Skill Sets in a Post-Pandemic World: Tips for Employees and Employers
The recent global pandemic has forced many companies to change the ways they work. The resulting trends have accelerated the demand for new skills to meet the current job market needs. Yet, capturing the skill shifts in the market is not a task for employees only. Employers should also help their personnel prepare for the changes and motivate them for training and career development.
In this article, we will touch upon Covid-19’s impact on the job market. Also, we will cover some tips for both employees and employers to embrace these changes and build a stronger business.
How COVID-19 has reskilled employees: four key areas
Covid-19 has drastically influenced the job market by changing the ways employees get hired and work, and the skills they should nurture to succeed in their careers. Some of these changes have been challenging, while others have had a positive impact. Generally, many people have embraced their work-life balance and started working more efficiently. A survey conducted by Statista proves it—73% of respondents believe they are more efficient when working remotely.
The other side of this coin is that remote work dictates new rules and accelerates the need to enhance skills, from digital and cognitive to social and emotional, including resilience and adaptability. Let’s discover the importance of all four skill areas.
Digital skills: expanding the ability to operate at pace in a fully digital environment
As remote work becomes the new normal, additional technical skills will be crucial to effectively operate in this new reality. By having basic digital skills, such as being safe and legal online or handling information and content, employees will feel comfortable within their organization’s ecosystem and will be able to communicate with clients, partners, or suppliers seamlessly.
Cognitive skills: developing cognitive skills for redesign and innovation
Fully operating in a rapidly changing business environment, with increased autonomy and remote work, requires more refined cognitive skills. Enhanced creativity, design thinking, innovation, and problem-solving are a must to take on the challenges and adapt to the changes.
Social and emotional skills: strengthening soft skills to ensure effective collaboration, management, and self-expression
Building and maintaining solid professional ties is impossible without strengthening social, emotional, and interpersonal skills. They play a major role in building rapport, creating strong client relationships, supporting employees, or driving change.
Adaptability and resilience: enhancing adaptability and resilience to thrive during COVID-19 aftershocks and beyond
These skills are essential to succeed in a constantly changing business environment. To build them, employees should use their new experiences as a source of learning and strengthen their abilities to manage time, work-life balance, and their own mental wellness. Employers, in turn, should support their employees to build self-reliance and self-confidence.
Now that you know the main areas employees should be addressing, the question arises: what are the skills employers look for? Let’s examine some tips for both employees and employers to help them better operate in this rapidly changing world.
Tips for employees: how to become a better employee in a post-pandemic world
Covid-19 has left its mark on almost every aspect of our lives. Even after the pandemic is over, many of the resulting changes will remain, especially those felt in the job market. It also relates to the skills that employers look for in employees—soft skills can now be even more vital than professional ones.
Let’s break down the six major skill areas that will come in handy irrespective of your professional responsibilities.
Whether it’s your colleagues, superiors, or customers, effective communication is paramount regardless of the industry you work in. The three main aspects of effective communication include:
- Being a good listener
- Saying what you want clearly and directly
- Writing coherently
The last one is especially important in a remote work environment when responding to emails promptly, following up, asking questions, and effectively maintaining correspondence with co-workers.
Analytical and problem-solving skills
Thinking analytically and focusing on possible solutions rather than problems is essential for developing practical problem-solving skills. Having the proper focus helps prevent negative “emotional blocks” when looking for an answer. In many cases, there could be several ways to solve a problem. So it’s essential to be open-minded and see the pros and cons of each approach and choose the one that is the best fit.
Flexibility and adaptability
The job market after Covid-19 has proved that flexibility and adaptability are essential skills for employees across the globe. Planning is good practice, but when something contradicts the original plan, these two skills become indispensable. Being flexible and able to adapt shows that you're prepared and reliable. Employees who have confidence in their skills, their team, and most importantly, themselves are more likely to succeed within their organization.
Self-motivation is one of the key skills needed to work from home. It pushes employees to be productive even when no supervisors are hovering. By having strong self-motivation skills, employees can be productive when working independently and can ensure they complete their tasks in time.
Regardless of the job, great teamwork skills are what many employers expect when hiring new team members. They indicate your ability to work together with others and to produce great results collectively. People who are friendly, cooperative, and easy to deal with are much more likely to get a job and find success than professionals who prefer to work alone.
Ability to organize and prioritize
Proper time management is a skill that isn’t tied to one particular task or job. Instead, it’s the ability to classify tasks based on specified criteria. It requires prioritizing by identifying which of the tasks need to be done first. This way, you can ensure that the most critical tasks are done even if you lack time to complete everything from your list.
Tips for employers: how to motivate and encourage your employees to develop new skills
Encouraging employees to learn and develop new skills is a must for any employer to foster business growth. It’s a way to prepare the workforce for changes that may occur in your particular sphere as well as in the global economy. Besides, when employees feel motivated, they are more likely to stay in the company.
If you are wondering how to develop employees to their full potential, here are five tips that could come in handy.
Involve employees in goal setting
This activity is crucial to teach your employees to work as a team, organize, and prioritize. Try to adopt a collaborative approach to goal setting rather than having management establish all objectives. Managers can share overall departmental goals, then guide employees to reflect on their work.
Develop train-the-trainer sessions
Your employees may have great experience to share but are lacking skills in design, or in developing or delivering instructions. Remove that barrier by offering “train-the-trainer” sessions a couple of times each year. Such experience will help your employees build the leadership and communication skills they need to succeed.
Implement cross-departmental training
Cross-departmental training helps employees:
- Better understand how the company works
- Develop firsthand knowledge of how their work impacts other departments
In addition, such training helps identify specific areas that could be refined and improves cross-departmental ties.
Be a role model via active participation
Inspire your employees to learn new skills and promote personal and professional growth by your example. Actions, not words, are what motivates your employees most. Be a role model by never missing learning opportunities, and inspire your employees to do the same. Promoting learning behavior will positively impact the perception of your company as an environment where professional development is valued at all levels.
Create a development plan
To foster continuous professional growth, discuss and create a development plan with your employees. A development plan is an outline including:
- Skills your employees will need to enhance or develop their career
- Classes or courses recommended for professional or personal development t
- New responsibilities which may help career progression within the company
Here are four main tasks for you to create a development plan:
- Set employees’ goals
- Determine the skills your personnel needs to develop
- Provide the resources they need
- Follow up with your employees to check their progress
Creating personal development plans is vital to ensure that employees grow personally to achieve more in the workplace and meet your company goals.
The post-pandemic world is dictating new ways of operating, where the remote model has become routine. This new reality requires new skills from employees and employers to adapt to the changes and continue to grow.
Digital skills, adaptability, and resilience have already become fundamental, irrespective of industry or individual employees’ roles. To keep up with the rapid pace of change, companies and employers should help and motivate their workforce to embrace new skills to foster their company growth.
We at MagicHire always perform a background check before hiring a candidate for you. Our recruiters investigate each candidate’s skills, check their personality, identify the motivation behind their self-development plan, and feedback from their colleagues. If you are struggling to find your perfect candidate, contact us, and we’ll do that for you.