When PWC asked more than 1,200 business and HR leaders from 79 countries what they saw as most important for the future of their organization, the top response, cited by 91% of respondents, was that the company needed to be ‘trusted by society’. The second ranked response was to ‘highly value, develop and reward ‘human’ skills such as leadership, creativity, empathy and curiosity (87%)’ . Clearly, soft skills are now more important than they have ever been.
Digital and online learning platforms and technologies can help companies boost and support soft skills even among a dispersed and remote workforce. Digital learning, possibly delivered in micro nuggets as needed during each individual’s workflow, can support soft skills from leadership, negotiation and communication skills right through to building foreign language skills via corporate language training. As well as making sure the technology is fit for its intended purpose, HR and L&D professionals can also add the human element. This might take the form of providing cross-functional forums and virtual social events for employees to practice skills such as language acquisition in an informal environment that is more relaxed and fun.