Are soft skills crucial to prepare my organisation for the future?

The demands of the workspace are changing – there's no doubt about that. Regardless of if it is the change to remote or hybrid working, flexible working hours, building a company culture or introducing a new business model, we can all agree that change is inevitable. Just like the saying goes – change is the only constant.

L&D Challenges & Solutions

In this article: 

  • We discuss the challenge of understanding the importance of developing soft skills 
  • Research shows that almost half of the university graduates already possess the right hard skills they need to enter the work market, but they are lacking soft skills
  • Get inspired: the evolution from technical to soft skills at BDO Consultancy Group

Most desired skills are no longer technical

As the work environment is changing, so are our expectations of what type of skills we require to ensure employee success. According to reputable corporate learning analyst Josh Bersin, the most desired skills are no longer technical, but behavioural: the so-called soft skills. Or as we like to call them: power skills. We at GoodHabitz strongly agree with Bersin's point of view. And we're not alone! 

Why soft skills are the power skills of the 21st-century workforce

So, what does this mean for the future work environment? What is the difference between hard skills and soft skills, and what makes soft skills so powerful? Let us explain that for you. Hard skills have always been the driving force of the labour market. If you’re good at the specific work requirement - you get the job.

As an example, if you’re the best at building websites – you get the web developer job. But what if you can’t communicate with your colleagues, plan your workday or if you don’t have the willingness to adapt to change? That’s where power skills come in.

Power skills are behavioural skills that you can’t replace with a computer or a system. They can be seen as a bag of personality traits, mindsets, abilities and experiences. These power skills are something that takes years to learn and are constantly changing. Possessing power skills aren’t only the ‘new hire requirements’, it is also crucial for senior management.

New employees fail because they lack soft skills  

A study by IBM shows that almost half of the university graduates already possess the right hard skills they need to enter the work market, but they are lacking skills in problem-solving, teamwork, business understanding and leadership.

Research conducted at the 2020 SHRM Talent Conference confirmed that and even showed that 46% of new employees fail within the first 18 months. Not less than 89% of these newcomers fail because of a lack of soft skills. 

If that's not convincing enough - did you know that companies see a substantial return on investment when offering soft skill courses for their employees? Research done by Harvard University, Boston University and Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, disclosed that trainings in soft skills produced a 256% ROI as well as a 12% higher team productivity.


Soft skills lacking in leadership teams according to employees

Do we see a similar trend among leadership teams? Research conducted by GoodHabitz in collaboration with the research agency Markteffect, confirmed that employees clearly experience a lack of soft skills in their managers.

Employees also stated what they want their leaders to improve on. The results indicated that 28% wanted their leaders to improve their communication skills. The second most desired leadership skill (24%) is creating team spirit, another 23% saw a lack of empathy in their leadership team, 22% wanted a more inspirational leadership style and to top it off, 22% wanted more focus on mental health at work.

Luckily, power skills can be taught – and what better way to do so than with the online training courses from GoodHabitz? Our content library is filled with soft skill courses that every organisation needs in order to keep up with the future workforce!

Discover a fresh perspective on learning

Let's get to the core of the question: Are soft skills crucial to preparing my organisation for the future? Yes, they are. Soft skills are becoming more and more important and even play a vital role in employee happiness. 

The online learning library of GoodHabitz consists of courses that help employees develop their soft skills. From effective communication, to giving feedback, to presenting

But it doesn't stop there. The standard is there to break it, right? At GoodHabitz, we tend to do things a little differently. Let’s be honest, well-travelled paths rarely lead to adventure. That’s why we believe that being different, rebellious and fun makes our e-learning even more effective. We observe the world around us with an open mind in order to stimulate creativity.

In addition to educational content and exciting learning journeys, one can find tools to get the workforce started with learning by stimulating intrinsic motivation. 

“Social competence is no longer missing in a number-based and technical work environment."

BDO Consultancy: the evolution from technical to soft skills

Technical skills, use of numbers and conducting business audits are all very common themes when working at an accounting and advisory firm. But what happens when you lack time management, leadership, and the adaptability to change? The accounting and advisory company BDO realised that to continuously grow as a company and to ensure successful work processes, they also had to offer their employees courses in soft skills.

Together with GoodHabitz, BDO could fill in the gap of the missing skills and offer their employees a variety of courses on how to further develop themselves. The Senior L&D Advisor of BDO said that their employees were very happy with the courses of GoodHabitz and he further states:

The result? Social competence is no longer missing at BDO – even in a number-based and technical work environment. Developing your power skills takes years of experience, but also the right training. All you need are the right tools to get your employees excited – and you are good to go. Why not get started with a GoodHabitz course today?

This article is part of our 'L&D Challenges & Solutions' blog series. In every article, we connect the challenge to a leading company that solved the challenge. We summarised all of them in this article

Want to read more inspirational stories from our clients? Check out our case studies! 

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