As technology changes the workplace in both big and small ways, whole categories of jobs are being replaced with computers, robots and other automation. But there is a highly desirable ability that no computer has yet to come close to replicating – advanced social skills.
Businesses want and need employees with soft skills. According to a New York Times article titled “Why What You Learned in Preschool Is Crucial at Work” research tells us that occupations requiring strong social skills have grown drastically over other jobs that don’t require these skills since 1980. In fact, the research findings point out, the only jobs that have had consistent wage growth since 2000 require both cognitive and social skills. Jobs that prioritize analytical tasks that don’t necessarily involve teamwork — like engineering, or repetitive tasks, like garbage collecting, have steadily declined. According to the article “The findings help explain a mystery that has been puzzling economists: the slowdown in the growth even of high-skill jobs. The jobs hit hardest seem to be those that don’t require social skills, throughout the wage spectrum.”
Throughout history, technology and automation has eliminated jobs, but it also has created new jobs that didn’t exist before. According to the article, “…To prepare students for the change in the way we work, the skills that schools teach may need to change. Social skills are rarely emphasized in traditional education.”
For your employees who have worked in highly technical roles, or or for those whose jobs are becoming more reliant on collaborative cooperation and social interactions, preparing them for the transformation in their jobs is crucial. Many jobs won’t evolve overnight, but in fact, transition into different tasks. Giving these employees the training needed to fulfill new job functions will foster a more collaborative and prosperous workplace. Many engineering jobs are becoming much more social than they once were.
Is your organization making the necessary investments in social skills for your employees? SOCIAL STYLE is the world’s most powerful, effective and flexible interpersonal skills program available. TRACOM offers both online and instructor-led versions of SOCIAL STYLE training and we support more than 20 international languages for a truly global solution. With versions tailored for managers, salespeople and individual contributors, Style is proven to improve individual and organizational performance. We also offer a variety of web-based resources to enhance your learner’s experience and performance.
Check out our Rater Research Study which shows that individuals who score high in Versatility demonstrate greater success in many job functions.