42 (137) 2020
Download PDF-version


Soft skills in the age of digitalisation

by Bartosz Dąbkowski, Head of Hays Response, Poland
Header bartosz d bkowski


All businesses will at some point experience some degree of digital transformation. New technologies and internet-based solutions become the reality of companies from various sectors and of different origin.

On one hand, technological advance means improved productivity and new business perspectives. On the other, it is a challenge to employers and the workers who need certain soft skills and digital literacy to perform their duties. Without the technical skills of various teams across the businesses, these digital transformations would not have been possible, and perhaps further developments might not take place.

Every leader knows that digitalisation is relentless for every business, in every industry. When digital transformation is done well, there are few departments that will not be required to play an active role in its development. Digital transformation is not and should not just be an IT issue. As we are catapulted further into the digital age, we must not only rely on the technical skills of our workforce. We must remember that other skills are just as important –  namely soft skills. Otherwise known as emotional intelligence traits, soft skills are now more than ever before being looked for in recruitment processes – specifically the ability to adapt, interact and realise goals within a business setting.

Following this, it is essential to specify which other soft skills are necessary for digital transformations within an organisation. For instance, being curious can often act as a catalyst for new ideas. Technical skills are of course necessary for their implementation and then once again soft skills, such as being analytical, will ensure they are working for the business in the right way. These types of attributes are particularly important for bringing an organisation into the digital age. Which skills will ensure that a business remains relevant and up to date?

Sharing the knowledge

Company culture has a significant bearing on the speed and effectiveness with which digital transformation permeates through a business. It is about ensuring the creativity is there to generate ideas. These ideas are a starting point to improving business practices through digital strategy. A huge part of building a creative and open company culture is down to recruiting and retaining those people who are willing to share their knowledge and ideas.

Certain departments will by default, be more digitally skilled than others. Decision-makers in companies should populate these departments with, for example, a digital marketing executive who is confident running a training session for the accounts team or an IT manager who can tell the company about the best new CRM software.

In order for the digitally talented to inspire others, employers should also provide them with the right support. If their presentation skills are not particularly strong, courses or even free online tutorials should be suggested. Ultimately, the company’s role is to support any training incentives and facilitate employees that are willing to share their knowledge.


Team members who are not digitally proficient must be aware of their knowledge gaps, and willing to fill them. In such a case, employers pay close attention to candidates’ curiosity and enthusiasm to learn more. When hiring, companies search for candidates who list plenty of training courses or personal objectives on their CVs. At the same time, they more and more often encourage their existing employees to do their research and educate themselves on the sector’s digital landscape.

Self-awareness is a guarantee that even the less digitally savvy workers are ready and willing to improve in this aspect – both for the good of the business and their own.


Everyone within the business should stay curious and wary of digital transformations in the industry. This kind of enthusiasm ensures a diverse and inclusive dialogue of ideas. Therefore, the ideal employee should look at what the competition is doing, follow industry trends, keep an eye on customer feedback, and source job-related knowledge. Such people are very valuable to companies as they help businesses make and lead new trends. This is how important this soft skill is when it comes to transforming a company’s digital strategy.

Problem-solving attitude

Any business needs individuals that can identify problems and think of a solution. This is particularly crucial when it comes to digital evolution. Technology can develop at such a pace that it becomes hard for businesses to keep up. Without people who are able to spot digital weaknesses and turn them into strengths, a business can find itself falling behind.

Ability to take risks

If a company expects staff to put forward ideas and solutions, it needs to ensure that line managers are willing to not just listen, but also try and implement some of their suggestions. This will involve educating senior people in the organisation on “smart risks” and what they can and cannot execute. By having risk-taking visionaries who are not afraid to question the digital status quo, the business can be opened up to some incredible possibilities.

Focus on customers

Employees who constantly have the customer in mind are more likely to be in tune with their ever-changing online behaviours. These types of employees will therefore bring your business greater value as they feedback on consumer patterns and think of how best to respond. A consumer-focused workforce will always seek out ways to implement digital tools for greater customer journeys.

In summary, being digitally adept is just one of many of traits that modern workforce needs in order to bring a business into the digital age. Digital skills can be taught with relative ease. However soft skills boil down to an employee’s attitude and emotional intelligence, which is harder to change. Therefore, employers should make sure that they build a positive, open minded, and curious workforce – and then they can be assured that their next digital transformation will go without a hitch.

More in Digitalisation:

How digitalisation will boost the customer experience

By Rafał Górski, Automation & Rapid Solutions Lead, and Konrad Gaponiuk, Senior Consultant, Business Advisory KPMG in Poland.


In a highly competitive market, companies are trying to understand why customers prefer certain brands, staying loyal to them and recommend them – especially when products or services of different brands are comparable.

Silent cyber

By Willis Towers Watson Polska


The concept of ‘silent cyber’ presents a number of problems for the insurance market, but arguably the most significant one is that of risk accumulation. Risk accumulation for cyber as a line of business is already an issue for insurers and reinsurers. However, it is potentially dwarfed by that of cyber as a peril across multiple lines.

Glocalisation – a niche for growth

by Guy Leclercq, CEO of Deveho Consulting Group


Deveho Consulting Group is a Sage certified partner, integrating Sage’s X3 enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Founded in France in 2009, the firm has grown into a business that distributes the Sage solution in the cloud. Its particular specialisation is in cross-jurisdiction implementations.

eCommerce and ERP – made for one another

A new generation of consumers is entering the market – the ‘hypermedia generation’ for whom eCommerce is a native purchasing environment. They like to have a choice, and that goes for the transaction model as well.