Our world of work is rapidly evolving. Developments in automation and artificial intelligence have been predicted to mark the biggest shift in work since the shift from agriculture to manufacturing. It will be critical for organisations to prepare for “The 4th Industrial Revolution”, as they anticipate future skills requirements.
These developments indicate extensive change across industries. The changing needs of the workplace mean a far greater emphasis on cultivating a workforce with a substantial soft skills capability. Soft skills such as communication, creativity, emotional intelligence, initiative, and resilience are abilities that artificial intelligence will have difficulty replicating.
The path to opportunity, for organisations and individuals alike, is changing. Businesses are fighting to stay ahead of the curve, to hold onto their best talent and to fill key positions. Individuals are conscious of staying relevant and employable in the age of automation.
The LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report surveyed 4,000 people; a combination of talent development professionals, employees, managers and executives. All agreed – the number one priority for talent development in 2018 is training for soft skills. In the age of automation, maintaining technical fluency across roles will be critical, but the pace of change is fuelling demand for adaptable, critical thinkers, communicators, and leaders.
As technology accelerates, soft skills are in high demand to fuel people and business growth.
“Workers of the future will spend more time on activities that machines are less capable of, such as managing people, applying expertise, and communicating with others. The skills and capabilities required will also shift, requiring more social and emotional skills and more advanced cognitive capabilities, such as logical reasoning and creativity.” McKinsey & Company.
Tanya Sheehan is an IMI associate on the IMI Diploma in Organisational Development & Transformation. Tanya is a Business Psychologist, certified trainer and accredited coach who works in the technology, pharmaceutical and finance industries.