It’s no secret that the way businesses operate has been disrupted forever. As the R.E.M. song goes, “It’s the end of the world as we know it… and I feel fine!”

Businesses aren’t the only ones that have had to pivot to meet the demands of the “New Normal”; employees have had to upskill as well. 

Let’s take a look at three 'power skills', formerly known as soft skills, that HR and Change Managers will need to help employees improve, to meet the needs of a changing landscape.

Skill 1: Enhanced communication skills

With many employees still working from home and likely to continue for the foreseeable future, there is greater demand for effective communication skills. Now that video calls are the norm, it’s much harder to read body language and facial expressions, especially when there are multiple people on the call. So it’s more difficult to pick up when someone is confused, upset or unsure about what is being discussed. 

Not being in the office also means that staff members can’t just pop their head in their supervisor's office to seek or offer clarification. Furthermore, supervisors need to be kept in the loop on employee’s progress, productivity and challenges they may be facing. Whether verbal or written, everything has to be articulated clearly and concisely to avoid ambiguity and misinformation.

When choosing a learning program that will help your employees to improve upon their communication skills, ask yourself: Does the program offer real life communication scenarios for employees to tackle? Is the program user-friendly and relevant? Does it nudge the employee to practice and improve skills? In short: does it activate advanced communication skills?

Skill 2: Adaptability

Looking back at the past year, it’s obvious that employees have had to adapt to a new world order, literally overnight. Yet, it’s still not over and who knows what further disruptions the future may bring? 

The adaptability of employees is essential in helping businesses to make quick pivots when necessary and to rise to new challenges. No one has a crystal ball. Will your employees still be relevant to your business in two, three or five years? How much do you need to invest to ensure continuity and a workforce that can meet any challenge thrown at them?

When considering programs to help employees become more adaptable, ask yourself: Is the program able to engage employees with insightful and paradigm-shifting content? Does it guide them to dig deep within themselves and embrace behavior change, no matter how uncertain the future? In short, does it activate adaptability behaviors? 

Skill 3: Analytical thinking

Whether it’s being aware of cyber security threats or anticipating more streamlined ways of working, employees need to be able to operate effectively in an almost entirely digital environment. They need to develop their analytical skills to help find solutions to problems, new and old, to help businesses remain agile and competitive. 

In today’s environment, all problems are every employee's problems. Passing the buck is no longer an option.When investigating learning programs that help to upskill your employees, ask yourself: Does the program promote deep, analytical thinking through reflection? Does it develop creativity and encourage workers to think in new ways? In short, does it activate critical and creative thinking?

Whatever the demands and challenges of your business, never has there been a time when the need for a robust talent strategy is as pressing. Stay tuned next week, when we explore three more essential Power Skills for the Workforce of tomorrow.