“AI is starting to usher in a new era for work”, as LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky wrote in a blogpost.
It is already changing how we work, but Roslansky believes it’ll completely redefine work, and could in fact build a future of work that is “more human than before, giving us the chance to do more fulfilling work, and to do that work more easily and effectively with others”.
This is because LinkedIn data shows that business leaders think that to thrive in the AI-powered future, they need to look beyond digital skills and really focus on people, or ‘soft’, skills.
The social media giant has compiled a top ten most in-demand skills for 2024 for the US and the UK, and the vast majority of them as people-first.
The top skill in both the US and the UK was communication – number two was customer service, third was management, number four was leadership and teamwork was fifth.
Tech skills only come into the mix at number six in the US (and seven in the UK) with analytics.
These findings corroborate previous LinkedIn data that found that 92% of leaders in the US and the UK believe that people skills are more important than ever – 72% of US leaders said people skills were more valuable to their organizations than AI skills.
Talking exclusively to UNLEASH, LinkedIn’s global head of content strategy Dan Brodnitz shares: “AI is transforming how we work.
“As businesses explore what the technology can do, we’re also seeing an increased appreciation for uniquely human skills – such as communication, leadership, and teamwork.
“At a time of rapid technology adoption, remaining agile will be crucial.
“Talent leaders that not only invest in AI training, but also build their team’s people skills like resilience and problem solving, will see their workforce better collaborate and find solutions to problems.”
The question that remains is how should organizations go about the upskilling their people in these essential people skills?
How to upskill your workforce in people skills
The good news is that the workers are in agreement with leaders about the importance of upskilling and reskilling s, now and into the future.
LinkedIn members added 680 million new skills to their profiles in 2024 – up 80% year on year – and in the US, learning new skills was among employee’s top three career goals this year.
However, they need more support from their employer – if organizations can get this right, they might even be able to nip ongoing high resignation rates in the bud.
Brodnitz tells UNLEASH: “By encouraging a culture of continuous learning and development, talent leaders can make sure their organization is ready to capture the opportunities presented by new technologies such as AI.”
Redesigning work for continuous learning is essential to help companies transition from job-focused to skills-first – that’s the message from Mercer’s Kate Bravery, who recently spoke to UNLEASH at the launch of her new book, ‘Work Different’.
What she wants HR leaders to take away from the book is that “we’re living in a people age – don’t get distracted by all the great digital stuff out there. It is humans that will give you the lift, not the tech – we need to redesign work around how they want to work.”
There’s a lot more work for organizations to do to become people-first – 41% of more than 1,000 Americans surveyed by LinkedIn said they were struggling to match skills to jobs.
This jumps to 47% for Gen Z and 44% for millennials.
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