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What are soft skills and why are they important in the modern workplace?

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You might have noticed that the term "soft skills" is more prevalent in workplaces now than ever before.

In fact, employers are placing more importance now on soft skills than hard skills when it comes to hiring new talent...

  • A study from Wonderlic found 93% of employers said that Soft Skills are either an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions 
  • A study by Deloitte Access Economics predicts that “Soft skill-intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030”
  • LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report found that 92% of talent acquisition professionals reported that soft skills are equally or more important to hire for than hard skills. And, 89% said that when a new hire doesn’t work out, it’s because they lack critical soft skills


What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are the skills we use to communicate, build relationships, how we approach work and life, time management, and much more. They’re often associated with personality attributes such as high productivity, resilience, a strong work ethic, and more.

Hard Skills normally refer to more direct qualifications that are more technical or quantifiable. Or in some cases they might be specific to your job, those working in nursing, building, or software development for example. 

Soft Skills often play a part in employers deciding whether to keep, hire or promote an employee too. They make it easier for people to build relationships and trust and lead teams. They are essential for workplace growth and success and can also affect your personal life too. 

But what soft skills might you already have or want to develop?

  • Time management
  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork or team-building skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Confidence
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Leadership qualities
    ...And many more!

Why are they important in the modern workplace?

Soft skills make things possible. It’s likely that you use one or more soft skills when you have any kind of interaction with someone, so we use these skills every day. Developing these skills can help you to develop and improve your career path, win business and build long-lasting relationships at work. 

Some of the key reasons that soft skills are so important are;

  • They can help with career progression and promotions
    These skills can help you to stand out against others in your interviewing processes and it’s something recruiters look out for too.
  • Soft Skills are what makes us human!
    It’s hard to get a computer to emulate human interactions and emotions so these skills will still be required from humans for years to come. 
  • Clients want to see these skills too
    It’s not just your potential/current employers that want to see these skills. The people buying or using your products/services also want to see these skills in your customer service. With the increase in choices of where to buy from - you want to stand out from the crowd!
  • Interpersonal skills are key for any modern workplace
    Strong soft skills can help employees to be more productive, encourage collaboration, help communication and listening skills between colleagues and create a healthy work environment - all key attributes for a successful business.
  • Future workplaces will need employees with developed soft skills
    As you saw in the Deloitte statistic above, due to the advances in technology and AI most likely removing the need for hard skills in people, soft skills will be largely accountable for jobs in the workplace in 2030. 

Tasks can be completed by those with both hard and soft skills, you might think of the hard skills as ‘what’ got done and the softs skills were ‘how’ they got done. And it’s likely, that on reflection of a task, or place you worked, that actually those colleagues/employees you remember for getting the job done with positivity, or effective communication, or good leadership skills are remembered by the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’. 

Furthermore, soft skills are transferable from job to job, and the need for soft skills is not going anywhere! As technology and jobs change, this means that the hard skills will change with them, or the skills you had 10 years ago might have become obsolete. But, the soft skills you carry now can be developed continually and, as we’ve said, they will be needed for the foreseeable future.

Soft Skills Training

Our Soft Skills library is growing and with more courses due out this summer, it will continue to grow!

These eLearning courses are CPD accredited, can be completed in as little as 10 minutes and will educate staff on the important Soft Skill topics that will enable them to thrive in the workplace.

Why not get started with a no-obligation free trial today? Or, if you’re already one of our fantastic clients, get in touch with your Account Manager today about adding these courses to your library to help develop your employee’s skills!

Soft Skill Training Courses
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