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Soft Skills for digital transformation: what companies need

We have frequently mentioned on this blog that the rapid advancement of technology is leading to a drastic change in the way we work. Something that, in turn, is generating imbalances between labor supply and demand. Because Companies now need employees who are well trained to cope with digital transformation, and they don't always find them.

Beyond the technical skills of its employees, for a company to be able to adapt to new technological trends and the new ways of working that these bring, it requires having a workforce with a broad set of skills. soft skills or soft skills. Because it is precisely the latter that They will allow teams to adapt and collaborate in an environment that is constantly evolving.

But what soft skills are essential in this new scenario?

Table of Contents

Flexibility and adaptability 

Although we collect them together in this section, it is important to make it clear that they are not the same. The thing is that, in general, flexible people are adaptable, and vice versa.

Flexibility

Flexibility refers to the ability of a subject to adjust to different situations without losing his temper and without ceasing to be effective in his work. 

If we apply this to the context of digital transformation, implies that flexible people are those who are open to the arrival of new ideas, the application of new ways of working and the use of technologies different from the usual ones.

Flexible employees can approach all types of tasks and projects with an open mind, and this allows them to adjust quickly and effectively to the needs of both the business and the market. 

A flexible employee can quickly change their approach, is willing to look for new solutions, and is not afraid to leave their comfort zone.

Adaptability

This skill is slightly different from the previous one. Those who have developed the competence of adaptability not only accept changes, but also is able to thrive in novel and unfamiliar environments.

An adaptive individual can deal with unforeseen situations calmly, looking for effective solutions and learning from mistakes if you make them.

This, applied to an environment in which digital transformation is a priority for companies, implies having employees willing to learn new skills and use new tools, although it represents a significant challenge for them.

It is easy for a company to know if adaptability is a highly present soft skill in its workforce or not. If, when faced with the announcement of a change in the software used to manage the business, all is complaints and bad faces, it is clear that a good part of the employees are inflexible and will show resistance to the change. It will be difficult for them to learn how to use the new digital tool and they will never be able to get the most out of it. This is not only bad for them, but also for the company that, after investing in an important element of digital transformation, will not be able to get the full return it expected.

On the contrary, if the majority of the workforce welcomes the change in work tools, and is even excited about the prospect of working differently. So we can affirm that we are facing a work team with a good level of adaptability.

Flexibility and adaptability are closely linked to two other soft skills that are also very necessary in a time like the current one: resilience and continuous learning.

The resilience We understand it as the capacity that human beings have to bounce back in the face of adversity and become stronger. It is about learning from mistakes, and it is essential to maintain both personal well-being and productivity at a professional level.

Because resilient people face difficult times with a positive attitude and are able to move forward no matter what.

If those who have developed the skills of adaptability and flexibility have something in common, it is that they are people willing to learn continuously. Something that is a great advantage for companies in an environment of digital transformation.

Because professionals willing to invest time and effort in continuing training become increasingly competent at a technical level, while continuing to perfect skills such as their adaptability, flexibility and resilience.

Critical thinking and problem solving

The more technology advances, the more necessary it is for humans to develop the soft skills of critical thinking and problem solving. If we combine the speed of information processing that Artificial Intelligence offers us with these soft skills, we will have a perfect work tandem that will help companies achieve their objectives.

Critical thinking

This soft skill implies that a person has the ability to objectively analyze the information you receive, drawing your own conclusions

Nowadays, thanks to new technologies, employees have quick and easy access to a large amount of information, but they need to carry out an internal process of analysis and understanding of it. 

If a worker has well-developed critical thinking, he or she will be much more capable of identifying opportunities, challenges, and risks that may become apparent than one who has not worked on this skill as much.

Problem resolution

Critical thinking is a basic component of another essential soft skill in the current context, which is the ability to analyze and solve problems.

Digital transformation brings with it problems and situations that we have not faced before. To overcome and take advantage of opportunities, employees have to be able to break down complex problems into more manageable components and work with them to solve them.

Today, this leads us to find ways to optimize work processes or the products and services offered, and also to improve customer satisfaction.

Although different from each other, many soft skills are interconnected. As some develop, others appear that require the first. In the case of critical thinking and the ability to solve problems, for these skills to be developed as much as possible, it is necessary that the person has first delved into their creativity and innovation capabilities.

Because those who have enough imagination to consider different scenarios can reflect more critically on problems and find the most efficient solution for them.

Collaboration and teamwork

Digital transformation is a great ally of new ways of working such as remote work. However, it will not lead to more individualized work, but rather advocates teamwork.

Consequently, collaborative work is more important than ever in the current context. Because employees and their leaders must address challenges they have never faced before, and we already know that Union make force.

To achieve this, the first thing that is needed is for the members of the staff to have well developed soft communication skills. Because digital teams have to communicate clearly and openly, especially if their members are not sharing the same physical space because they work from different locations.

Technology has given rise to new means of communication such as emails, instant messaging or video conferencing. And companies need their employees to know how to use these channels at a technical level, and to be able to express themselves clearly and concisely through them. Otherwise, collaborative work will be extremely complicated.

Along with improved communication, digitalized high-performance teams have other needs:

  • that the roles and responsibilities of each member of the organization are clear.
  • Have a diversity of profiles within the group, to have different perspectives, skills and experiences.
  • May the members have high levels of flexibility and adaptability. So that they do not mind adjusting their strategy and way of working as the company's needs vary.
  • Let there be trust and mutual support. So that each individual trusts the skills and judgment of his colleagues.

Change management

Technological changes are rapid and disruptive, so The time companies have to adapt is very short. If they are not attentive and adjust their way of working as changes come, they can fall behind and lose the position they had in the market.

Precisely for this reason, the ability to manage change is another of the essential soft skills that are demanded from employees. 

If these are capable of adapt to adjustments quickly and show no resistance to change, the company is assured of its advancement.

Digital transformation is one of the biggest challenges that the business and work world has faced. A process that involves challenges, but also opportunities, both for companies and their employees. In this context, soft skills are the key for everyone to win.

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