Equatorial, a training company part of the Bittnet Group that offers soft skills courses specific to IT&C needs, in partnership with Reveal Marketing Research, conducted a representative study among team leaders in Romania, against the background of the challenges created by the pandemic changes, both in the market work, as well as at the level of human interaction in the work environment.
Mainly, it identifies the importance of possessing and developing soft skills for achieving success in the workplace. „I believe that the main skills absolutely necessary to be developed especially by managers are those related to learning communication at a distance, how to cultivate, maintain and communicate empathy and understanding towards people, how to maintain involvement, a sense of security, but also belonging to a group, organization, in difficult times. In other words, to adopt a participative leadership style, focused on people and collaboration. What at first seemed like a need for system and rigor quickly turned into the need for human, social skills that not necessarily all of us were used to or had the chance to develop. But which from now on will also weigh in job offers and in attracting specialists from the market”, states Dan Berteanu, Vice President of the Education Division within the Bittnet Group.
In his opinion, but also according to the statistical conclusions that emerge from the Equatorial study, the need to develop soft skills, including emotional intelligence, communication and team-work skills, has grown considerably. And these types of skills are currently becoming an essential and differentiating evaluation criterion for the employer, but also for the employee.
The study carried out online between 25.03 – 05.04.2022 on a representative sample of 317 people, team leaders from IT departments, aged 25+, shows that the new forms of remote or hybrid work organization determined 67% among team leaders in the tech and IT industry to develop new communication and team building skills to maintain an optimal level of productivity. Currently, 8 out of 10 team leaders believe that human challenges, related to the interaction between people, prove to be more difficult to manage than technical ones.
- Promotions to the position of team leader highlight the strong need to cultivate new soft skills (84%).
- 6 out of 10 team leaders say they are very interested in participating in soft skills training sessions in the future.
- More than half of the team leaders (56%) want the duration of a complete soft skills course to be between 1-3 months, a period that would allow them to apply the acquired knowledge in practice, between sessions.
Having the right mix of technical skills and interpersonal skills is part of the new reality, helping a team leader meet or exceed expectations in the workplace. The results of the study reveal that technical skills – those that allow understanding the field of activity – are most often used in the day-to-day activities of team leaders, with a score of 46%. However, 84% of the team leaders stated that since occupying this position they had to develop new soft skills in order to brilliantly fulfill the objectives of the teams they coordinate. Also, 85% of team leaders mention that they have expressed their desire for personal development at work, and 81% that they have set a list of annual personal goals. In the case of those interested in participating in soft skills training in the future, a more proactive attitude is observed, with the two attributes mentioned above registering scores of 92% and 90% respectively.
Aware of the needs in the market and the fact that soft skills trainings are less popular compared to technical ones, Equatorial, the training company specialized in IT&C, comes to the support of team leaders, offering them the knowledge package necessary for those who want to cultivate their soft skills based on the vast experience they have in the tech field. Thus, improving relationships and teamwork, developing managerial and leadership skills, discovering strengths and increasing self-awareness or using technology and psychology to generate behavior change are just some of the soft skills and practical competencies that participants can develop within the trainings made available by Equatorial.
The product offered by Equatorial is a learning program that runs for a period of 3-4 months and is addressed to team leaders in the tech field. It is a standard program, updated annually based on the results of quantitative research constantly initiated in the field. The program is an experiential one, which starts with the area of self-knowledge and understanding the role of team leader, continues with information about team leadership, communication and motivation and ends with team performance and the means to support it.
Workshops, individual and personalized sessions with the trainer, digital and interactive lessons in “FutureSkills“, the platform that brings together and amplifies the benefits of digital and social learning in an architecture focused on stimulating participants, to which are added theoretical and contextual quizzes, exercises in-depth studies and work assignments all make up the structure of this program with many practical applications.
In addition, from the point of view of the training programs and courses that Equatorial prepares, they put a lot of emphasis on the interpersonal area. “We also offer creativity, collaboration, communication, solving difficult situations, feedback, productivity and performance training. More important than the topics covered is the manner of delivery. The pandemic has put pressure on the format of information delivery, in the sense that the sessions in front of the screens had to be significantly shorter in number of hours and days than the previous physical ones. It is obvious that we cannot go back to the way we did things before. Therefore, the courses we offer emphasize shorter, varied interactions with multiple ways of learning, with a mix of online and offline and many other aspects that will certainly make them very attractive, in addition to being useful and informative, for participants”, concludes Dan Berteanu.