing An Open Dialogue

In order to effectively address the issue of improving soft skills for an employee, it is important to establish an open dialogue. This includes effective communication and feedback from both parties. Establishing this type of dialogue will allow for the employee to understand what their supervisors expect from them and how they can work towards achieving those expectations. It also provides a platform for supervisors to provide meaningful and constructive guidance in order for the employee to be successful. Through this exchange, both parties should be able to develop an understanding of what improvements need to be made in terms of soft skills, while also ensuring that any goals set forth are achievable and realistic.

This establishes a strong foundation of trust and mutual understanding between the supervisor and the employee; one that is necessary in order for any improvement plan to be successful. Additionally, this open dialogue demonstrates respect between both parties, creating an environment where employees feel valued and appreciated. As such, it is essential that discourse takes place in a positive manner so as not to discourage the employee or create any sense of insecurity about their performance. Ultimately, establishing an open dialogue allows for increased productivity by encouraging collaboration as well as providing both with clarity on expectations moving forward.

Monitoring Progress And Results

Once an open dialogue has been established between the employee and their manager, it is important to monitor progress and results of any skill development activities that have been agreed upon. This step is critical in order to ensure that the employee is making progress towards their goals. It is important for the manager to establish a timeline for their employee to measure against and provide feedback on their performance. By providing regular feedback, the manager can help motivate the employee and provide support when needed.

It is also beneficial to track any changes in soft skills over time, such as improved communication abilities or increased confidence in group settings. This can be accomplished by setting up periodic reviews with the employee, which should include direct observations from their manager as well as discussions about future goals. Through this process, it will be easier for both parties to identify areas that require more focus or additional resources. With these ongoing conversations, it will be possible to assess whether or not the soft skills are improving and if further development may be necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Most Important Soft Skills To Focus On?

When attempting to improve an employee’s soft skills, there are certain areas of focus that should be addressed. Teamwork, conflict resolution, communication, problem-solving and time-management are the most important soft skills to focus on. As such, it is essential to ensure that employees understand their responsibilities in each of these areas.

The ability to work as part of a team is an integral component of any successful workplace. Employees need to understand how their roles fit into the larger group context and be able to collaborate with colleagues effectively. This includes being able to build relationships with co-workers, handle differences in opinion and make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

Conflict resolution, communication and problem-solving skills are also key components when it comes to improving an employee’s soft skills. Being able to have effective conversations with co-workers, resolve issues without causing further problems and identify potential solutions are all important traits for successful working relationships. Additionally, time management is essential for ensuring tasks are completed on time and that deadlines are met. Here is a list of 3 tips for improving time management:

  1. Prioritize tasks based on importance
  2. Create lists or schedules for organizing tasks
  3. Establish realistic goals for yourself

Providing employees with guidance and support in developing these soft skills can help them become more productive members of the team and contribute more effectively towards achieving organizational goals. Therefore, it is important for employers or human resources managers to take the necessary steps needed in order to equip employees with the necessary tools they need in order to succeed in developing their soft skills.

How Often Should An Employee Receive Feedback On Their Soft Skills?

Providing feedback to employees on their soft skills is essential for their development. It is a key component in helping employees improve and develop those skills, so it is important to establish a regular feedback schedule. Human resources managers must recognize the importance of soft skills in the workplace and ensure that employees are receiving regular feedback on their performance in this area.

When determining how often an employee should receive feedback on their soft skills, it may depend on the particular needs of the organization or job role. For example, if an employee’s primary responsibility is customer service, they may need more frequent feedback than someone whose job does not involve as much interaction with customers. In addition, if an employee is displaying poor performance in any particular area of soft skill development, it may be necessary to provide additional feedback more frequently. On the other hand, if an employee shows great progress in their soft skill development, less frequent feedback may be sufficient.

It can be beneficial to communicate the desired frequency of feedback with employees upfront so that everyone knows what to expect and when reviews will take place. This establishes a consistent rhythm for providing constructive criticism and offering praise which will ultimately help employees focus on areas of improvement and maximize their potential for success in soft skill development.

How Can An Employee Practice Their Soft Skills Outside Of The Workplace?

