There are thousands of professional skills. Which ones do your workers want and need?
According to at least one survey, employees crave training opportunities. Nearly two-thirds (59%) said it improves their overall job performance, about half (51%) said it enhances their self-confidence, and 41% said it helps them manage time better. But with more than 50,000 professional skills in the world, how do you decide what training options to offer your team? Researchers used LinkedIn data to identify hot topics to focus on for a qualified, skilled workforce in 2019 and beyond.
There is a role for both soft and hard skills in the modern workplace; however, 57% of senior leaders said that soft skills are more important than hard skills. Soft skills, personal attributes and abilities that enable people to work effectively and harmoniously with others, include communication, flexibility, leadership, motivation, patience, and persuasion. Generally defined as specific, teachable, and measurable abilities, hard skills include computer programming, web design, typing, writing, and finance.
The LinkedIn researchers identified the top five soft skills in demand as:
· Time Management
The researchers determine that the top hard skills needed are:
· Cloud computing (courses such as Introduction to Cloud Computer, Networking, and Advanced Security)
· Artificial intelligence (courses such as Machine Learning and Classification Modeling)
· Analytical reasoning (courses such as Making Decisions and Decision-Making Strategies)
· People management (courses such as Motivating and Engaging Employees, Managing Team Conflict, and Leading with Purpose)
· UX Design (courses such as Multidevice Design, UX Design, and UX Research for Agile Teams)
Other cutting-edge hard skills include mobile application development, video production, sales leadership, audio production, natural language processing, and scientific computing.
As much as employees want skills training, only 52% think their employer provides enough of this. The reasons, they said, include:
· Mentorship programs are missing.
· Employers either don’t promote or provide online/web-based education/training.
· Veteran employees are being neglected when it comes to training opportunities.
Take a hard look at your skills training programs and identify gaps or missing pieces. Seek input from workers about how to improve training. In the meantime, consider providing programs at a convenient time and location, developing a personalized learning plan with each employee, using different ways (such as gaming and role playing) to present content, and (when possible) letting employees travel to conferences.