All companies have employees who stand out above the average, those who are synonymous with success and efficiency. What soft skills should you develop to become one of them?

In this article you will find:

Although it may be thought that these workers possess a series of innate qualities that allow them to go where others can’t, the truth is that they share a series of patterns that, if observed carefully and put into practice, can lead you to achieve your goals more easily. In other words, excellence is accessible to anyone who focuses on developing the professional skills necessary to achieve it.



Companies are always looking for talent

In a survey conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, one in three leaders said that the most important challenge they face is finding the best talent for the organisations they work for. The growing importance of this issue has led to increasingly stringent requirements and more demanding employers.

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Expectations for talent continue to grow for 72% of HR managers according to Randstad data, almost the same percentage who argue that talent acquisition strategy is based more on creating total value for the company, rather than cost savings. Because companies that have the best employees know that these are an investment that gives a return that cannot be measured through the income statement.

Add to the mix the fact that new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are replacing many traditional roles and changing many others. How can employees prove that they are the talent companies are looking for?


What are the professional skills most valued by companies?

According to the McKinsey study cited above, beyond hard skills, one of the aspects most valued by companies when trying to find the best talent is having a distinctive quality, being able to do something that the rest don’t know how to do. The search for a value that differentiates you from the rest of the professionals in your environment can be complicated, but it is an important asset if your goal is to stand out from the crowd.

Although technical skills and professional experience are some of the things that seem to be the most important in defining potential talent, there are other types of professional skills that define a great employee outside of the technical competencies needed for the job.

We talk about the development of soft skills, social skills that are exercised in everyday life and that benefit people when it comes to succeed in the workplace. Do you want to know what they are and if you already have some? Keep on reading.


“Soft skills are social skills that are developed in everyday life, and they’re beneficial to people in order to become successful”


Innovation and problem solving

Are you passionate about challenges? Are you able to find the key that solves the problem with ease? Do you use your creativity in the face of adversity?

Congratulations! Then you already have this skill. Successful employees think logically and innovatively to develop solutions to problems or obstacles that arise in their workplace.

Communication skills

On the other hand, it is often the case that employees who achieve what they set out to do have a tendency to socialize easily. The report The future of Jobs, conducted by the World Economic Forum, highlights that the ability of knowing how to manage teams and interact with colleagues in the workplace is one of the most valued professional skills by companies to fill their vacancies.


“Knowing how to manage teams and relate to colleagues in work environments is one of the most valued professional skills.”


Being able to get along with the rest of the team and willing to listen to feedback from colleagues are some of the traits that characterize the most talented employees. After all, this is the best way to achieve greater prestige at work and expand the network of influence among the company’s collaborators, while at the same time providing the possibility of developing skills to persuade interlocutors.

Time management

It means that you know how to efficiently organize your schedule, both for day-to-day and long-term projects. You think you don’t comply with this?

Start by making your work calendar your best friend. Set daily and weekly goals for what you’d like to accomplish. Use management tools to help you manage projects and the time your team spends on each task.

Set ambitious goals and go for them

Another highly-valued professional skill that defines the most outstanding workers is their ambition and the motivation that drives them to get their work done. It’s essential to practice a certain amount of non-conformism in order to cultivate the necessary willpower to achieve the goals one sets for oneself.

The appropriate metric for assessing this ability is the willingness with which each person takes on the tasks assigned to them, coupled with a growing desire for greater responsibility.

Growth mindset

Related to the previous point, in order to achieve our goals we’ve to maintain the continuous desire to be better professionals. Achieving success requires being motivated to learn new professional skills and knowing how to adapt to a changing job market. It’s about willing to go the extra mile.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to perceive, assess and respond to your emotions and the emotions of others. This means thinking empathetically about the people around you and the interpersonal relationships that develop in the workplace.

Having the ability to know how your coworkers are feeling and responding with compassion is essential. In fact, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder states that 71% of employers value emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ, while 75% are more likely to promote an employee with a higher emotional quotient.


“71% of employers value emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ”


Active listening

Is listening easy? Not at all. A good listener is one who shows that he or she is engaged in the conversation either by making small interventions that don’t interrupt the speaker or by nodding his or her head. It also involves asking the right questions, maintaining eye contact and not judging.

digital transformation and remote meetings. Showing that you are attentive to the conversation is much more difficult when speaking through a screen. Keeping the camera on and not interrupting others are two standards that must be met in this type of situation.


Leadership skills are really a combination of all the other soft skills. The person who enjoys all of them can not only work well with the team, but can also take the reins and improve the rest of the team members.

Employees who have this ability perform their functions better, but also serve as an example to the rest of their teammates to achieve the goals they set and move projects forward more effectively.

In short, people with greater potential in the company are also characterized by being enthusiastic in continuous training for their job performance, in order to be able to constantly evolve and give the best of themselves. That’s why the development of soft skills has become one of the most valued professional skills for professional success.

If you want to know more about how to work on your professional skills, click here.

Sources: Randstad, McKinsey, World Economic Forum, American Psychological Association, Capgemini