Soft skills have emerged as essential attributes for today’s job roles. Companies are looking for candidates who excel in these skills, and employees are eager to develop them in order to accelerate their professional development.
To better understand how people are thinking about soft skills in 2021, we decided to take the pulse of our social media audience through a series of polls on the topic. Check out the blog post below for a discussion of the results.
For today’s job roles, soft skills like emotional intelligence, communication, and critical thinking are just as important, if not more so, than the hard skills required for the job itself. This is due to the fact that as technology becomes more prevalent in our professional lives, the role humans play in the workplace is becoming more focused on the tasks automated tools cannot handle, like collaboration, leadership, problem solving, and customer engagement.
“Greater adoption of technology will mean in-demand skills across jobs will change over the next five years, and skills gaps will continue to be high.” - World Economic Forum on the future of skills
As various parts of our new hybrid jobs become automated, and human job roles transition to require higher level thinking and interpersonal skills, developing those skills is becoming paramount to professional success for individuals, and mission critical to business operations for organizations.
With the data in backing up these workforce trends, and confirming a growing focus on soft skills, we wanted to to learn more about how people are being intentional about developing these critical skills in 2021.
Throughout the first quarter of 2021 we released a series of polls through LinkedIn and Twitter inquiring about the soft skills organizations and their employees are focused on, the actions they are taking to develop soft skills, and the methodologies they are using for soft skills training.
Through three connected questions, this poll series revealed that Talespin’s social media audience is:
In the last year, communication within the workforce transformed with an increase in remote and virtual interactions. Trends toward digitalization and technology were already exposing the need to prioritize interpersonal skills, and the remote, dispersed nature of work today has only added to this emphasis.
As reflected in the responses to our first poll, communication was the soft skills category that respondents identified as a key area of focus for them in 2021.
As the need for new and improved skills becomes a prominent focus for the workforce, finding effective ways to train and upskill is essential. While organizations are prioritizing workforce reskilling and upskilling with a focus on soft skills, there is still a desire among the workforce to go beyond what may be offered at work to fuel continuous learning.
This insight was reflected in the responses to our polls across both LinkedIn and Twitter, with a majority of respondents choosing training technology as the primary method they intend to use to develop soft skills, and external learning resources coming in second.
Technology is becoming an essential component of all aspects of work, and disrupting the workplace and our job roles within it. On the other side of the coin, technology is also empowering the workforce with new tools to expand their knowledge and skills in a way that wasn’t possible before. But what types of technology in particular are organizations and individuals employing to empower their own learning?
In the third and final poll question in our series we asked this question, and the responses revealed that VR/AR technology was identified as the training technology people were most interested in using for their skills development.
These results aligned with trends in the enterprise that demonstrate a recognition of the ROI immersive technologies can deliver for learning. This ROI can be seen through initiatives like the VR soft skills training study we conducted in collaboration with PwC, where VR showed exponential results in retention, time to proficiency and emotional impact for learners.
With accelerating technological advances and a growing remote workforce, the workplace and our roles within it are ever-changing. This has driven organizations and individuals to place an even higher value on the soft skills that will help them navigate and adapt to the jobs of tomorrow. Thank you to our social media audience for participating in our poll series to help us better understand the way people are thinking about soft skills, and sharing their own insights.
To learn more about soft skills training, check out Talespin’s CoPilot virtual human soft skills training platform, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.