Human skills facts and stats every professional should know

Human skills are part of an employee’s personality, behaviors, and work habits.

These skills cover such non-technical areas as:

  • Collaboration and communication
  • Creativity
  • Agile thinking
  • Developing a digital image
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Productivity
  • Building motivation
  • Building a growth mindset

These qualities and others are vital for a business to succeed. The globalization of business offers companies a wider data base, but it also means they need a deeper understanding of different cultures and to know how to communicate to different demographics effectively. Given this requirement, the need for human skills in business is set to grow. IMARC GROUP has predicted the global human skills training market will reach USD 47.16 Billion by 2027.

Indeed, the number of roles in human skills-intensive positions is set to grow at almost three times the rate of those in less human-skill intensive roles. Deloitte has predicted that human skill-intensive occupations will eventually make up two-thirds of the workforce.

In a survey by LinkedIn, 59 percent of hiring managers found human skills difficult to find, and 58 percent of hiring managers believed the lack of human skills among potential candidates is impacting their companies’ productivity levels.

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The impact of human skills on the workplace

1 Reduced staff turnover

Companies that hire staff with strong human skills are more likely to improve employee wellbeing efforts. If employees have high emotional intelligence, good verbal reasoning, and excellent communication skills, they create a better, more positive working environment.

A study by Yale University found that workplaces with emotionally intelligent managers had happier, more creative, and more innovative employees.

In a 2011 survey of 578 employees by Jordan and Troth, the correlation between self-assessed measures of emotional intelligence and intentions to stay at work was found to be highly significant.

2 Increased productivity

When it comes to workplace performance, 91 percent of talent professionals believe that human skills are important for its improvement (LinkedIn). With human-skill training, employees develop and deploy better problem-solving skills. They can come up with solutions in a more creative way, demonstrating the valuable ability to ‘think outside the box’. This can prevent the halting of projects when a problem arises or when a time-pressed manager is expected to come up with a solution to every challenging situation. When employees are empowered to solve their own problems, it builds morale and saves time and money.

Harvard University, Stanford Research Centre, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching found that excellent human skills account for 85 percent of job success, whereas only 15 percent comes from technical skills.

Employees often need help organizing their workload. If they are given the correct tools to help with time management, the impact on their productivity levels can be significant and profound. Time management skills can have a lasting effect beyond work and can also improve an employee’s punctuality and attendance.

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3 Staff promotion

While most new employees are hired for their technical abilities, it is their human skills that give them longevity within their career and the ability to reach their career goals. In order for a staff member to become a great leader, they must possess strong human skills such as communication, empathy, transparency, listening, teamwork, time management, and productivity.

Managers must have excellent communication skills, ensuring they maintain contact with everyone on their team, give useful, regular feedback, and recognize their teams’ work when they are performing well.

Furthermore, managers should encourage teamwork and create teamwork opportunities accordingly. An employee must possess these skills in order to be promoted to management level.

4 Improved customer service

Having employees with strong human skills such as empathetic communication is the key to great customer service. It is important that employees understand the roadblocks and issues customers may face when it comes to achieving their goals. Employees need to display genuine empathy for the customer.

When customers have problems, it is vital that employees can come up with creative solutions to address them. Deploying tried-and-trusted problem-solving skills correctly and in a timely fashion will help positively impact the customer journey.

Employees with superior listening skills can build a better rapport with customers by proving that they care about the issues they are facing. Good listening skills show the customer that they are heard and that their goals are understood.

Time management skills also help to improve customer service. Customers value their time and do not wish to spend any more of it than is absolutely necessary on having their issue acknowledged, addressed and communicated on. Therefore, meeting deadlines and ensuring customers are kept up to date on a project’s progress is essential.

Having employees with strong human skills such as empathetic communication is the key to great customer service.

5 Collaboration

Collaborative skills allow employees to work together in a productive and efficient manner. Teamwork requires many skills, including communication, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, and critical thinking. Better collaboration improves the efficiency and productivity of teams while ensuring a happier work force. Gallup’s report on the American workplace found that most employees “believe that their organization’s project performance would improve if their teams worked more collaboratively.”

“Teamwork is the only skill that is in higher supply (23 percent) than what is demanded (14 percent).”- (Deloitte)

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