The Future of Work Capsules: Know the currency for the future workplace

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Baptista Sarah Gebu (Mrs.)

Skills are the currency needed now for the modern and future workplace. Which skills set do you poses? The advent of the new normal is pushing global economies to thinking and working on quick adjustments for the future. As work continues to evolve so will skills continue to be the currency of the future workplace. In our time today, skills have still been voted the currency for the modern workplace aside evolving with work into the future.

Skills are the talent needed in order to do a job or a task. Job skills allow you to do a particular job whiles life skills help you through everyday tasks.  It might take determination and practice, but almost any skill can be learned or improved. On the other hand, skills are things that you can do or abilities that you require.  It is worth knowing that soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you work. They include how you interact with colleagues, solve problems, and manage your work.

The new normal is introducing technology transformation to the future workplace. Technology is altering the workplace and fundamentally changing the way companies around the world are hiring talent. Smart hiring strategies are now been considered and adopted.  Skills, be it technological and or “human” skills – are quickly becoming the new professional currency, a benchmark by which managers and human resource leaders are evaluating candidates. What skills set do you possess?

It is worth considering working towards developing these top ten skills for 2025. According to the World Economic Forum these skills will be in greater demand by the year 2025. Analytical thinking and innovation, active learning and learning strategies, complex problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis, creativity, originality and initiative, leadership and social influence, technology use, monitoring and control, technology design and programming, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility, reasoning, problem-solving and ideation. We need these types of skills in as its evident life is all about problem solving. As work policies for remote working for instance is becoming attractive with many working from home; self-management will be a key skill you need to stand up tall. So will working with people and the use of technology for development.

The future of work and businesses appears as a theoretical concept to some persons. However, the exponential pace of change today is making this thinking and questions impossible to ignore. Trends are changing the way businesses operate globally. We need to consider and posses the acceptable currency needed to trade for the future which is evolving even today before our very eyes. Work flexibility, pay transparency among others as changing trends to be considered as well. These trends will be in high demand. How flexible your work is supports the employee wellbeing as well as the concept of work – balance. Working remotely hitherto was practiced by a hand full of international organizations. These multi-nationals with employees working from rural and urban settings; do appreciate the ease and flexibility this offers. On the other hand, it appears some local organizations perceived this whole conversation as a borrowed concept not applicable in Ghana and by extension Africa until the corona-virus pandemic introduced the new normal that made global economies appreciate this discourse fully. However, though this was accepted; many mangers enjoyed micromanaging their local and field teams and will hesitate to approve a remote working schedule whereas they will and can work remotely themselves. A situation which does not promote fairness. The future workplace from today is supporting hybrid professionals to enjoy among other things, remote working. To be successful in this regards, you need to possess adequate skills set that will enable you succeed in your operations and endevour. Despite recent setbacks accompanying changing trends, global economies have now recognized and easily identify with this new trend.

Due to shift in knowledge and education most employees with the relevant and adequate skills sets must be available and ready when employers demand their skills. How ready are you today? How then can one stay relevant without this adequate and available skill sets? Prepare as a hybrid professional to put your skills in great demand now and in the future.

Automation and technological change will transform the workplace and businesses now and into the future, bringing opportunities to its wake. Businesses role is a key element in this evolving debate on the concept of the future of work. Employees’ key role will be the possession of relevant, adequate and available skill set. Train yourself to be always ready.

Though automation has the potential to reduce errors, increase speed and quality and cut costs; it also has the potential to create large-scale mistakes, crowd out mid-sized companies and cause job losses. Automation will likely impact most jobs involving highly structured physical activity in predictable environments, such as manufacturing and retail, alongside data collection and processing. At the same time, skilled workers will also find automation replacing prior routine-intensive tasks, potentially boosting their productivity as put forward by the international labour organization in its recent report document “a powerful and balance voice for business”. However, automation cannot poses and develop soft skills.

Technological advancements equally is reshaping Africa’s agricultural sector in helping it pioneer a new agro-business strategy. Automation is replacing many jobs traditionally done by farm labourers such as harvesting and crop sorting. But technology is also helping small landowners to share resources to limit expenditures and thus increase the size of their businesses, replacing some of the jobs lost to automation. Train yourself with the right and adequate skills both – soft and technical to put you in high demand.

Just as technology connects people across the globe, it also connects companies and enables global economic integration. Globally, employers and businesses are increasingly encountering challenges in locating, hiring and retaining talent. This difference may be due to varying levels of familiarity with a culture of up-skilling and reskilling, which needs to be further promoted in emerging economies. The skills gap can profoundly affect a company’s ability to scale, innovate and compete.

Strategies to address the gap include apprenticeship, specific training programs on current educational institutions. Let’s make it feel and think encouraging for businesses to provide apprenticeships, on-the-job training and work experience for young people to help boost the pool of skilled workers.

While improving skills requires investment and new approaches, the long-term necessity is apparent to business leaders. The competition for talent can hinder those businesses that cannot recruit skilled employees, whether due to their inability to offer comparative salaries or benefits, or to a simple lack of available talent in their sector. As an employee, be informed that skills are the currency for the modern and future workplace. Re-orient yourself about some skills both soft and hard  most in- demand for any industry or field to include; time management, effective communication, emotional intelligence, conflict management, teamwork skills, stress management, problem-solving, productivity & organization, critical thinking, attention to detail, adaptability among others.

Are you in management? Or working currently as a manager; possessing the right  skills – soft and hard is needed not only to get your job done but to also enhance employee and company productivity in the long run. Consider these if in management; Six Sigma techniques, Porter’s Five Forces, PESTEL , Emotional Intelligence, Dealing with work-related stress, Motivation, Task delegation, People management, Business Development, Strategic Management, Negotiation, Planning, Proposal writing, Problem-solving as well as Innovation. How adequate is the currency you posess in this modern to future workplace. Be agile.

Look no further for support in navigating your way through in management, policy design and assessment of soft skills as a vital trend for the future. FoReal HR Services is available to offer professional business support in this regards. Write to us today [email protected] Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313. We are available virtually as well.

Baptista is a human resource professional with a broad generalist background. Building a team of efficient & effective workforce is her business. Affecting lives is her calling!  She is an HR Generalist, strategic planner, innovative, professional connector and a motivator. You can reach her via e-mail on [email protected]  You can follow this conversation on Linked-In: Baptista Sarah Gebu and on twitter @SarahTista.  Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313/ 0243213313.  Follow the hashtag #theFutureofWorkCapsules #FoWC

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