In many ways, Covid-19 has been the ultimate soft skills test for corporations. The pandemic has challenged all stakeholders to communicate better and to show flexibility while being decisive. It has called for leaders, managers, and employees to find the motivation to work and be prepared to solve the problems that (inevitably) came up every day. Some companies did a reasonably good job and some (sadly) did not do so well.
However, the time is not up, nor should the pencils be put down. On the contrary, soft skills will continue to become a vital part of the future workplace, especially because people will continue to work remotely, which can make it harder for employees to stay engaged. People will need to become even better at communicating, even better at working in teams and at motivating themselves to work. Here, we discuss why volunteering is one of the best ways to improve their soft skills.
Volunteering: the key to improving soft skills
Volunteering is an ideal way for people to improve their soft skills; it presents them with all the scenarios needed to build up these skills and it is also beneficial for mental health. Teamwork is at the heart of successful volunteering, no matter its type. In skills-based volunteering schemes, corporate volunteers help a charity with a problem it is facing, such as developing a marketing strategy or better managing their beneficiaries. This requires strong collaboration and communication skills from all team members and an aptitude for problem-solving, since there will be challenges in this process.
Online volunteering can pose the same challenges as working remotely and requires the same soft skills to overcome these challenges. Physically volunteering in the age of coronavirus is no easy feat given the many social restrictions, yet continuing to help others despite all these obstacles creates perseverance and resilience. Above all, volunteering helps people develop and practise empathy, a much-needed quality in the difficult times we are living and one that is indispensable in our professional and personal lives.
Investing in volunteering programmes such as VTO is not easy and it takes time and effort but for the benefit of improving soft skills, is worth the trouble.