What COVID-19 has taught us about the skills your organisation should always have
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson
In the past three weeks alone, 20 million people, or 15% of the workforce, have lost their jobs due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, more than 26 million people filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the crisis, a staggering number that is only expected to grow in the coming weeks. Millions will now be forced to grapple with how to stay healthy and pay their bills. While meeting basic needs is paramount, laid-off workers should utilize this interruption in their careers to develop new skills, which will drastically help them find their next opportunity in an unpredictable post-coronavirus labour market.
Even before the crisis, the world of work was undergoing a “digital transformation,” in which technologies, like automation and artificial intelligence, were changing the way people work and the skills necessary to do their jobs. As the organizations are now focussing on reskilling as a global solution, leaders are now working closely with company employees to help identify the skills gaps in their organizations, including how to best “reskill” or “upskill” their employees to meet changing talent demands. However, despite the importance of this area, the practice of skills improvement falls short.
There is a lot unknown about how the world will transform after we get the novel coronavirus under control, but it is extremely unlikely that things will just go back to exactly the way they were before. Our workplaces are likely to change, and with it, the skills companies will require. Here are a few job skills that are likely to be in high demand in your organization in a post-COVID-19 world.
Adaptability and flexibility
One thing is for certain, the ways companies operate, and work are going to change. The world was already changing rapidly, but the pandemic accelerated it. There will be few “jobs for life.” Someone that is going to succeed in a post-coronavirus world will need to be able to adapt to ever-evolving workplaces and have the ability to continuously update and refresh their skills.
We can all benefit from adaptability but, in an ever-changing world, it is particularly crucial for leaders. As they make the leap from being a supervisor to a middle manager and finally on to more senior positions, they must adapt their style.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a post-coronavirus world is to acquire technology skills. The COVID-19 pandemic is fast-tracking digital transformations in companies as they are trying to become more resilient to future outbreaks and disruptions. The reality is that technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics will make businesses more resilient to future pandemics, and anyone that can help companies exploit these technologies will be in a great position. Whether you work in a factory or an accounting office in a post-coronavirus world, you need to be comfortable with these tech tools as well as be able to work with them effectively.
Get communication right
Although we have seen employers work hard to keep their workforce informed, disinformation and confusion have spread along with the virus. Your employees and wider stakeholders will be looking for reassurance from you that they are being protected and that the business is prepared. Leadership should be seen as a source of truth and according to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, business is more trusted than both government and the media. Consistency and accuracy of messaging is the key, as is reassurance from the top of the organization; your workforce will need to know that their welfare is paramount.
According to the World Economic Forum, in just five years, 35 per cent of the skills deemed essential today will change as per the changing scenario. There is only one way to remain relevant in a post-coronavirus reality, and that is to commit to a lifetime of learning. The good news is that improving your skills has never been easier. Today, it does not require years of study or hefty loans to build up your skillset to be prepared for a post-coronavirus world.
ABL Recruitment team
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