The COVID pandemic has taught us a lot about ourselves. It has also shown employers just how much work can be completed remotely. As the world shifts again with the vaccine rollout, the coming months will be a bit of a transition time for employees and employers alike. This means that changing skill sets will be important.
Let’s look at some of the skills employees will need post-COVID:
- Resilience. COVID has caused stress even for those who didn’t contract the virus. Everything about our lives was suddenly upended, and there was nothing but uncertainty about what would come next, creating stress for everyone. Being resilient in the face of an ever-changing situation is therefore critical.
- Technology basics. With technology as the basis for our ability to stay connected during the pandemic, it should be no surprise that comfortability with emerging technology continues to be important for employees. New software and apps seem to come out every day, and as employers discover the ones that will help their businesses thrive, the expectation is that employees will be comfortable learning and utilizing new tech just as quickly.
- Empathy and emotional intelligence. Empathy doesn’t always come naturally in a business setting, but it can be learned. We’re all dealing with situations we haven’t faced before, and a little empathy can go a long way. Read more here.
- Cross-training. This isn’t a specific skill and can mean different things in different organizations, but the overall point is that employees need to have skills that enable them to assist in other areas and cover for their coworkers during absences. One thing the pandemic made clear is that life can change quickly, and we need to prepare when we can.
- Creativity and problem-solving. While these skills have always been important, another COVID lesson is that the unexpected can happen, and we sometimes have to get creative to meet deadlines and get everything done when things change. These skills will continue to be critical as we navigate the changes in the months ahead and figure out what the workplace will look like in the future.
- Technology—beyond basics. Basic tech skills are important for almost everyone to have, but businesses will need some individuals who have tech skills that go well beyond the basics in order to stay ahead of the curve. Organizations should consider whether their IT team is poised to lead the company into the digital future, and if not, they should determine now what the skills gaps are and work on development or recruiting initiatives to fill those gaps. Possible in-demand skills include security, coding/programming, app development and deployment, data analytics and visualization, and artificial intelligence/automation.
This list just a starting point. What other skills might you need to either train for or hire for in the coming months? What are your plans for upskilling the workforce post-COVID?