What better way to find out about the skills which employees need in the workforce today than by asking employers directly? After all, they would know best. In January 2018, using data gathered from over 2000 business leaders, LinkedIN, the world’s largest professional network today, shared a report on what soft skills employees need to have to succeed in the workplace. According to the report, the following are the top rated skills:
- Time Management
What are Soft Skills?
Investopedia defines Soft Skills as the “character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people”. The highlighted four skills among many others are sometimes referred to as our ‘interpersonal skills’. Other examples include: problem solving, work ethic, positive attitude, team oriented, emotional intelligence and so forth.
Why is it important to have Soft Skills in the workplace?
Emotionally based; these are the skills which characterizes a person’s relationship with others in the workplace. Being able to work well with others and maintain cordial relations in the workplace ensures that there is harmony which augurs well for both employees and employers. These skills are in high demand across jobs and industries and their importance cannot be underscored. This is recognized by leaders and policy makers across the globe. A true testament to this is Mr. Damian Hinds; the UK’s Secretary of State for Education statement relating to the importance of soft skills at a recent press interview this year in which he indicated that “I would suggest that there is nothing soft about these skills”.
Soft vs Hard Skill?
In most instances, individuals usually have the fundamental training, knowledge and abilities, otherwise known as hard skills which a job requires. However, having the relevant soft skills to compliment all these other abilities is the distinguishing factor from one employee to another; especially when opportunities such as promotion is been considered.
As a professional, learning new skills and continuing to grow should be constant in order to stay ahead in the workplace. The world of work is evolving rapidly and so it is important as individuals that we continue to develop and upskill to keep up with the pace of these changes. If you were to conduct an assessment of yourself on the top skills identified for 2018 by LinkedIn i.e. leadership, communication, collaboration and time management, where do you think you would fall on a scale of 1-10? Better yet, why not conduct a 360 assessment by asking your peers and manager for some feedback on these areas. The insights you gather will provide the foundation you need to work any areas for improvements which may have been highlighted.