Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing our workplace environment. According to Learning Tribes 10 Learning & Development Trends of 2019, employers desire for had skills is becoming obsolete. As AI continues to replace humans in routine tasks, businesses are putting soft skills at the front of their corporate recruiting checklist.
Companies need employees who have the soft skills, or people skills, to react quickly to workplace change. An employee’s ability to,pivot can determine their future success within their perspective organization. According to Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence at Work, 90% of what makes people progress up the organizational ladder are soft skills.
Continue reading about the differences between soft and hard skills, why soft skills are important in a technology driven workplace; and more importantly, how you can develop your employees’ soft skills today.
Soft Skills vs Hard Skills
Hard skills are the technical capabilities that your employees need to complete their job functions. Hard skills are generally job specific, quantifiable, and clearly defined. Examples of these skills may include:
- Google certifications
Hard skills can be taught, measured, and tested through exams or assignments. Achieving success in hard skills can be done over time, whereas soft skills are more difficult to develop, measure, and evaluate.
Soft skills are not directly related to a specific tasks, rather on an individual’s “people skills”. Soft skills focus more on who a person is rather then what the person can do. Examples include:
- Communication Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Problem solving
- Teamwork Capability
Soft skills can be difficult to measure, however, employees can develop these skills over time.
Why Soft Skills are Important
Employers face the challenge of hiring employees who have the soft skills to succeed both short term and long term. Paul Petrone wrote in a blog post that 57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills, with creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management being among the most desired by employers. As AI automation and technology drive our workforce, hard skills are no longer the sole factor in talent acquisition and retention.
Hiring employees who lack the proper soft skills will put your business at risk of failing customers demand and/or inhibiting your business to prepare for the future. Even with the digital revolution, human interaction has yet to be replaced. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, stated at a forum that the biggest skill gap existing in the US is soft skills. Many organizations have employees with an abundance of technical skills but lack soft skills. Because of the skills gap, organizations can face challenges that include a lack of communication, collaboration, and problem solving. One example to determine if your organization lacks soft skills is to analyze how your employees acquire customers versus how they retain them. If your employees are skilled in obtaining customers, but not retaining customers, you may have a soft skills gap.
Although more and more organizations are moving towards an automated future, the fact remains that there is no replacement for human interaction. Our solution: Invest in the right talent solutions for your organization and build your employees soft skills. The longevity and success of your organization rests in your ability to transform your workplace and adapt to change.
3 Ways to Transform Soft Skills in the Work Place
1) Be more intentional when hiring by asking the proper questions
Look for employees with a growth mindset and want to learn beyond their technical skills. Questions for potential employees should include:
- Are they excited about learning new things?
- How do they respond to problem solving?
If you have room in your budget, consider outsourcing talent and acquisition with a company like Learning Tribes. At Learning Tribes, we offer full 365 programs that include attraction & onboarding, talent and development, leadership development, and workforce agility.
2. Research and utilize the best Learning Management System
A Learning Management System (LMS) helps to provide and track employees learning. At Learning Tribes, we utilize a pedagogical approach to produce a coherent and consistent learning experience on our LMS, Triboo. Here is our 70:20:10 approach:
- 70% on-the-job experience – challenging assignments
- 20% informal learning – developmental relationships
- 10% formal learning – coursework and training
3. Offer opportunities for your employees to practice, assess, and adjust
As the saying goes, “try, try, and try again”! Developing soft skills takes time and practice. The more your employees’ practice, receive feedback, make changes, and repeat the better off they will be. This type of practice can indicate areas of your training process that need to
The landscape of the workplace is revolutionizing and the need for soft skills development is at an all-time high. To advance your employees soft skills and give them the ability to grow, contact us!