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01 May 2018

SOFT SKILLS AND THE FUTURE OF THE NIGERIAN EMPLOYEE

With the evolution of new markets and new challenges in business, researchers have spent ample time on describing employee skills and their direct impact on business performance. Research by Heckman and Kautz, however, shows that the focus has been on technical skills more than the soft skills. This only creates an imbalance in the workspace. So, what are technical skills? And what are soft skills?

Technical skills are skills that can be easily demonstrated through academic and professional qualifications. Soft skills, on the other hand, refer to employee abilities that are not based on vocation or area of study. These skills are about a person’s disposition and personality towards work, team mates and the challenges of work. Soft skills are abilities that enhance work performance. According to Stanford Research International, 75% of long term career success depends on soft skills while 25% depends on hard skills.

Needless to say, intensified competition in the market space has amplified the relevance of soft skills. Even more, according to Oxbridge Academy, the future workplace will depend on soft skills more than hard skills. This is because due to cutting-edge technology, the process of automation and the use of Artificial Intelligence has led to a progressive decline in the need for certain hard skills. Therefore, this continual shift in the use of technological solutions for business processes makes soft skills even more influential in organizational performance than hard skills.

The use of soft skills in talent analytics by employers, managers and human resources specialists is important. While Intelligence Quotient (IQ) fairly remains the same, the good news about Emotional Quotient (EQ) -which forms the major share of soft skills- is that it can be managed and developed.

SOFT SKILLS TRAINING

Acquiring soft skills is relatively more difficult than hard skills because soft skills are more related to an individual’s personality traits and character. They are not acquired passively; they require a conscious systematic effort to develop. According to recent academic study, employees that undergo soft skills training are 12% more productive than those who have no training in this respect. Recent report forecasts the global soft skills training market to grow at a CAGR of 9.86% in terms of revenue over the period 2014-2019.

Therefore, as the Nigerian economic sphere continues to evolve to meet the demands of the brave new business world, soft skills training for employees proves to be one of the profitable areas to look into. Nigeria continues to follow the global business trends and this makes trainings in soft skills an important subject now more than ever. Mactay Consulting offers trainings in these areas for professionals.

IMPORTANT SOFT SKILLS

The following are some of the soft skills offered at Mactay Consulting:

Leadership & Management

Behavioural Based Safety

Sales and Sales Management

Personal Effectiveness

Customer Service

Final Words

It is important now, more than ever, to prepare for the demands of the new business space. We can thank technological solutions and automations for that. The influence of soft skills in career development will only increase even more than now. They will be the defining factor between employees that make it into management positions and those that will remain just at the technical level.

 

Author: Akingbade Victor

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