Giving employees feedback on their performance is key to helping them increase their communication and negotiation skills, it has been suggested.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), such skills are often developed through on the job experience and feedback can help to hone them.

"Companies are trying to ensure that people get far more feedback in the workplace and coaching from individual line managers is increasing," said spokesperson Martyn Sloman.

Graduate employees in particular develop communication and other so called soft skills through feedback from their managers, he remarked.

And he explained that as new staff are given feedback and challenged to improve their performance in certain areas, clusters of skills become recognised.

GRADdirect recently found that 62 per cent of employers see soft skills such as communication and teamwork as very important characteristics in graduate candidates.

This compares to just 27 per cent who listed a graduate’s academic ability as a top priority.