Reframing 'soft' skills


The demands of the workplace are changing. This is not new news. Whether it’s adapting to a remote or hybrid setting, building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organisations, or finding new ways to enhance productivity, working in a state of constant flux is now accepted and expected.

All this change doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It has a very real impact on employees and their ability to excel. Keeping up with constant change, both in the industry and the workplace, is a serious challenge.

This is why nearly nine in ten executives and managers say their organisations either face skill gaps already or expect them to develop within the next five years. By 2030, it is estimated that, in Europe alone, we will be short of over 14 million skilled professionals in the workforce.

The most in-demand skills aren’t simply about staying ahead of the technical curve. Skills related to leadership, teamwork, communication, productivity, and wellness are critical to every employee’s performance.

“Dynamic skills have always been an important part of workplace learning, and their importance has only grown more urgent as businesses and the workforce navigate the changes of the last few years. Enabling colleagues to develop dynamic skills related to communication, collaboration, and change leadership is fundamental to building an agile business and a strong company culture.”

David Cobb, CEO Oceanova

This is why it no longer makes sense to call them "soft skills", as if they represent a less important set of skills in the workplace. These skills aren’t just nice to have. They’re essential for changing the workplace.

Why "dynamic skills"?

Learning and Development (L&D) and HR leaders agree these skills are what give employees the adaptivity to be effective at work. Adaptive to collaborate, to communicate effectively, to lead.

When it comes to developing training programs for the world’s leading companies, we at The NCLM believe these skills should be at the forefront when designing a robust training program. After all, these are core competencies that all employees need — whether they’re in a financial, technical, administrative, sales, or marketing role.

So goodbye, soft skills. Welcome to the new era of dynamic skills.