The future of work demands some new hard and soft skills. Which ones?

Companies will undergo a mindset shift, and the key to their future success will be providing continuous learning options and instilling a culture of lifelong learning throughout the organisation.

The world is changing at a fast pace, and how work gets done is evolving accordingly. Companies will undergo a mindset shift, and the key to their future success will be providing continuous learning options and instilling a culture of lifelong learning throughout the organisation.

How we screen and hire has changed too. Business leaders are looking for future skills and jobs to keep up with these changes. We are talking about skills that are bound to digitalisation, increase automation of working processes, and decline in specific job roles.

Skills are a key challenge of this era

A well-trained workforce equipped with the skills needed to adopt automation and AI technologies will ensure that the economies benefit from higher productivity growth and that the talents of all workers are harnessed. The ability to secure this will largely depend on how educated the workforce is and how adaptable companies and workers prove to be in the face of the multiple new challenges of adopting automation.

Hard skills for future jobs revolve around digital literacy, data analytics, and data visualisation.

  • Digital literacy: Digital literacy includes various skills, such as computer problem-solving skills (software and hardware), social media, communication tools, online security, data privacy management, and more. The trend in digital literacy is not surprising, considering digitalisation in all kinds of industries.
  • Data analytics: It’s no news that companies need to manage unstructured data, and as a rule, it’s heavy information like survey results and sales conversations in their organisations. The more data companies accumulate, the more they need analysts and experts to manage, process and interpret that data. Sounds like a snowball effect, right?
  • Data visualisation: Data visualisation is another essential skill for gaining traction among jobs. Its experts interpret data and organise it into meaningful dashboards, charts, graphs and tables.
  • Knowledge of learning strategies: Professionals need to keep their skills up to date in today’s fast-paced society.

As workers interact with increasingly intelligent machines, the demand for soft skills also increases. As the saying goes, “What got you here won’t get you there.” Soft skills, such as empathy, emotional intelligence, kindness, mindfulness, adaptability, self-motivation, resilience, and the kind of empathy that ensures that everyone can truly have a voice, have become crucial success factors.

What changes will be expected?

The basic organisational configuration will definitely change, with a substantial shift towards cross-functional teamwork and an emphasis on agility. The introduction of more agile ways of working will be a high-priority organisational change, and more cross-functional collaboration is the key to progress. Unlike traditional hierarchies, which are primarily designed for stability, agile organisations are designed for both stability and dynamism. It typically consists of a network of teams and is notable for fast learning and quick decision cycles.‍

How will organisations adapt?

To make the most of new technologies, companies will have to retool their business structures and approach to work. That change will require redesigned business processes and a new focus on the talent they have – and the talent they need.

Organisations can keep pace with broad initiatives to develop employees’ soft skills.

  • Scaling the Gap: Codify soft skills and define specific evaluation criteria.
  • Recruit smoothly: Structure interviews to get details of the professional life and experiences that made candidates who they are today.
  • Blend Modes: Teaching soft skills through employee learning journeys that blend training, digital courses, job aids, and peer coaching.

Yesterday’s skills are a starting point, but tomorrow’s success will require more and different skills. We all need to build talents that we may not yet possess, and that is a good thing – it keeps us on our toes. It will also separate those who do well from those who only achieve mediocrity. The future of work begins now, and we can embrace it!


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January 17, 2022
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