Nowadays, employers value employees who have additional skills and knowledge that cannot be adopted through academic education. These extra abilities are often called soft skills, and many kinds of soft skills are distinguished: critical thinking, creativity, problem-resolving, time management, self-organization, responsibility, etiquette, etc. Overall, it is possible to divide soft skills into three major groups: personal qualities, skills of interpersonal communication, and additional knowledge. And the significance of each group varies according to the individual or organizational purposes and contexts.
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Communication skills belong to the most extensive category of soft skills. The abilities to build conversations, provide arguments supporting their stance, raise appropriate questions, and give feedback are important for everyone.
But within the workplace context, the significance of particular soft skills is primarily defined by the type of professional operations and activities. For example, it is good when a member of the executive office knows the principles of project management, but this knowledge is likely not necessary for an engineer. It may be useful when a chemist can hold an entertaining event, but this kind of soft skills will be much more appreciated in the field of event management.
Soft skills are the abilities accumulated by people through experience or additional educational practices and training. They are associated with the individual characteristics of each person, and, to some extent, they represent the level of personal development. Thus, the implementation of soft skills within professional settings may increase work value and quality of communication.
It is possible to say that hard skills are the basic requirements which employers may have for the potential subordinates, but the additional abilities are regarded as the decisive factor of employment in many professional contexts where the emphasis is made on the maintenance and development of organizational culture, team cohesion, and creative approach to work. Therefore, it is suggested to develop personal qualities and aptitude according to the criteria identified in the professional field of interest.
The term emotional labor is commonly used to define a type of face-to-face interaction and expression of positive and friendly emotions required from the employees in particular working contexts. Emotional labor is especially widespread in the hospitality and entertainment industry, where the provision of high-quality service is closely interrelated with the emotional and psychological satisfaction of the clients. The value of emotional labor in the service sector continues to grow because it is observed that emotional satisfaction leads to the increase in customer value which, in turn, increases customer attraction and profitability.
Many organizational policies and regulations in many industries control the emotional aspect of employees’ performance. In the service sector, a good mood is a strict requirement for individuals who work with clients. However, every kind of labor, even non-emotional one, may provoke negative consequences. While in the non-emotional type of labor, the professionals may be exposed to boredom due to the monotony of activities and lack of live communication, emotional labor is associated with the excess level of stress provoked by the necessity to control one’s feelings and oppress negative emotions.
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Emotional labor has multiple implications for both employers and their subordinates. First of all, it is important to understand that engagement in emotional labor is suitable only for a particular type of person who has the necessary personal qualities of psychological flexibility, confidence, and sociability. Although when an employee has all the necessary qualities for the successful fulfillment of emotion-related tasks, the failure to provide him/her with a favorable working environment, work conditions, and values may negatively affect this person’s psycho-emotional state and job satisfaction.
The negative influences of the working environment and their effects on employees inevitably decrease the quality of customer service and efficient compliance with the standards of emotional labor. Thus, it is possible to presume that for the increase of quality in communication with clients, the organizational leaders should attempt to increase the quality of organizational culture and create work value for their subordinates.