Sustainable Employability is a hot topic among professionals who want to stay relevant in tomorrow’s employment market. It is the reason TriHD, TriFinance, and TriTechnology recently organised a Freelance Connect Event on the ‘Skills of the Future’. Along with Michel De Gieter of The Tipping Point, we considered the skills we need to focus on now more than ever.
We are delighted to present the seven takeaways that you, as an HD professional, can incorporate into your current or future Learning & Development policy.
Takeaway 1 | Focus Management
We rush from one stimulus to the next, which diverts our attention from what we really need to prioritise and frequently causes mental issues for employees. This is a heartfelt appeal to pay more attention to focus management, because companies with focused employees have the advantage.
Takeaway 2 | Critical Thinking
Extensive automation and AI mean that systematic thinking is disappearing. Besides, today’s world is characterised by information overload, with no end of highly questionable information circulating: ‘fake news’, for example. It goes without saying that organisations need to hone their employees’ critical and creative thinking skills.
Takeaway 3 | Helicopter View
We are evolving towards employees enjoying more autonomy and start-to-finish responsibilities. Even employees not yet accustomed to looking at the bigger picture will have to learn to take a helicopter view.
Takeaway 4 | Digital Skills
We don’t all need to become IT specialists, but we do need the will and desire to keep up with the times. This means more than just being able to use the tools and technologies that are relevant to our jobs: we also need to be able to assess the risks of technology better. Employees can develop these skills by learning to experiment with technology and not being afraid to make mistakes.
Takeaway 5 | Connecting with Others
Connecting with others is becoming hugely important in a world with less hierarchy, more transversal structures (and hence more collaboration with others), and more project-based work (which means having to collaborate with different people for each project). People who readily seek connection, solicit feedback, and can communicate with others to learn who they are and how they feel will get faster results in these environments.
Takeaway 6 | Lifelong Learning
A growth mindset is becoming even more crucial. The more flexible and eager you are to learn, the easier it will be to adapt. We recommend that L&D professionals unfamiliar with this topic get acquainted with Carol Dweck’s readings on the subject.
Takeaway 7 | Self-Regulation
Being self-aware and knowing how to adjust to change and stress, for example, are typical qualities of people who score high on self-regulation. The more self-aware you are, the easier it will be to cope with change. If you can recognise your own areas of resistance, you can adapt your behaviour accordingly. Besides, the world is less predictable than it once was. You personally shape your career path instead of it being dictated by, say, family traditions. In fact, the more you commit to self-management, the better you will be able to cope with these uncertainties and maintain your mental/physical balance. So, focus on this as an organization.
Do the test in your own company. Does your L&D policy include all of the skills described above? Is your business ready to face the future?