Those who are successful today tend to have the same skills in common. These skills set them apart and make them valuable in their respective industries. As the world of work is changing so rapidly the future is just around the corner. This blog takes you through what the in-demand skills of tomorrow are expected to be.
Artificial Intelligence vs Human Intelligence
Before we get started, let’s address the elephant in the room. It’s almost impossible to discuss the future of work without mentioning artificial intelligence and the impact it’s expected to have on future jobs.
While it’s true that much of the future workforce can be augmented with artificial intelligence, there are still some areas that are best left to humans.
Artificial intelligence relies on data science to learn, while humans rely on adaptive learning experiences; the delivery of custom learning strategies that address the unique needs of the individual. This remains a more thorough and holistic approach to learning in many industries.
This podcast from the World Economic Forum however, will leave you with perhaps more questions than answers. It suggests that we need to work together on how we control AI. Perhaps there will be a time when robots will take over the world, but in the meantime, let’s work on making our skills future proof.
What are Workplace Skills?
Hard skills, or technical skills, refer to industry or job-specific abilities. For example, digital skills, data analysis, coding, bookkeeping, sonography, carpentry, etc.
These are skills that are developed through dedicated training and are prerequisites for many jobs.
Soft skills, also known as personal or social skills, aren’t specific to an industry or role, but are often included in a job description and indicate your ability to work well with others and function in the workplace.
For example, communication skills, organisational skills, problem-solving skills, verbal communication, emotional intelligence, logical reasoning, etc.
These skills are generally developed through life experience and will vary depending on personality.
Developing Employability Skills
The type of hard skills you have will depend largely on your training and the industry in which you work. And while these skills are important, it’s crucial that you also develop the soft skills required to adapt to the changing workforce.
There are ways to develop these essential skills to enhance your chances of having a successful career. The first step is having a growth mindset and welcoming opportunities for learning. Read this blog for some stella careers advice.
We are going to take a look at the key skills required for success in the future workplace:
Communication is more than just a crucial skill in life. It is required in nearly every job across all industries. Research has shown that 70% of mistakes made in business are due to poor workplace communication!
Having good interpersonal communication skills establishes trust, eliminates unnecessary issues, increases engagement, enhances relationships and workplace performance, and helps ensure tasks are completed more efficiently and with fewer hurdles.
With so many different ways to communicate including written (via email, text, workplace messaging apps, reports, briefs. etc) and verbal (face-to-face, on the phone, or via video call), being able to communicate effectively has become more important than ever.
But how do you do it?
One of the most important parts of effective communication is listening. When speaking with someone, stop and listen to what they are saying. If you are unsure, ask for clarification. Still unsure, ask again.
It works the same in reverse – don’t assume that the person you are communicating with understands you. Encourage questions and double-checking. If you are not being understood, explain what you need in another way. This alone will go a long way in minimising errors.
Pay close attention to the way you communicate. Are you providing all the required information and support for the people on your team to work effectively?
Recognising your strengths and weaknesses will go a long way toward self-improvement.
When you think of being organised at work, do you picture a neat and tidy desk? If you do, great! Having an orderly workstation does help. But it’s more than that.
Being organised allows you to use the resources you have efficiently and effectively. This includes being able to handle time management and your workload to avoid issues meeting deadlines. Being able to identify objectives and prioritise tasks goes a long way toward achieving your goals. We will be working in a much more disjointed working environment, connected with digital apps, planes, trains and automobiles. If you’re not organised, you wont last long in a the future economy.
But being organised doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you have a hard time with self-management and staying on top of your daily tasks and priorities, try the following:
- Remove clutter regularly
- Write To-Do Lists
- Create a schedule
Keeping a record on paper, or using an online project management solution like Asana can help transform even the most unorganised person into a regular Marie Kondo (she’s the most organised person in the world – seriously, Google it!).
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
No matter how well you can communicate with your team, and how organised you are, there’s bound to be problems from time to time that need solving.
