ERASMUS+ Programme Key Action 2
“Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices”, Sub-Action “Strategic Partnerships for adult education”
On January 25th, 2021, the first workshop of the FETRA project took place online and lasted for 2 hours. 7 representatives from the 6 partners’ organisations (Coworking Plus from Denmark, GrowthCoop and INDEPECIE from Spain, Eurospeak from the UK, EESTI People for People from Estonia and APLOAD form Portugal) participated actively in it.
Regarding the structure of the workshop, it started with a short introduction on how to help young entrepreneurs and SMEs in the implementation and development of human resources on their own companies. After that partners had the chance to work in two groups for half an hour each, followed by another group activity. There was some time left for conclusions by the end of each working group. These groups elaborated on the topics of the top soft skills for successful entrepreneurs and on human resource management. The workshop came to an end by summing up all partners’ conclusions that derived from the final discussion of the participants.
With this information, the consortium aims to develop an OER (Open Educational Resource) platform containing information about the right soft skills for young entrepreneurs who lack human resources education. Towards this goal, the FETRA projects aims to promote and encourage personal development, to increase the intellectual capital of an SME and to develop entrepreneurs’ soft skills in human resources.
Focusing on the outcomes of the workshop, participants agreed that all soft skills are important in order to motivate employees and to increase SME productivity. Undoubtedly, they are absolutely connected with entrepreneurs. The skills can be either intrapersonal or interpersonal and some are non-technical skills. Empathy is very important for creating a good working environment with happy people, as it is necessary to know how an employee feels. Being good at management, including the relationship between colleagues and employees, helps boost SME productivity. Humans are not robots, so the ability to understand people’s problems and challenges is crucial within an enterprise. The working group of the workshop ended up with these 8 top soft skills:
- Positive mindset
- Active listening
Concerning human resource management (HRM) outcomes, it can be said that they are also extremely important for SMEs. 4 main areas common to all SMEs could be identified as: Recruitment, Training, Compensation and Retention. Partners agreed that it is essential to hire the right person for the right position in order to avoid any future problems. HRM is vital for entrepreneurs because it helps them manage people in the company, find the right talent. Experts and innovators can form an idea or create a product or service, increase the productivity of the company and retain talents. Other benefits gained are good working atmosphere and good reputation in small companies.
To sum up, the participants of the FETRA workshop concluded that having the necessary soft skills together with good HR management can make all the difference, as SMEs will end up more efficient and more productive. That is why SMEs should invest time and resources in learning HR management and acquiring the related soft skills.
All in all, it can be said that the main outcome of FETRA’s workshop is the fact that combining soft skills and human resources management could help the development of SMEs.