Impact of Soft Skills development on Improving University
In the Globalized world, developing domain knowledge & skills alone is insufficient for success in today#39;s dynamic job market. Along with domain knowledge & skills every stude t need to develop his/her and soft skills during college education. Soft skills consists of skills needed to deal with others appropriately in all the situations and life skills needed to efficiently manage self in everyday work ( Like opening Bank account) One of the reputed American research institute and one Indian B-School found that soft skills contribute 85- 88% during the recruitment process. Some of the 21 st century soft skills are as Follows:
1. Effective Communication:
Most important function of any executive dealing with others is to communicate effectively. It has been seen that on many occasions, big losses are incurred by the Organizations due to poor communication. Prime example of miscommunication is direct collision between two aircrafts near IGIA in 1997, in which 392 people died on the spot. Successful professional relationships are built through effective communication, which leads to better business. In Universities and Colleges, students can hone their communication skills in a variety of ways. These could be making the education completely interactive and outcome based. It could include group projects, presentations, role-plays, analyzing & presenting case studies and interpersonal interactions. Graduates who have strong communication
skills will perform better in the workplace due to their ability to express ideas Clearly.
2. Teamwork and collaboration:
In globalized world with VUCA (Volatility Uncertainty Complexity Ambiguity) characteristics, every industry (including education) is facing cutthroat competition; hence, it needs to innovate on a continuous basis. For innovations, the employees have to be very creative to suggest cost effective modification in the product or services. Teamwork leads to high creativity as many minds work together and create synergized output that is 1+1= 11 and not 02. In view of above, every member of team has to sincerely collaborate in the team to find the solution to a problem of innovation. Collaboration skills are given high importance by employers. Therefore, Universities and colleges must make the students to learn team building and teamwork. These skills can be developed through outdoor team
games, Group projects and extracurricular activities at Universities/Colleges to help students learn to work as a team and deal with a variety of viewpoints. These abilities are vital in current work environments where teamwork is necessary to complete a project successfully.
3. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving:
In 21 century, problems like product/service getting obsolete very fast, high employee turnover, retention of star employees, poor customer loyalty, low motivation etc. are being faced by every organization. These are the problems of all Organisations. If the organization has to survive, it has to solve these problems on time; else, it will go out of market. Therefore, every employee must be apt in problem solving skills. Critical thinking ability (Thinking about your own thinking) is the most important ability for solving problems. Universities/Colleges must develop critical thinking abilities and other aspects of problem solving through various activities like Brain Manthan competition, case studies based crossroad competition, Sudoku championship, Boot Camps, super -60 etc. Graduates who possess strong critical thinking skills are better able to adjust to the constantly changing demands of the labor market.
4. Adaptability and Resilience:
Challenge of change is the biggest challenge in the current scenario. Changes are fast and furious. Adapting these changes is the need of the time. The capacity to adjust to the Change is an important skill for people in all occupations. Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Being resilient
does not mean a person does not experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering. Resilience involves the ability to work through emotional pain and suffering. Employees will face adversity on many occasions in their personal and professional life. They must have the skills to face difficulties and bounce back. Overcoming these obstacles increases resilience, a quality that employers highly value in candidates who can successfully negotiate the complexities of the workplace. Universities/Colleges must focus on developing these skills through various techniques.
5. Time Management and Organizational Skills:
Time Management (TM) is a miss norm, time is fixed (24 hours in a day), can we increase nor can we decrease. Every person has to manage his task efficiently in available time. Actually, managing tasks efficiently by prioritizing and
categorisation is called TM. Employees not having skills to manage their tasks efficiently are unsuitable for the high performing organizations. For doing this the task efficiently, employees must have Organizational skills. Successful time Management and organizational skills are essential for university life also. Students learn to prioritize work and meet deadlines by juggling extracurricular activities, personal commitments, and academic obligations. These transferable skills can be used in the workplace, where effective time management is necessary for success. Universities/Colleges must also organize conferences, workshops, symposia etc to develop TM skills of students
6. Emotional Intelligence:
A global study conducted by (posted on net by Abid Husan on 05 Nov 19) Capgemini Research Institute, suggests emotional intelligence will become a “must-have skill in the next one to five years. Globally, the demand for emotional intelligence (EI) skills will see a six-fold increase, in response to the growth of artificial intelligence and automation. With the prevalence of automation and AI, Indian executives believe that EI skill will surge to address emerging job roles: The demand for EI skills in India will increase 8.3 times in the next three to five years, the highest amongst all countries, says the report.Demand for EI will be high across sectors, especially financial services.
More than 60% of organizations test for EI skills while assessing and hiring employees at senior management level
A large share of employees is willing to improve their EI skills as long as it is a part of the performance management system Share of organizations conducting EI training for employees at mid – The management level is double in comparison to the global average. In view of above, it is essential to be aware of, comprehend, and control one’s own
emotions in addition to those of others. Universities/Colleges must develop the ability of students to always respond to a situation rather than reacting to a situation. Make sure that they learn to ensure that the thinking brain always
remain the master rather than feeling the brain. Students can improve their emotional intelligence through their university experiences and sessions on Emotional Intelligence.
According to Prof R N Krishnia, Director Centre for Teaching, learning and Development, TMU, Universities/Colleges-acquired soft skills not only enhance personal growth but also greatly increases employability. Due to severe competition and no time to train in all the aspects, Employers are looking for well-rounded people who can think critically, collaborate easily, communicate well, overcome obstacles and bounce back. By investing in the development of these soft skills, students are building a foundation for success in their future careers rather than just
earning a degree.