“2020 has seen the biggest sea-change to the world of work for a generation. In a matter of months, companies the world over have had to rapidly adjust to entirely new ways of working. As we acclimatise to a new normal, the key challenges for business are not technical or logistical, but emotional. How can we ensure that teams are communicating and collaborating effectively when they may be miles apart and doing so primarily through digital channels? How can we empower managers to provide the empathy, emotional support and leadership required to help their teams achieve their full potential? And how can we ensure the entire workforce possesses the resilient growth mindset they need to adapt to a rapidly (and permanently) changing world?
While the world’s main focus has been on building technical skills due to our social and technological progress, upskilling on soft skills has taken a back seat. Ironically, a study by Deloitte stated that two-thirds of jobs will be soft-skill intensive by 2030, and that “the average worker is missing around 2 of the 18 critical skills that are advertised for a job.”
It’s quite clear that if we want ourselves (and our teams) to thrive in the world of work, we need to be aware of the essential skills.
LinkedIn Learning used the power of their Economic Graph to determine the skills that companies need most, and at the very top of the list was creativity.
This is because technology is replacing many of the monotonous, process-driven tasks that don’t require much creativity to perform, so it’s crucial that we are able to remain creative – to think out the box.
Don’t worry, creativity doesn’t just entail artists, graphic designers, writers or painters – creativity doesn’t mean artistry. An artist can be creative, but so can a mathematician, an engineer, a salesperson or a CEO. At its core, if you’re able to see something in a new way, you’ll be able to be creative.
For those of you who still battle to conjure up creativity in your day job, I recently read a brilliant article about James Cartwright – a writer who was spending an extraordinary amount of time staring at a screen. He started dedicating a part of his working week to baking, as a creative outlet that gave him a break from the blue light.
- Growth mindset
My last blog post explained how important it is to adopt a growth mindset to succeed in our new normal. It sounds a bit too self-help-book-oriented for my liking, but it’s an authentic concept that involves experiencing your difficult emotions in healthy amounts in order to accept reality and adapt to change.
Carol Dweck, American psychologist, and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, defines a growth mindset as a belief that intelligence and talent can grow with time, experience, and effort. When people believe their intelligence and talents can be cultivated in order to succeed, they put in extra time, leading to greater achievement.
As Dweck describes flawlessly: “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”
Forbes looked at the changing face of leadership and concluded that the tech industry – the fastest-growing industry, yet the industry who place very few resources into developing leaders – has the most significant leadership failure rate, with four out of 10 leaders failing.
I loved Employment Hero’s leadership list, with leaders needing to learn the following skills:
- Public speaking
- Delegating (The art of delegating)
- Communication (3 dos so you don’t get lost in communication)
- How to take ownership of the task at hand
Behind our yellow door, we’re proud to say that we focus heavily on these soft skills, with consistent 1-on-1 meetings to discuss our performance and any concerns, quarterly skills meetings, weekly brainstorms, and monthly reviews.
With technology leading the way in every industry, it’s essential that we keep our soft skills up to scratch. As Chief Executive Officer Richard Deutsch from Deloitte Australia wisely said: “People, and their unique interpersonal and creative skills, will be central to the future of work. How we structure this future, and prepare our workers, will say a lot about us as a society. Our decisions now will be a key driver of our economic success.”
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