How to build the human skills of your team

How to build the human skills of your team

  • Date: Wednesday 26th May 2021
  • PDF: Download

We are familiar with the terms “soft skills” and “hard skills” when we think about the capabilities of employees.

Soft skills are based on social and emotional behaviours such as a relationship building, collaboration, adaptability and patience.

Whereas hard skills are the more technical “doing” skills which can be learned and measured such as computer skills or an industry qualification.

These are learnt skills that can increase wellbeing, productivity, and engagement. Examples of “human” skills include empathy and effective confrontation and when used effectively lead to positive cultures.

Here are five of these human skills that you and your managers can develop with team members:


Understanding another person’s views and motives can positively impact on the success of an organisation.

To build empathy:

  • Encourage employees to see issues from the perspective both of colleagues and clients
  • Encourage employees to really listen, acknowledge and understand the perspectives of others


This is the collective ability of an organisation to stay positive, be proactive, focused and able to adapt to change.

To build this skill with your employees:

  • Highlight the opportunities that each change presents
  • Show the team that their collective abilities can resolve issues
  • Enable team problem solving by giving teams the time and platform to problem solve together. This can lead to trust, pride and accountability in their solutions


Effective communication is key to team performance. Honest communication can positively influence others and maintain positivity in a team. To build communication skills:

  • Encourage open communication
  • Allow everyone the opportunity to share views, ideas and solutions
  • At your stand-up meetings and toolbox talks allow time for each employee to ask questions and share ideas
  • Ensure communication shows empathy, respect and professionalism


Diligence is about getting the task done on time, to the correct standard and every time. When the team works with diligence, tasks are completed satisfactorily.

Build diligence by:

  • Restate the purpose of your organisation
  • Clarify individual roles and responsibilities
  • Explain and remind the team how their contribution matters and contributes to the wider effort and purpose of the organisation
  • Don’t forget the importance of recognition when diligence is consistently demonstrated


Trust will grow from open communication and active listening. It starts from the top with visible leadership and interaction with the team. Where there is trust the discretionary effort of an employee increases, goals are met and there is more engagement with both their role and colleagues.

To build trust, consider the following:

  • Give employees the opportunity to learn about each other’s roles
  • Allowing time for employees to reconnect through fun activities both social and from team building

Source: Manuela Grossmann

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