Are you prepared for the new world of work?… hone your soft skills online

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Written by

Hayley Hawthorne, Ph.D.

A skilled workforce is critical to business success and individual job security. As Amy Borsetti, Senior Director of LinkedIn Talent Solutions, put it: “skills are the new currency”.

The uncertainty of the last few years has elevated the importance of soft skills. These are the tools necessary for positively interacting with others. They give people the ability to learn, grow, and adapt to new environments, tasks, and work. In the Chief Learning Officer, Lauren Dixon noted that “the uncertain landscape of 2020 and 2021 so far shed a new light on why soft skills are critically important in the workplace, and how learning and development plays a huge role in forming a culture where they can grow.”

At a time when many businesses are recovering and growing, and individuals have more agency about where they want to work, companies can differentiate by training employees on soft skills. Workforces proficient in them are more productive and provide higher returns. For example, research found soft skills, including communication, can generate an eye-popping ROI of 256%.

People Are Not Very Proficient in Presenting Online

In May of 2021, Duarte surveyed professionals on the state of soft skills—specifically those performed online. 95% of those surveyed shared they have worked online more since COVID-19 and that they frequently communicate online (95% communicate online daily), and present online (18% present online daily, 47% present online weekly, 25% present online monthly).

It makes sense then that we found these soft skills to be more important since COVID-19 and viewed as more important in the future.

Importance of Communication & Presentation Skills data

With the rising importance of online communication and presentation skills, it’s imperative we continue to hone these soft skills. When we asked how proficient members of their work organization are at communication and presenting online, we found that people, teams, and organizations could benefit from soft skills training in the areas of communication and presentations.

Soft Skill Current Proficiency data

Level Up Your Communication Soft Skills

The world is moving rapidly toward a future where soft skills determine success. While professionals will increasingly feel the pressure to improve soft skills, those organizations and individuals who choose a path of “upskilling” will also reap the benefits.

Our latest report “The State of Communicating and Presenting Online” dives into the research behind communicating and presenting online and provides a roadmap of opportunity for immediately improving the much needed skill of connecting with audiences virtually.

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