As the world prepares to return to the workplace bosses have said that the ability to communicate is the most sought after skill they are seeking in their staff.
Research by digital coaching firm Ezra found globally, communication and emotional intelligence are the most sought-after skills amongst global businesses in the post-pandemic workplace.
Overall, the most sought-after skill is currently communication with 17.3% of businesses saying that helping employees to improve in this area is more important than anything else as we return from the toughest year in living memory for many professionals.
Communication also ranked as the top area of improvement for businesses across the UK, USA, and China.
The second most sought-after skill is emotional intelligence. On a global level, 6.9% of businesses say emotional intelligence is the most important skill they want to see their workforce build upon. Hardly surprising, particularly in a world where employees returning to the workplace may have differing opinions on Covid protocols.
On a national level, emotional intelligence ranks as the most important factor in a number of countries, including France, Kenya, and Cambodia.
Third on the global list is influence, with 6.2% of businesses citing it as the most important skill to develop through coaching and training. Despite ranking third overall on a global level, the only specific nation to rank influence as the most important area of improvement is Morocco.
Ezra founder Nick Goldberg said: “Communication is the ability to talk, listen and share information effectively, while emotional intelligence is the ability to read between the lines and understand a deeper, unspoken need or expectation. Both are going to be incredibly important as we return to the workplace after such a disruptive year and with the threat of COVID-19 remaining.
“Communication has always been a highly valued skill in the world of business and beyond. The ability to communicate clearly and calmly is essential for teamwork, negotiation, sales, and so on.
“In contrast, emotional intelligence is a skill we’re seeing come to the forefront as not so long ago, it wasn’t something that business leaders knew about, let alone spent money on improving. Today, however, it ranks as being more important than influence, innovative thinking, and accountability.
“This says an awful lot about much we’ve come to learn about connecting with people emotionally, how it helps employees better communicate, understand, and appreciate one another, and how it helps them deliver better, more astute service to clients and customers.”
He study found at the bottom of the list is decision making. Just 3.8% of global businesses consider it to be the most important outcome of coaching in the current climate. But there are individual nations who place it as the primary area of improvement, including Chile and Poland.
Goldberg added: “In the past, there was an assumption that business and emotion should be kept separate. We’re now learning that, when dealing with fellow humans on any level, emotion is not only unavoidable but also incredibly powerful and useful when harnessed correctly.
“The values of a good employee and a good leader have changed dramatically in recent years, and so careers coaching must be tailored to suit this modern business world. If you have good communication skills and good emotional intelligence, all of the other skills on the list, from influence to decision making, will naturally fall into place.”