5 reasons why human skills are essential in the digital workplace


The business world is going through a period of unprecedented change and transformation, this is having a profound impact on people and how they live and work, now and in the future. We believe there is a better way to develop people, and this is needed now more than ever as we recover from the pandemic and continue to move towards the digital workplace.

Now and in the future human skills will transform and empower leadership, teams and talent to optimise their performance potential. Whether it’s the organisation for economic development (OECD), MIT or other leading organisations and thinkers, they are all agreed, human skills are the next competitive differentiator and those companies that focus on developing these skills in their leaders, teams and talent will be the ones to thrive and grow now and in the future.

Here are just five reasons why your organisation should be investing in human skills now.

One | The modern workplace is increasingly interpersonal and this will continue as we move into the future world of work

Skills such as connecting, empathising, listening, collaborating with others, storytelling ideas and communicating with team members, are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong human skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment and culture, all vital attributes for organisations in this increasingly competitive digital world. It is these human skills that will matter most in the modern workplace.

Automation and artificial intelligence will result in a greater proportion of jobs relying on human skills. Due to the ongoing technological changes, tasks that require hard skills are continuing to decline, making human skills key differentiators in the workplace. More and more work will involve teams and projects with various internal and external stakeholders and customers coming together. How these teams work together will be critical.

Two | Human skills build engagement, connection and morale

Interestingly improving your own human skills can have a multiplier effect, helping others to improve theirs and do their jobs more effectively, improving communication and relationships, team work, problem solving and human performance. These skills transform how we think, self-manage, interact and lead and together provide the platform and fuel for a more human, high performing organisation.

Three | Customers are demanding human skills now more than ever

This new disrupted ever changing business world offers customers an unlimited number of choices through technologies such as the internet and smartphones. For these customers, convenience and low prices are easy to come by, so customer experience is often what influences which companies we decide to do business with. The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers is therefore a vital factor in an organisation’s success. Customer experience is the key competitive differentiator for many businesses now, and being able to connect with customers, manage their emotions and feelings, through empathy and accountability, especially for those more vulnerable as you guide them through the customer experience, relies heavily upon these human skills,

Four | Hard skills are limiting without human skills and in fact increase the impact of hard skills

In most jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective. A salesperson with an unrivalled knowledge of their product and market will have little success if they don’t have the interpersonal skills needed to win and retain clients. A business manager needs to be able to engage employees, have good communication skills, and be able to think creatively. All roles require at least some human skills to make the hard skills valuable.

Five | Human skills are harder to learn and develop than hard skills but worth the effort

Human skills are more challenging to develop, as they require us consider our own thinking and behaviours, and are closely linked with character and how we think and feel about ourselves and others. It takes courage, conscious effort, ongoing practice, and a commitment to self-development to improve our human skills. Improving our thinking, emotional and social skills takes time, but the return is massive, and will increase both performance and wellbeing.

At Future Vision we have been promoting the importance of human skills for the past twenty years and have integrated these skills into many of our learning and development programmes in sales and customer service, and talent and leadership development for our corporate clients.  Having also spent considerable time in the sporting space, playing, managing and coaching football teams we are ideally placed to draw upon everything we have learned from both worlds to create a human skills development model and framework that enables leaders, teams and talent in business and sport to accelerate performance and optimise potential.

To find out more about our approach to performance and how we transform how leaders, teams and talent think, behave and perform, get in touch.