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Bridging the gap – Why it is becoming increasingly important to close the soft skills gap. 

The world is calling for change. Whether in technology or society, our progressive thinking requires new skills from our workforce. Despite the demand for hard skills, the number of tasks that computers or robots can easily perform is decreasing. Today, skills such as communication, leadership, creativity, adaptability, and problem-solving are more valuable than ever – especially soft skills: skills that cannot be automatized. However, most employees are insufficiently prepared for this change. This can become problematic. 

A lack of soft skills can be costly. 

Those who do not invest in a learning and training culture today will suffer a loss of performance in the coming years. According to a study by StepStone and the Kienbaum Institute, the overall performance of a company is rated a full 23% better if competencies are sufficiently available in the company. The study also emphasizes the importance of becoming aware of future-relevant competencies. 

75% of employers do not find talent with soft skills 

Building soft skills is not just a task for companies but must be implemented throughout the entire education system and taught from an early age. Especially applicants with critical thinking skills are hard to find for employers. 

However, this is of far-reaching importance, especially at higher management levels, to develop and implement new strategies. Employees who think and question critically can use the information they draw from their environment to make more informed judgments and decisions. 

Lack of qualifications leads to more unemployment 

In the near future, soft skills won’t just be a nice-to-have. Experts predict that by 2030, up to 400 million employees could be forced to look for a new job because their current job has been eliminated by automation. That means many people face possible unemployment. Both employees and employers must find a way to adapt to this and minimize the risk. 

65% of schoolchildren will work in jobs that do not exist today 

This fact may sound frightening, especially for the young generation currently entering the job market, but it doesn’t have to be. Because the shift is not exclusively due to the fact that only professions with an extremely high demand for soft skills are now in demand, but primarily due to technological progress, which is creating new jobs and, at the same time, banishing old ones. This progress is all happening gradually, so there is no need to worry. Nevertheless, soft skills are becoming increasingly important to be part of the labor market in the future. 

From the phrase to reality 

Lifelong learning is no longer an empty phrase but a prerequisite for the modern workforce. Constant change requires a high level of adaptability from us and, associated with this, the will and ability to learn and reinvent ourselves. Thus, every working day offers not only the chance to show the best personal performance but also a chance to develop and educate oneself to maintain one’s performance at a consistently high level. 

The first step lies with the managers  

Leaders act as role models. That’s why promoting further training and corporate learning among employees is essential, bringing the company closer to new skills. In my current position, I do the same. For me, it’s not just about teaching my employees on a professional level but also about reaching an emotional level and thus growing together. 

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