Why Soft Skills Matter More Than Ever in the Workplace?
Soft skills, including communication and leadership, are in high demand as remote work and shifting job markets have made them essential for success. As employers look for candidates who excel in these areas, employees need to sharpen their soft skills to remain competitive in their careers.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional work structures, leading more employees to work remotely. This change has resulted in fewer engaged workers, with a new focus on finding individuals with the qualities they should have naturally developed growing up. Companies now prioritize hiring candidates who exhibit effective communication, leadership, and teamwork skills, as these attributes are crucial for success in remote work environments.
Despite the belief that everyone possesses soft skills, not everyone excels in these areas. The pandemic has underscored the importance of cultivating and demonstrating these qualities, such as how one communicates through emails, engages in meetings, or handles difficult clients. In a job market where remote work is more prevalent, soft skills can often outweigh hard skills like coding or technical expertise.
According to LinkedIn, the top three in-demand job skills for 2023 are management, communication, and customer service. Employers now see soft skills as an indicator of longevity in a job, greater potential for career advancement, and an employee’s ability to build relationships and stay engaged with their work.
As organizations prioritize these skills, employees must also focus on soft skills to secure their place in the changing job market. In the future, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will become increasingly prevalent, shifting jobs toward a focus on strategy. As a result, employees will need to excel in soft skills to thrive in this new landscape.
To address these changes, employers are investing in training programs to help employees develop their soft skills. Companies like KPMG offer soft skills training on effective communication, presentation skills, and professional email writing. Younger workers, in particular, missed out on essential face-to-face interactions during the pandemic, making such training crucial for their professional development.
As automation and AI transform the workplace, demonstrating strong soft skills will be invaluable. Soft skills will not only increase employability in the present but also future-proof careers for the anticipated changes in the job market over the next five to ten years. Employees who can effectively communicate, lead, and collaborate will have a significant advantage as workplaces evolve.
In conclusion, the importance of soft skills has grown significantly due to changes in the job market and the rise of remote work. Employees should focus on improving their soft skills, as they play a crucial role in securing and advancing their careers. With employers seeking candidates who excel in communication, leadership, and teamwork, these qualities will be key to future employability and success in an ever-changing work environment.
Repurposed article originally published in Business Insider