The workplace today is far different than it was even five years ago. The pandemic, constant evolution of technology, and artificial intelligence have fundamentally changed how we work. Yes, technical skills are still an important part of the job, be it finance, legal, or software development, but in today’s environment, what are the top skills for the workplace that everyone needs?
A recent article from Korn Ferry looks at five skills that C-suite leaders believe employees at any level should develop to succeed in tomorrow’s evolving workplace.
The ability to adapt quickly to changes in the workplace has become a necessary skill. Company strategy can pivot seemingly overnight, and your ability to quickly understand and engage in the new direction is important for your career path and the company.
Daniel Goleman states, “An adaptable leader can meet new challenges as they arise and not be halted by sudden change, remaining comfortable with uncertainty. Being adaptable means you’re less emotionally triggered by unexpected events. When a problem arises, you don’t dwell on how difficult it is, but rather quickly shift to search for solutions—communicating with your team about next steps and creating a strategy for action.”
Another fundamental skill set is working together on your team, cross-functionally, and with partners. Collaboration is a sign of good workplace culture and strong company values. Employees who embrace a “we” mindset instead of their agenda can help improve the innovation and decision-making at the company.
Communicating effectively is an excellent skill for aspiring leaders in the organization. It goes beyond being a great writer or confident speaker. You also have to be persuasive and make your point clearly and quickly for your specific audience if you want to have an impact. This takes time, as illustrated by this famous quote, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”
Additionally, much of our communication at work is immediate or in real-time. It could be in a meeting, by email, in a chat, in a text, or in a Slack message. Thus, it’s essential to be aware of what you’re communicating, internally and externally, so you’re not sharing privileged information.
According to the article, “there are five types of critical thinking: strategic, tactical, analytical, innovative and implicative (a decision-making approach that compares multiple outcome paths).” Developing the ability to switch between these different types is another skill set that is highly desired by leadership. The ability to see the big picture and make connections can drive meaningful change.
Picking up on how other people feel and see the world has become a critical skill set that has not historically been given the attention it deserves. Solution Design Global Vice President David Marzo states, “With the rise of generative AI, empathy is taking on even greater importance. For some people, there’s a fear that AI could take away their job, threaten their livelihood and undermine their ability to care for their family. Empathetic leaders will be sensitive to these concerns and de-mystify potential impacts, helping them see their place on the team.”
Connecting with people by understanding their points of view, showing genuine interest in their thinking, and interacting with respect builds trust and value.
Consider skill-building professional development initiatives to ensure you get the best out of your employees. It can help your workforce focus on their strengths. You could also conduct a skills assessment to help people find hidden skills. Understanding where employees want to grow and building a strong culture can support your company’s skill development program.
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