COVID-19 has changed the world of work forever. Working from home has become the norm for millions of people across the world. The pandemic has also placed a spotlight on employee wellbeing and burnout.
As a result, talent experts PSI explored what impact the disruption of COVID-19 – combined with a longer-term trend of digital transformation in the workplace – will have on the future of work and considered what will be the most important workplace skills over the next decade.
Based on more than 10,000 360-degree assessments with PSI’s clients from across the world — as well as analysis by the World Economic Forum — the company identified seven key competencies that will help staff succeed in the future of work.
The key competencies for the next decade focus on flexibility in how employees think, and adaptability to changing circumstances – and particularly embracing further digitalization – and staff managing their own wellbeing.
PSI’s analysis suggests that so-called soft skills will be central to individuals continuing to be robust and resilient in the future of work – thereby enabling people to not only survive but thrive at work.
In addition, PSI is very clear that the future will see more inclusive and diverse organizations, therefore it is not surprising that embracing diversity is a core skill for the future. Remember: diverse organizations are often the most financially successful ones.
Comparing with PSI 2010s competencies
These competencies for the 2020s differ substantially from those PSI identified 10 years ago.
While five of the seven skills for the 2010s focused on people-focused elements of performance, this is not the case for the next decade. Instead, the 2020s list focuses on social aspects of work performance and on the ability of employees to react to future changes in the world of work.
This links closely with the fact that a new workplace disruption is on the horizon. As COVID-19 vaccination campaigns ramp up and the healthcare crisis eases, companies need to figure out what works best for their staff in terms of flexible and hybrid working.
PSI’s report concludes by saying: “None of us can be sure what the future will bring. However, it is clear that the work context will continue to be fluid, disruptive and fast moving.
“If individuals can demonstrate these seven competencies […] then they will offer a robust foundation for successful performance across a wide range of jobs globally as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Organizations should consider keeping these competencies in the forefront of their minds as they update and evolve their talent acquisition and development processes, to help build a future-ready workforce.”