What will the field of employee skills development look like in a few years?

Understanding trends and the ability to predict the future are extremely important from the perspective of stable and secure business operation by many entities operating in the market, especially in these uncertain and changing times. One of the most interesting areas in which the correct determination of demand is a guarantee of survival in the market and often also ahead of the competition and strengthening of your own position, is the precise determination of the range of skills of the future and their provision to employees in various forms of development.

  • What skills will be most needed and useful in the future?
  • What forms will allow their availability by employers and their effective implementation by employees?
  • How do HR specialists see the future of the field of employee skills development?

The answers to the above questions come from the results of the study “Soft skills and the need for their development – how do employees learn now?”, Prepared by the training company Nowe Motacje and the Mobile Institute.

Future skills

Defining and equipping employees with the skills of tomorrow is currently one of the main areas of development for organizations operating in various industries around the world. For this to be possible, it is necessary not only to examine the whole spectrum of variable micro and macro economic factors and the geopolitical situation, but also to consciously define your own needs, also according to the opinions of employees who, knowing their own resources and capacities, can become an indispensable source of information. . As part of the study “Relational skills and the need for their development – how do employees learn now?” we asked participants what key skills they think will be needed in the future?

Employees without distinction of gender indicated: teamwork (18%), customer service (16%) and project management (12%).

While referring to the most useful skills of the future study participants indicated time (20%) and stress (19%) management. However, survey participants focused on interpersonal communication (20%). Time management and work organization proved to be an important key skill in the future for both genders.

According to HR specialists, the most popular topic for development forms in the future will be soft skills development, business innovation and foreign language learning. In their opinion, leadership in an organization will be the least popular.

Chart: The most popular topic for future development forms, according to HR specialists

According to the HR employees surveyed, in the next 3 years, the most sought-after subject of forms of development will be communication (40%), including interpersonal communication, learning empathy (30%) and management (30 %), including stress management, time management and organizational change.

In addition to the most necessary and useful skills for the future indicated in the survey, both by employees and by human resources specialists, other skills, even fundamental ones, should not be forgotten. Irrespective of the sectors of activity and the roles played by each employee, one of the key factors is, and doubtless will also be in the future, the ability to find one’s way in a changing environment. However, it consists of a number of skills, incl. critical thinking, finding solutions, rapid decision-making based on constantly emerging data. The following elements will also be particularly important in the future: preparation for continuous learning, innovation and openness to new situations. When thinking about the skills of the future, one cannot forget emotional intelligence or leadership skills, which will not be replaced by high substantive skills, let alone artificial intelligence. In recent years, the ability to manage stress, understand emotions, assertiveness and skills related to the organization of time and the workplace, all of which build mental resilience and facilitate adaptation in difficult circumstances, proved extremely important. Over time, skills related to the speed of finding information, the ability to distinguish reliable sources of information, cognitive flexibility, adaptability as well as the ability to cooperate and build diverse teams, reinforced by appropriate communication and building healthy relationships are also becoming increasingly important. says Grzegorz Święch, vice president and partner of the training company Nowe Motacje.

Forms of development in the future

The responses obtained in the study show that the evolving forms will gradually evolve into mixed forms. Once the results are distributed fairly evenly, it can be concluded that employees currently do not know which online forms they should use, and the development service line itself is constantly “tested” by testing various solutions by organizations. Although employees still opt for stationary training today, mixed forms are gaining in importance. The mixture of these two forms becomes, and most likely will continue to be, the solution on which organizations will mainly base their development programs, especially since they are also appreciated by HR specialists.

Analyzing the results of research on the forms of development in the next 3 years, we learn that that 40% of respondents indicated a webinar as a form of future development, 32% indicated stationary training, 21% online workshops and 19% considered mixed forms of the future. This means that one employee out of 5 already sees the future of training in mixed forms, while enjoying the advantages of distance forms.

As part of the study, HR specialists were asked to rate (on a scale of 1 to 6) statements relating to the forms of development of the future. Their answers show that future forms of development “will take a hybrid form (combining distant and fixed forms)”. In addition to hybrid forms, HR specialists also appreciated the view that development forms “They will be more strongly verified with regard to the skills implemented. Worst rated by HR specialists were statements that trainings in the future “will return to training rooms and direct contact” and that they “will be less and less necessary”.Forms of development in the future

Graph: Appreciation of future development forms according to HR

HR specialists see the future of forms of development mainly in a greater focus on the employee throughout the life cycle of the organization (54%). According to them, an important element will also be introduce flexibility and agility in all areas of HR and “turquoise” empowerment and management.

Chart: Direction of development forms according to HR
Chart: Direction of development forms according to HR

According to employees participating in the research, future forms of development should have: greater knowledge of the industry of leaders, a focus on the company’s work teams and the skills they need, and a greater adaptation to the needs of the group / organization.

According to HR specialists, in the future, the following forms of development will be expected: greater knowledge of the industry possessed by teachers, greater adaptation to the needs of the group / organization, forms of development will focus on work teams in companies and the necessary skills, and will take place mainly remotely. HR specialists gave the lowest ratings to the statement that skills will focus on developing soft skills rather than specialist ones.

Graphic: Evaluation of future development forms by employees and HR
Graphic: Evaluation of future development forms by employees and HR

What is missing in the development services market? – what should appear in the future?

According to the employees surveyed, the training market lacks the most trainers with in-depth knowledge and experience. Employees also lack foreign language training. They also say they would like to manage their stress and time better.

According to HR employees, the biggest gaps in the training market today are: insufficient training certification and training effectiveness. HR specialists also pointed to the lack of free training and training combining the skills of the future with soft skills.

What are the requirements for the coaches of the future?

According to the HR specialists interviewed, the trainer of the future will have to have: the ability to build development processes rather than point solutions, practical experience on subjects in which he develops others, psychological knowledge beyond business , flexibility and speed of execution elimination of inefficient activities.

All the entities that are already identifying the skills of tomorrow and thinking about the appropriate selection of forms of development prove that they are focused on development and offer their teams unique opportunities for upskilling adapted to current and future needs. Such organizations already have and will be more likely to attract top talent in the future, but also to be successful.

Report on the results of the study “Soft skills and the need to develop them – how do employees learn now?” and the developed development personas can be downloaded by filling out the form on the research site: https://nowemotywacje.pl/kompetencja-miekkie-i-potewka-ich-rozkieta-jak-ucza-sie-obecnie-pracownica/


The study “Soft skills and the need to develop them – how do employees learn today?” was carried out around 2021/2022 by the Mobile Institute using the CAWI (Computer-Assisted Web Interview) method – responsive electronic surveys published on websites and by e-mail. The research used the opin.mobi survey system and instapps.io widgets. The study was conducted on two groups of respondents aged 18 and over:

  • corporate employees (with an emphasis on large corporate employees), and
  • HR department employees.

2,275 respondents took part in the study Only completely completed questionnaires were taken into account. In the study group, women made up 47%, men 51%, and 2% of people described their sex as different. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to over 54, with the largest share being employees between the ages of 25 and 44, a total of 73% of respondents.

The report on research results and developed development characters can be downloaded by filling out the form on the research website: https://nowemotywacje.pl/kompetencja-miekkie-i-potnec-ich-rozarań-jak -ucza-sie -obecnie-pracownica/

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