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Difirm Insights

Human Skills: The Cornerstone of Future Work Success

In the ever-evolving landscape of the contemporary workplace, a seismic shift is underway – a “great disruption” in skills that mirrors the rapid pace of technological advancement. According to research from BCG and Emsi Burning Glass, over a third of the top 20 skills in job postings have changed since 2016, signaling a pressing need for skills aligned with the future of work.

The Rise of Human Skills

The Rise of Human Skills

As we approach a future where technology is poised to reshape a billion jobs by 2030, a pivotal realization emerges: human skills are emerging as the new hard skills. Pearson’s Skills Outlook report on “Power Skills” explores labor market trends across major economies, revealing a paradigm shift. While technical skills remain crucial, the top five sought-after skills by employers are distinctly human:

  1. Communication
  2. Customer Service
  3. Leadership
  4. Attention to Detail
  5. Collaboration

These skills form the foundation of successful interpersonal interactions, driving productivity and fostering a positive work environment.

Looking Ahead to 2026: The Expansion of Human Skills:

The Pearson Skill Outlook doesn’t stop at the present; it peers into the future workforce landscape, highlighting three additional human skills expected to gain prominence by 2026:

  1. Personal Learning & Mastery
  2. Achievement Focus
  3. Cultural and Social Intelligence

These skills embody adaptability, resilience, and a profound understanding of the social fabric in which businesses operate.

The Call for Continuous Learning

John Rogers, VP of Strategic Accounts and Partnerships at Pearson, emphasizes the critical need to prioritize human skills in the face of escalating digitalization. “Proficiency in human skills is crucial for future employability, underpinned by a commitment to continuous learning,” he asserts. In a rapidly evolving job market, continuous learning is now a fundamental necessity, synonymous with adaptability.

Human Skills as the New Hard Skills:

Traditionally considered “soft” or secondary, human skills have now risen to the forefront, hailed as the “new hard skills.” Unlike technical skills that may become outdated or automated, human skills rely on the essence of human connections, leadership, and collaboration, making them resistant to automation.

The Strategic Imperative for Organizations

In this era of transformative change, organizations face a strategic imperative – to invest in the development of human skills. Beyond traditional training programs, fostering a culture that values effective communication, customer-centric approaches, leadership, attention to detail, and collaboration is crucial. Organizations prioritizing these skills are better positioned to navigate the complexities of the future and attract top talent.

A Human-Centric Future of Work

In the face of the great disruption in skills, one truth stands out: the future of work is undeniably human-centric. While technology continues to reshape industries, it is the enduring value of human skills that will define success in the workplace. As we journey toward a future where adaptability and continuous learning are the currency of employability, the spotlight on human skills as the new hard skills serves as a guiding beacon. Embracing this paradigm shift, organizations and individuals alike can forge a path towards a future where the human touch remains irreplaceable in the tapestry of work.

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