Covid-19 has created enormous changes in the workplace. Regardless of their jobs, employees needed to adapt rapidly to massive changes ranging from working remotely to changes in operations.
As businesses continue to operate in a pandemic and plan for the future, here are some of the essential skills that I believe employees will need for organisations to thrive in the future.
In the midst of so much change, employees are going to need to take ownership of their roles and be self-directed within their businesses.
As roles and businesses quickly evolve, the traditional training methods to develop necessary skills don’t exist in the same way. Employees are going to have to be active participants in identifying the skills, resources, and support they need to do their jobs and collaborate with their companies to get them.
85% of companies recently surveyed by McKinsey said they had accelerated digitisation. Employees are not only going to need to be comfortable using digital technologies, ranging from collaboration software to videoconferencing, but they are also going to need to accept its role in evaluating metrics. Note, analytics was the number 1 area of digital investment for HR executives in a recent PwC survey.
The ability to understand the challenges other employees and businesses are facing and help management—in other words, empathy—is also a skill that I see employers seeking and needing.
Communication skills have always been critical. But these skills now need to extend across platforms. The rise of videoconferencing and collaboration platforms requires new skills. You have to be better with your words, you have to use brevity and levity to be successful getting thoughts and concepts across in an effective and efficient way. And employees also have to know when to use which platform and how to use video, audio, and digital communication in ways that don’t create more negative outcomes, such as Zoom fatigue or lack of engagement.
As many workplaces evolve to hybrid models, adaptability is an increasingly necessary skill. Being able to keep functioning, even when you’re a little uncomfortable, is important in a time when so many things may be in flux. Taking on stretch roles or taking on new challenges can help “build the adaptability muscles.”