Employees must practice their soft skills outside of the workplace if they are to make improvements. In order to help an employee to understand the importance of external soft skills practice, a Human Resources manager should explain the following:

Firstly, it is important to note that gaining knowledge and honing soft skills requires dedication and consistent effort. Much like any skill, practice makes perfect. There are many ways in which employees can practice their soft skills outside of the workplace:

  1. Joining a club or organization that focuses on developing interpersonal communication and conflict resolution.
  2. Volunteering with a local non-profit organization to gain leadership experience.
  3. Attending industry meetups or networking events.
  4. Reading books or taking courses related to communication, problem solving, and other aspects of professional development.

Developing strong soft skills can have a direct impact on an employee’s ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, manage stress levels, and work as part of an interdisciplinary team. By understanding how external practice can augment soft skill development, employees will be better equipped to handle difficult situations at work and maximize their potential for professional growth.

What Types Of Resources Are Available To Help An Employee Improve Their Soft Skills?

There are several resources available to help employees improve their soft skills. These resources can be used both inside and outside the workplace. The most popular methods of soft-skills training include:

  1. Soft Skills Guides: These provide individuals with a step-by-step guide on how to develop and improve their soft skills. They typically include exercises, topics for discussion and activities that can be completed in order to gain a better understanding of the topic at hand.
  2. Soft Skills Worksheets: These worksheets can be used to assess an individual’s current level of skill or knowledge in a particular area, while also providing guidance on how they can continue to build on those skills.
  3. Soft Skills Coaching: This type of training involves one-on-one coaching sessions with an experienced coach who can help an individual identify areas where they need improvement in order to reach their goals.
  4. Soft Skills Books: There are numerous books available that cover various aspects of developing and improving soft skills, from communication and negotiation to conflict resolution and presentation skills.

For any employee looking to develop their soft skills, these types of resources are invaluable tools that can help them reach their goals faster and more effectively than through traditional learning methods alone. Furthermore, these resources are often readily available online or through bookstores, so access is easy for anyone interested in furthering their professional development through soft skill enhancement.

How Can An Employer Ensure That Their Employees Are Developing Adequate Soft Skills?

“The only way to succeed is to try hard” is a well-known adage that encapsulates the importance of continually improving soft skills. For an employer, it is essential to ensure that their employees are developing adequate soft skills in order to stay competitive in the marketplace. This can be achieved through various means:

  1. Implementing training sessions: Employers can create and implement training sessions that focus on enhancing soft skills such as communication and problem-solving. Additionally, these training sessions could be tailored to fit the needs of different departments within the company.
  2. Offering feedback: Providing feedback on an employee’s performance should include not only comments about technical aspects but also constructive criticism about their soft skills. This helps employees identify areas in which they need improvement and gives them an opportunity to work on those areas.
  3. Encouraging collaboration: One of the most beneficial ways for employees to enhance their soft skills is by working together with colleagues from different departments or teams. By collaborating on projects or tasks, employees will gain knowledge and experience which can help them become more confident and comfortable communicating with others, leading to improved soft skills overall.

Given the importance of having adequate soft skills in today’s workplace, employers must take proactive steps to ensure that their employees have access to resources and opportunities that will help them develop these valuable qualities. This can be achieved through various initiatives such as providing training sessions, giving feedback and encouraging collaboration among colleagues, all of which can help employees hone their soft skills over time.


A successful workplace requires employees to have a wide range of soft skills. As such, it is the HR managers responsibility to ensure that these skills are being developed and nurtured. It is not enough to simply tell an employee that they need to improve their soft skills – you must provide the resources and feedback needed for them to do so effectively.

You can start by providing feedback on the most important soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. You should also encourage our employees to practice their soft skills outside of the workplace in order to stay sharp and hone their abilities. There are many resources available online that can help employees develop essential soft skills while also providing them with much-needed guidance and support.

By giving our employees frequent feedback on their soft skills, providing them with helpful resources, and encouraging them to practice outside of work, we create an environment conducive to growth. With this combination of support and guidance, our employees will be well equipped with the necessary tools for success in both their professional lives and beyond.

About Skillabilly Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at Skillabilly is a team of Personal and professional experts in the education and career services industry led by Shalev Morag. We have been creating Skill guides and tutorials since 2022, and Skillabilly has become an impactful free skills and abilities resource site in the industry.