Success in the workplace depends on much more than just the skills required to perform the actual work. Unless you work in a bubble, completely isolated from your manager, customers and teammates, then you’ll be required to interact with others in an effective, positive and efficient way. These abilities, referred to as “soft skills,” are just as important to your success on the job as any bit of job training you’ll receive. Here are five reasons why.


  1. Hard Skills are Useless Without Soft Skills

In most jobs, technical skills alone are not enough to be truly effective. A salesperson with an unrivalled knowledge of their product and market will have little success if they don’t have the interpersonal skills needed to close deals and retain clients. A business manager needs to be able to listen to employees, have good speaking skills, and be able to think creatively. All careers require at least some soft skills to make the hard skills valuable.

  1. Soft Skills are Harder to Learn

Hard skills aren’t necessarily hard to acquire. They can be taught easily, and can be learned and perfected over time. Soft skills are more challenging to develop, since they have little to do with knowledge or expertise, but are closely linked with a person’s character. It takes conscious effort, ongoing practice, and a commitment to self-development to improve your soft skills. Hard skills may look impressive on your resume, but the soft skills are what will set you apart from the many candidates who have similar expertise to you. Put simply, hard skills are “what you tell a prospective employer about yourself;” soft skills are “how you tell a prospective employer about yourself.”

  1. The Modern Workplace is Interpersonal

Skills such as listening, collaborating with others, presenting ideas and communicating with team members are all highly valued in the modern workplace. Strong soft skills ensure a productive, collaborative and healthy work environment, all vital attributes for organizations in an increasingly competitive world.

  1. Customers Demand Soft Skills

The modern market offers consumers an unlimited number of choices through such technologies as the Internet and smartphones. For these consumers, convenience and low prices are easy to come by, so customer service is often what influences the choice to use a particular business. The ability to communicate efficiently and effectively with customers is therefore a vital factor in an organization’s success.

  1. The Future Workplace Will Rely on Soft Skills

Automation and artificial intelligence will result in a greater proportion of jobs relying on soft skills. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, tasks that require hard skills are continuing to decline, making soft skills key differentiators in the workplace. As an example, look at this fascinating study by Deloitte Access Economics, which predicts that two-thirds of all jobs in Australia will rely on soft skills by 2030. This trend will inevitably be mirrored globally.


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