So many companies are choosing to go remote to ensure business continuity and safety of their staff, digital skills have become vital for existing employees and new hires. It has become important for employers to upskill or re-skill their workforce so that they get the best of the digital transformation that’s taking place.
It has become important for employers to reflect on how to best equip their company, processes and their workforce for the post-pandemic world.
The digital transformation will require flexibility and acquiring additional skills for the employees if they want to grow and flourish in the new reality over the next 3-4 years.
For employees to continue working in their current job or to find a new job, to present oneself as the top talent, they need to focus on upskilling especially those skills which are going to be vital and in-demand in their chosen field.
Workplaces are definitely set to change in light of events of 2020 and with it, so will the skills that companies will need, with a pronounced focus on digital skills.
Based on our extensive conversations with employers across India and Kenya, here are some digital skills that employers should consider equipping their current workforce with and look for in prospective employees for ensuring success in the post COVID world.
Digital skills: What are they? Setting a baseline…
Digitization will heavily dominate the future of work. All companies will be digitally based to at least a certain extent if not a 100% thanks to COVID-19. Given that this new mode of operation is here to stay, digital skills will be gaining a lot of traction.
Whereas “digital skills” once meant knowing the latest coding languages or working in IT, now having a digital skillset is more inclusive. Companies are looking for employees who can succeed in digital environments, and for those who can communicate across platforms and technologies. People who can keep the digital business running and thriving despite any disruptions (calamities, pandemics, etc), will be highly sought after talent. We anticipate that having a digitally skilled talent pool is going to play a larger role in disaster preparedness planning for companies going forward.
Companies will also rely heavily on digital technologies and skills to improve the quality of the work environment and try and set up strong remote team culture aided by the right infrastructure to make work truly seamless and boundaryless.
Top Skills Employers Should Look Out For (Regardless of Role…)
Businesses will be even more reliant on technology in the future, especially as certain organizations plan to have their employees working from home until the end of the year, or even into 2021 (and beyond). Over the course of the next few months and probably even for most of 2021, businesses will be even more reliant on technology, as organizations plan to have their employees work remotely. The best way to prepare for a post-pandemic world is to acquire technology skills.
COVID-19 has already fast-tracked digital transformation in organizations worldwide to become more resilient to future disruptions to business continuity. The 2020 pandemic has also set the stage for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Adoption of new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data, Internet of Things (IoT), etc will serve to improve the resilience of the business. With the adoption of these technologies will come the demand for talent (from people working on the actual tech to people working in other departments like accounting, HR) to work with these advancements capably and effectively.
(2) Soft skills
Success in business and every day at the workplace hinges a lot on how well the team works together. And, turns out, working remotely is not the same as joining co-workers in the office. Though the best technology is available (from video conferencing and messaging through to project management) and it’s relatively easy to master, the way we work as teams has changed and will continue to change.
What’s required for success? Excellent, sound communication with new, requisite soft skills forms the bedrock. Apart from the domain-specific skills needed for the business to function, the pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the need for soft skills like communication, flexibility, self-motivation, and time management to be able for the employees to work well in tandem with others when everyone is not in the same space. These skills are especially important when it is not possible to meet fellow co-workers and clients face-to-face. Soft skills will serve to differentiate the top talent and showcase the inherent ability to work well in a remote setup.
(3) Learning mindset
35% of the skills deemed essential today will change. The only way to remain relevant and competitive in future is to invest in skilling and upskilling your workforce. Not only do the skilled employees bring additional value to the table, contributing to the growth and development of your company, it also serves to have an effect on employee engagement and retention for an organization.
There is going to be a definite race to grab the business in the post-pandemic environment where digital expertise will give the company a definite edge. By making re-skilling and upskilling the top priority, companies can avert or reduce redundancies and lay-offs in the future and protect business interests. This will help companies create a leaner and more agile team that will be able to perform multiple functions.
Reskilling and upskilling has attained new importance, particularly for start-ups & SMEs in this new economy. They will take longer to recuperate from the present crisis, so their experiments with different formats of virtual learning will continue as they seek to upskill and reskill their employees to fill up the gaps that are brought on by innovations in technology.
The pandemic will be introducing some great new opportunities and to adopt and embrace new technologies and digital skills is going to be the key to surviving and thriving in the future. Companies should optimize existing opportunities through planned growth strategies, investments and digital transformations.
The world is definitely going to witness a need for a stronger workforce with advanced skillset. The companies that will proactively invest in digital transformation and skilling of its current and prospective employees to benefit from this window of opportunity will unlock the best opportunities from this period.
It has become abundantly clear that possessing and investing in digital skills is the need of the hour. An agile workforce with the right technical skills and digital knowledge is going to help companies to stay relevant as they navigate the new world of work.
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