Skills and work: requalification needs in terms of employability for the post-Covid world

2020 has been the year of change for the whole world and especially for companies and their approach towards employees. Suddenly, digital has become the new work culture for organizations, which deepens the realization of workforce 4.0 upskilling. Many organizations have started recalling their employees to offices, for example. Infosys, TCS, and Cognizant, etc., these organizations are looking for additional and better skills in their employees.

The human resources departments of many prestigious organizations have begun to forecast the demand for new skills among the current and future workforce. This blog is an attempt to shed light on these skills, which may become the need for the 4.0 workforce. The content of the article is researched by considering different white papers, research papers and discussions between professors and students. Last month, an article by Sandeep Parasrampuria (Founder and CEO, Fingers), talked about the new technologies that will take over the world. Like virtual cloud, data on the move, involvement of robots in mundane work, automation, AI, heavy use of green energy, IoT, massive changes in personal banking and professionals, 3D printing for building construction, etc. these technological changes will require upgrading the skills of the workforce.

A few skills, which will take center stage, will be:

Digital Presence Competency: Working from home has increased the importance of digital presence. The advantage of having a virtual presence is that not only will you do your work from the comfort of your location, but you will also be able to reach a wider range of people than is physically impossible. In the near future, more importance will probably be given to virtual presence due to its scope and feasibility. The author states that by 2030, the workforce will develop the skill set required for a virtual presence, such as virtual presentation skills, conducting virtual meetings, communication skills, and science skills data will be in high demand.

Concept skills: Possessing conceptual skills allows an employee to see the organization as a whole unit. It refers to the ability to visualize the whole situation in its totality. It helps to analyze the environment and the factors governing the situation. Thus, an individual can come up with solutions to the problem.

Design thinking: Strategic planning is a key element of all areas of management. It is important that managers formulate their strategies according to the current scenario. The pandemic has forced businesses to go digital; mass digitization has helped individuals to integrate business demand and supply in the market. In the near future, the need to virtually understand business needs, provide solutions, and meet employee needs will be in high demand.

Personal skills: Interpersonal skills refer to the mental and communicative algorithms applied during communications and social interactions to achieve certain results. As the hybrid will continue, Workforce 4.0 should be extremely good and comfortable with interpersonal skills, not only offline but also online.

WFH competences: The skills of the WFH are unique. This requires a rapid shift in employee mindset. Research indicates the increased productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of employees when working from home. Companies have recognized the improved discipline, efficiency and productivity of employees during the WFH scenario and by providing them with flexible hours. The role of HR will need to evolve and understand the impact of remote working in all aspects of the employee lifecycle and tailor programs accordingly for different employee segments based on need.

Effective communication skills on the digital platform: Managers who can communicate clearly and precisely verbally or in writing and disseminate information according to the needs and characteristics of the audience are said to be effective managers. Now the same skills need to be showcased virtually to customers and employees around the world

Virtual leadership skills: Influencers and motivators are phenomenal in this skill, but now the challenge is to display these skills online or in mixed mode. Reading your audience’s body language and making changes in your communication is an art that needs to be developed by leaders, team management, conflict resolution and influencing people will all be required as leadership skills. Expert by Workforce 4.0 Leaders.

Increased focus on employee mental well-being: Although research has proven improved employee productivity during telecommuting, employees also face many challenges, including boredom and mental fatigue. Lack of social interaction has also been a contributor to the development of mental illness among employees. Organizations like GE, IOCL, etc. have developed a system to make the workplace of employees pleasant, for example, they have introduced virtual Zumba, virtual coffee meetings, virtual meditation, etc. (source, TOI: April 7, 2021). This has led organizations to strive to improve the mental health of employees and in the near future as well. The author believes that in the near future there will be more emphasis on developing the mental health of employees. Advisors, mentors and coaches will be in high demand in the near future for employee development.

Global presence in companies: Since the use of virtual presence will be greater, it will not only facilitate larger scale work, but also minimize the use of paperwork. More emphasis will be placed on the use of virtual skills such as PPT, Excel, data, analysis, etc. Global labor flexibility is likely to see an increase in current working conditions and examine the benefits of remote working, flexible hours and virtual presence.

Buddy systems will replace PMS (Performance Management System): Since the introduction of the above methods in the organization, the working conditions have also changed in the organization. This change requires employees to be trained or educated in order to keep them aware of working conditions and ensure their productivity.

Thus, most organizations risk abandoning the old traditional system of training in order to evaluate employees on the slightest changes in working conditions. New methods such as buddy systems (Google, Cargill, Accenture system (TATA) and employee empowerment programs to keep employee motivation levels high and stress under control.

Additionally, workforce teams that promote integrity as a workplace value will foster positive employee experiences, respect, and trust between employees and management. The future workforce will aim to build workplace positivity to promote hard-working employees with a moral conviction and intuition to do the right thing.

Diminishing power and politics for unions: Since the concept of working from home is on the rise, it should be the same for a few years; this will result in a reduction in the workforce in the manufacturing sectors. This will lead to union problems, however, due to the authority and power of political factors, unions will not be as strong as before.

Likewise, as working conditions move more towards automation, many worker issues and disputes will see their numbers decline.

Nature of work towards MLAI (Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence) in HR: Artificial intelligence is the need of the hour in all areas of management. Most HR functions such as compensation and benefits, performance management systems, training and development, skills mapping, etc. will begin to make extensive use of AI. Another example would be dashboard software, which the majority of companies use these days and which is integrated into all employee-operated systems. Great support is provided to employees by applying these systems, for example: providing leave requests via software and receiving updated information on upcoming events. This increases the efficiency of HR and its systems in an organization.

Research-oriented mindset: Growing demand for the research-driven mindset of employees.

Since working conditions are more likely to change and move further towards the use of mass digitization and flexible hours, the nature of work is also more likely to change. This will lead to organizational changes and will require new types of skills and training to do the job well. Labor concentration will shift towards the use of more skilled labour. Research reveals that digitally skilled workers currently make up 12% of India’s workforce and estimates that the number of workers in India needing digital skills will need to increase ninefold by 2030. Leaders will face challenges challenges to run their businesses virtually; by 2030, many skill sets will be developed for leaders where leaders will become influencers rather than supervisors. Leaders will focus more on employee transformation, influencing employees and overall employee development virtually.

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