It is undeniable that the business landscape is changing. Workforce automation and artificial intelligence is on the rise, transforming the structure of a successful business. It has been estimated by IBM that, within the next three years, 120 million workers worldwide will require retraining as a result of automation and artificial intelligence.
This is a scary thought, as it appears evident that many jobs will be taken over by machines, putting masses of people out of work. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a number of occupations that machines cannot replace and other, new positions will be created for society to advance with technology. While the workforce is changing, it is imperative that workers adapt alongside it, making the need for soft skills more important than ever.
Why soft skills are more important than ever
Automatons may be able to perform a number of tasks once only suited to humans however do lack something critical to both professional and personal success – soft skills. These are the skills that allow an organisation to thrive and will not be replaced by machines any time soon.
It is clear that, in order to survive the transition to workforce automation, businesses and workers need to be able to adapt. Companies are already beginning to better understand how technology can aid in their business efforts and are determining which positions can be performed instead by machines. This means that workers who once performed those, now replaced, jobs need to be able to learn new roles and skills. As soft skills are transferable, those with strong, developed soft skills will find it easier to move forward in a new role, while those who lack soft skills may find themselves unable or unwilling to adapt.
Soft skills are the future
A recent study by Deloitte Access Economics predicted that soft-skill intensive occupations will account for two-thirds of all jobs by 2030. The demand for physical and manual expertise, otherwise known as hard skills, is falling, as these are the skills whose jobs are most likely to be replaced by automation and artificial intelligence.
However, there remains a large number of jobs that require more than just simple input and output. Many jobs demand additional, human-like qualities, such as communication, empathy and creativity. These are soft skills that cannot be taught through education or training and are going to be hard currency in the job market as automation begins to take over jobs that can be performed without people. If you or your team do not already have these skills, it is imperative that they be trained or coached to help reach their potential.
Which soft skills will outlast workforce automation?
There are a number of occupations that cannot be touched by machines. These include positions requiring empathy, for example therapists and caregivers, creativity, such as writers and musicians, and vision, including entrepreneurs and activists. This doesn’t mean that everybody else needs to make a career change, however, thriving in a world of automation and artificial intelligence begins with soft skills. Some soft skills that won’t be overtaken by workforce automation include:
- Critical thinking
- Emotional intelligence
- Judgement and decision making
We cannot avoid the rise of workforce automation, however, if you fear your job being outsourced to technology, your best bet at survival is to work on your soft skills. By developing and strengthening your soft skills, you may not only save your career in the long term but advance in your current position in the meantime.
Here at V-Teamwork, we have designed a program that helps you develop your soft skills. The program is not another online training video. Through years of experience, we understand that the only way to develop soft skills is through experiential learning. So the training program takes you into a safe and immersive environment where you can practice using your soft skills with feedback from expert coaches. Find out more about how it works.
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