We are not oblivious to the fact that as much as we need functional and technical competence for business results, we also need soft-skills for peak performance. However most of the times, we emphasize technical skills as they tend to deliver immediate returns and are measurable. Change is often quite visible when functional or technical capabilities are implemented.
But what about soft-skills?
Do they take a lot of time to be implemented in the business domain?
Don’t they deliver tangible business results?
Don’t we have leadership or employee buy-in for soft-skills interventions?
The fact is that soft-skills and functional/technical skills are hand in gloves in the business set-up. Employees need business acumen and product knowledge to implement strategies, make large scale changes, build revenue and enhance technological interventions. Soft-skills on the other hand help facilitate conversations, aid influencing and negotiation strategies, build and strengthen emotional intelligence with peers and customers, enhance collaboration within the team or at a global scale.
When both the domains work in harmony with each other, it stretches boundaries to grow businesses in terms of revenue and reputation and people to leadership positions to make executive decisions. Therefore, it is imperative for organisations to create avenues for progressive learning for employees to sharpen their skill sets through varied learning approaches.
Each year LinkedIn analyses and publishes a data on some of the top skills in demand. Let’s look at 2019’s high on demand Soft-Skills and Technical Skills.
Top Five Soft Skills
Top Five Hard Skills
You may view the entire analysis here
So, what does this mean for businesses? – High investment in talent, approaches that aid technical competence with long range advantages for people to scale up to leadership roles through soft-skills programmes.
And what does this mean for employees? – Willingness to transform from an employee to an intrapreneur, high bent towards continuing education, relentless curiosity towards developing technical competence and learning soft-skills approaches.