Having good problem solving and critical thinking skills means that you can identify and understand a challenge, and take the steps required to find solutions.
Developing these skills can be an ongoing process, and is generally accompanied by a combination of analytical and creative thinking, as well as the ability to make decisions and the level of confidence a person has.
And while this skill doesn’t come so naturally to some, there’s definitely ways to improve it:
- Take a deep breath.
- Make sure you understand the problem. Only then can you find the right solutions.
- Create a plan. This will include detailed steps of how you will address the problem and can be in list format, drawn-out or in chart form.
- Involved others where applicable to execute the plan.
- Evaluate the process. What went wrong? What went right? How can this problem be avoided in the future? How can you improve your problem solving for next time?
While there are some problems that will require immediate action, following these steps will provide you with the skills needed to solve problems and make executive decisions in order to come up with innovative solutions.
You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader, although good business managers can bring out the best in their team while motivating them to work toward a shared goal. For instance, being able to give constructive feedback in a way that encourages people’s creativity is crucial.
Having emotional and social intelligence means understanding the needs and wants of others and goes a long way toward creating a positive work environment and gaining respect and trust from your team.
Effective leaders also tend to have a strong sense of self and are confident in their abilities.
If you feel your leadership style needs some improvement, consider the following:
- Self reflect. Do you over-praise and not offer enough constructive criticism? Determine what your weaknesses are and try to improve on them.
- Create goals for the team, and work to achieve them! This will help with your decision making and create a sense of pride for the team when accomplished.
- Learn from your mistakes. A true leader is not afraid of being wrong. Being honest about it is a great way to demonstrate to the team that you are constantly improving and you encourage them to do the same.
Like any new skill, this won’t be learned overnight. But it’s worth the effort. The ability to manage a team and positively influence them while contributing toward a positive culture that encourages growth is a recipe for success!
First, let’s get one thing straight – being resilient doesn’t mean allowing yourself to be taken advantage of or repeatedly subjected to a hostile environment. Rather, it is the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life, and overcome challenges.
In the workplace, this can mean balancing a heavy workload and meeting tight deadlines, or interacting with frustrating coworkers.
Those with resilience are more flexible, adaptable, better equipped to manage stress and conflict, and are more likely to have a support network in place to help them deal with the pressure associated with work. They are also able to learn from their experiences and ask for help when they need it.
To improve your own resilience, have some coping strategies in place. Focusing on mindfulness and good mental health can work wonders.
Though one of the lesser-known soft skills, enterprise skills help you identify opportunities and use them to your advantage. This is particularly useful when developing and implementing business concepts.
Those with strong enterprise skills tend to be optimistic and can make the most of any situation. They are innovative and always come up with new ideas and strategies to help their business or company stay ahead of the game.
As with many soft skills, creativity, productivity, communication, decision making, and strong attention to detail go hand in hand with enterprise skills.
This refers to the more practical, generalised ability to interact with and complete tasks using technology.
Unlike coding or web design, which are specialised hard skills that require extensive training, having technology skills means you have enough knowledge to efficiently use the computers, programs, equipment or tools required to do your job.
For example, Microsoft Office is the most used tool for word processing and is often a pre-requisite on job applications. Make sure you are versed in both Apple and Android products although Apple is renowned for making things “easy to use”. You will need a level of digital literacy if it is a computer-based job. While there are courses you can take to familiarise yourself with, or even master this skill, experience is most often gained through repeated use. Start using digital tools that are relevant for your career.
The World Economic Forum
So, what are skills that will be in demand in the future of work? They’re the skills you’ll need to do your job, not only on an interpersonal level but also to keep up with emerging technologies.
Whether gained through life and work experience, or through dedicated training, these skills are essential and are what employers will be looking for in the job candidates of the future.
If you are curious about this topic I would make the World Economic Forum a place to get your info.
To find out how you can use Cloud Assess to close the skills gaps and up-skill your employees to keep them future-ready, click here.