- Conflict management is the soft skill most in-demand among businesses hiring in 2019, online learning platform Udemy revealed in a new report. Citing research from CPP Global, Udemy said that U.S. employers spend 2.8 hours a week handling conflict. While technology skills keep evolving, the company said, new skills are rapidly entering the workforce, and conflict management is more critical to career upward mobility than even communication and organizational skills.
- Udemy described the multigenerational work environment as an example of where conflict management might be necessary in today's workplace. Each generation has different priorities, communication preferences and management styles, which can ultimately lead to conflict, said Udemy. It's business arm evaluated the top courses companies are requiring workers to take to understand their priorities for hiring, upskilling and reskilling.
- Following conflict management, the top soft skills include time management, stress management, communication skills, customer service, emotional intelligence, personal productivity, storytelling and change management.
Despite the rising number of AI-related jobs, the largest skills gap is in soft skills, according to LinkedIn's 2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report. Leadership, verbal communication and time management were the premium soft skills identified in the report. However, with the focus of today's workplace on teams and collaboration, crisis management is crucial in maintaining an environment with as little conflict as possible. If interpersonal issues are a sign of a poor hire, as one study showed, then it pays to make crisis management skills a priority in hiring.
A LinkedIn study conducted for the technology firm Cengage concluded that employers want soft skills above all else in candidates. Soft skills are uniquely human and therefore essential in getting work done.
Employment experts say that soft skills are becoming harder to find, making the skills gap a greater challenge for employers in 2019. Organizations might need to invest in soft-skills training, in much the same way many will need to invest in technical-skills training to prepare for the future of work.