Meet the challenges of the future (and present time) with soft skills

Kienbaum HR trend study: Soft skills are crucial to deal with the digital change

The German Personal and Firm Advisory Company Kienbaum every year considers the current situation and trends in the HR sector. This year’s study is based on 187 answers to questions on the challenges of the present and near future given by senior executives of companies in the German-speaking zone.

Change management, communication, appreciation of the individual and feedback identified as the most important abilities for executives

One of the topics was to what extent digitalisation has advanced in the leadership of German companies already and what their plans for the future are. In this context the HR managers were also asked which competence, faced with digital change, executive must most urgently have.

The digital change turns whole branches upside down. And so it is not surprising that, in view of this enormous challenge, 70% of the people interviewed consider Change Management to be a competence you cannot do without. In second place: networking / communication with 54%. Not quite unexpected, either.

The places that follow are the surprise. Often aspects of digital change are perceived as threat to one’s private affair and to self-determination. Perhaps it is exactly that why 40% of the people interviewed believe executives cannot do without appreciation of the individual, closely followed by interpersonal skills Relationship Management and Feedback-Competence.

Especially in times of digital change need for action is acute

The Kienbaum-Study also makes one point clear: a lot of companies still roll on the edge of digitalisation. None of the digital formats offered to select from is presently used by the participants to a large extent. At least just one percent of the people interviewed declared that social networks do not play any role in their companies. With Mobile Applications the result was a clear-cut division, possibly dependent on branch: 24% do not use them at all, but in 21% they are already part of the business repertoire. With Data Analytics, Cloud Solutions or Artificial Intelligence those companies prevail which use these digital formats not at all or just to a very small extent.

Most people interviewed clearly perceive the necessity of digital action:

The companies are bent on setting a lot in motion in all digital formats. They want to use them to a large extent in the future between 13% (KI and Data Analytics) and 36% (Social Media).

Endowed with the interpersonal competences named the executive are then, hopefully, endowed to accompany their employees sympathetically through the impending times of change.

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