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Why Soft Skills Play Hard in the Workplace

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With the workplace constantly changing, and with almost every facet of industry and business having experienced rapid shifts in the last three years, the need for specific skillsets has changed accordingly. Soft skills are on the rise as a contributing factor for success in today’s post-pandemic world, because they lubricate change, amplify agility and strengthen resilience.

Recent research conducted by Upskillist – which specialises in the provision of soft skills development to companies globally – looks at the importance of soft skills to productivity. The study found that soft skills are essential to employee wellness and engagement as well as business growth.

Although there may not be a definitive list of soft skills, think personal characteristics and behaviours. Look at personality traits that make someone a good communicator or more empathetic than the next. Communication, critical thinking, problem solving, listening and empathy are all examples of soft skills.

Upskillist recently conducted an online survey with more than 1500 participants to determine how they rate soft skills in 2022. It was found that 94% of individuals believe that problem-solving skills can be learned. Empathy was rated as the top interpersonal skill required by leaders in over a third of the respondents.

To help companies identify more clearly what soft skills are and to help determine training needs within their organisations, Upskillist has launched a free-to-download Training Needs Analysis Playbook. The Playbook combines a series of methodologies and exercises that have been designed to ensure that soft skills analysis inspires growth and clarity within companies.

Speaking at the launch of the Playbook, Upskillist CEO Tara Looney said:

“Soft skills development is hugely important at all levels in companies today and will continue to require attention. At Upskillist we want to ensure that analysing soft skills can be easily identifiable, intuitive and transferable. This Playbook ensures that a process can be easily implemented for HR professionals to ensure continued growth.”

The Playbook has been created to enable Learning and Development (L&D) professionals get the tools and guidance to effectively identify soft skills gaps. Leading IT and engineering staffing agency Apollo Technical has found that 30% of employees resign within the first 180 days of starting their employment, however, 95% indicated they would stay if the company invested in their learning. Quantifying and developing soft skills is challenging and remains a priority for 51% of the L&D strategists who contributed to the Upskillist publication.

Upskillist has recognised the importance of quantifying areas such as time management, communication, adaptability, teamwork, leadership and creativity in L&D strategies for companies of all sizes. The aim is to drive productivity through upskilling with a focus on delivering online learning for real world change in the workplace.