BusinessDay

The future of work – Soft skills (2)

Welcome to the weekend. I love that I write for the weekend. Everybody or should I say almost everybody looks forward to the weekend. All our weekends are calmer than they used to be which is good for us all except those whose business is for us to be active at the weekend. I am expecting to see a lot of creativity around this and indeed we are already seeing a lot of creativity around this already.

This week we are continuing with talking about the importance of soft skills in the current and post Covid-19 workplace.

Creativity and Innovation are key. Creativity is the ability to perceive the world in new ways and it has played a key role in the development of the future of work. Creative thinking often leads to innovation (cellphones, robots, streaming services, etc.) and with new data available to companies, those who are able to think creatively and act on their ideas will likely lead companies to success in the future.

These are the individuals who are most likely to find new business, products, service, or investment opportunities. More importantly, the future of work will require new ways of thinking from professionals because it will combine machines, humans, and other technologies.

For example, in these covid-19 times, caterers came up with beautifully packaged food boxes to be delivered to friends and family because there was no gathering by law.

Complex problem-solving believe it or not is a soft skill.

The problems and challenges of the future will be more complex than the ones companies face today — they will combine different elements of technology, environment, humans, data, etc. As technology continues to evolve and advance, new sets of problems will emerge; the same goes for new job positions. Professionals will need to develop complex problem-solving skills to help companies overcome the challenges of the future, taking into consideration the vast amounts of information and data that will then be available.

Read Also: The future of work Soft skills (1)

Emotional Intelligence is key going forward, as we have discussed at length before. The ability of staff to be aware of, understand, control, and express their feelings and emotions as well as those of others will give them and the organisation by extension, a competitive advantage in the future. Especially considering that machines are still behind humans in this particular aspect. Emotional intelligence is particularly important because the future of work is collaborative, and a strong emotional intelligence in staff means the organisation is better able to connect, interact, and work with others.

In the future, professionals will communicate with humans and machines, making communication skills even more critical than they are today. In the future, it’ll become highly important for workers to be able to communicate their views, ideas, solutions, etc. effectively and through a variety of channels (written word, audio, video, visuals, etc.). In this sense, storytelling will become a very desirable skill for businesses, especially considering it can help brands connect with audiences and help companies establish a sense of loyalty and trust with clients and consumers. It can also help companies set the tone for the corporate culture.

Time is an expensive resource, especially now that the lines between work and life have merged or at best have become blurred. Time management will be a critical soft skill in the future of work as the traditional 9 to 5 work hours become obsolete and people work whenever works best for them. It is, therefore, crucial to have a strong grasp on how your staff spend their time (whether for work or for their personal lives). Time management skills help prevent burnout, stress, and anxiety, all of which contribute to strong emotional intelligence.

Great customer service is what sets apart good companies from great ones. Being able to deal with clients and consumers in a professional, friendly, and empathy-driven manner will provide companies and professionals with a competitive advantage, especially as consumers worldwide increasingly demand unique experiences rather than products or services. There really is no better alternative to authentic human interactions. Almost all companies in Nigeria have to work on this aspect of their brands.

Leadership will be a key skill in the future of work as more companies embrace remote teams and flexible working policies. Strong leaders will be those that are able to motivate, inspire, and guide employees even when they’re not physically in the same place. Leadership will also play an important role in problem-solving and innovation.

Many people have these skills but don’t know how to use them. Many don’t have these skills but can acquire them through training. How are you preparing your organisation for the future of work? It should not only be by technological purchases but should also by training your employees.

Have a great weekend.

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