Humans and Soft Skills: Must-Haves in the Digital Era

The age of automation is no longer a far-off future prediction; it is now our reality. Data from World Economic Forum estimates that approximately 1.4 million people will lose their jobs due to automation and other technological changes by the year 2026 – that’s less than a decade away.  

The alarming rate at which workplace skills are becoming obsolete is at an estimated rate of five years, whereas in the past you could expect them to remain relevant for about 10-15 years. So, what can organizations do to protect their employees from losing jobs due to unprecedented changes and a need for reskilling, and which skills can remain relevant in a world shaped by rapidly evolving technology? 

Blending digital and soft skills 

According to a report by McKinsey, 62 percent of executives believe they will need to retrain or replace a quarter of their workforce between now and 2023. Executives, politicians, and HR and L&D professionals are now faced with the challenge of how to prepare their workforce for the changes happening now and those forecasted for the future. We now know that the modern workforce requires a blend of both soft skills and digital skills, along with an understanding of their role in the digital era. 


The connection between education and the economy has been made clear – an educated and skilled workforce has positive impacts on unemployment rates. In fact, data from LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report shows that employees are open to training opportunities and 94% said they would stay longer at a company if it invested in training them. In order to safeguard the current workforce and the future human capital of organizations around the world, a culture of continuous learning and learning transformation must be adopted in the corporate world.  


Historically, resources like time, location and cost were noted as the biggest barriers to workplace training – but LinkedIn reports that budget concerns are decreasing and 82% of L&D professionals have said that their leadership actively supports learning programs. Things like mobile learning, micro and macro learning, have made learning a new language and training soft skills both affordable and manageable. Now with blended and mobile learning at our fingertips, resources like time, location and cost are no longer big concerns. The top focus now for L&D is properly assessing skills gaps and providing the necessary training to fill those gaps. The question is, does your L&D program focus on training the right skills, skills that both your workforce and your organization benefit from?

Now ask yourself, ‘What can humans do that robots and technology cannot?’ Make a human connection. With AI taking over jobs that are in nature, generally more repetitive and routine, this leaves humans to do more