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Embracing the human advantage in a tech-driven world

23 Jan 2024
People 1st International

While 2024 promises continued advancements in automation and artificial intelligence, a crucial factor remains distinctly human: the ability to connect, collaborate, and lead. Organisations navigating this evolving landscape must prioritise the integration of soft skills development within their Learning and Development (L&D) strategies. This article explores the growing demand for the human touch in L&D and outlines actionable steps for bridging the skills gap in the year ahead.


Personalised learning and soft skills take centre stage

Recent research from both TalentLMS (2024) and People 1st International (2023) highlights the convergence of two critical trends in L&D. A significant 66% of employees surveyed by TalentLMS acknowledge the need for new skills to remain competitive in their roles, echoing People 1st International’s findings that core and soft skills are the cornerstones of success in various sectors.

Further amplifying this shift is the growing demand for personalised learning experiences. TalentLMS reports that 80% of employees crave tailored training aligned with their individual needs and goals. This resonates with the broader recognition that skills development extends beyond professional growth, encompassing life skills and personal well-being. Notably, 68% of employees in the same study indicate the value of non-work-related training that bolsters overall well-being, highlighting the growing emphasis on a holistic approach to employee development.


Soft skills in high demand

TalentLMS underscores the increasing importance of interpersonal skills in a world dominated by technology and hybrid work models, where soft skills emerge as the most frequently offered, non-mandatory training. Notably, leadership and management skills top the list, showcasing a strong desire to enhance influence and guide teams effectively. This sentiment is reflected in our State of the Workforce (People 1st International 2023) research where employers described soft skills and leadership & management as two among the five emerging skills in the next two years.

Source: People 1st International


A holistic approach for a resilient workforce

The confluence of these insights points towards a critical shift in L&D strategies. Organisations must adopt a holistic approach that prioritises both technical proficiency and soft skills development. Investing in leadership and management training, for instance, not only nurtures employee growth but also addresses the “accidental manager” challenge identified in our report, ultimately impacting recruitment, retention, and productivity.


Actionable steps for L&D

  • Embrace personalised learning: Implement flexible training programmes that cater to individual needs and goals, leveraging tools like mentoring and coaching.
  • Invest in soft skills development: Prioritise programmes that cultivate essential skills like communication, collaboration, and problem-solving.
  • Bridge the work-life divide: Offer non-work-related training that promotes employee well-being and fosters a holistic learning environment.
  • Focus on leadership potential: Equip employees with the skills to lead effectively, inspire teams, and navigate complex challenges.


Delve deeper: The State of the Workforce 2023

For a deeper understanding of the changing skills landscape and its impact on specific sectors, explore our State of the Workforce 2023 report. This study examines the UK visitor economy sector, drawing insights from hundreds of firms employing over 250,000 staff. Gain valuable insights into the unique staffing challenges faced by the sector and discover how a focus on employee retention and development can pave the way for future success.



By bridging the gap between technical expertise and the human touch, organisations can build a resilient and empowered workforce for 2024 and beyond. Prioritising both technical and soft skills development isn’t just an investment in employees; it’s an investment in the future of the organisation. In this era of technological advancement, it’s the uniquely human ability to connect, collaborate, and lead that will ultimately pave the path to success.

Take the first step towards building a thriving workforce today.

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