Five skills to master in the age of COVID-19


By Srividya Kannan

Social distancing while much needed, had its unintended consequence in the form of several stalled economies. We are still not entirely sure how quickly will economies bounce back to levels of normalcy. Layoffs, down-sizing and cost pressures are running deep in the nervous systems of enterprises. Impact from COVID 19 seems far nastier in comparison to the 2008-09 financial crises with UN predicting cutbacks of over 200 million workers.

Corona has changed some things forever. Especially the workplace and skills of the future which will undergo significant change. People who are prepared to make this shift to stay relevant to the new requirements will find this transition easier, versus those who simply want to stay irreverent to such disruption. The more significant of these skills include:

1. Automation astute: Enterprises will significantly increase the pace of automation to insulate themselves towards any similar outbreaks in the future. This requires tech savvy people who understand not only how technologies like AI, RPA, advanced analytics and IoT need to be deployed, but also how these solutions could be used more effectively. A strong understanding of business processes coupled with a good understanding of technologies, will be the skills that enterprises would heavily seek.

2. Adaptability: One’s ability to quickly mold their actions to suit the new workplace requirements, means having to smartly understand where opportunities lie and staying updated on several topics to add value to that opportunity. Being able to provide superior performance even while working remotely, being motivated through-out and having the hunger to improve learning and performance is fundamental.

3. Building resilience: With talent brokering likely to be the order of the day especially for companies contemplating furloughs and layoffs, the people being loaned to some other sectors and/or companies will need resilience, to acclimatise in a completely new environment.

4. Design thinking and innovation: People with strong design thinking and creativity skills will add tremendous value to innovative ways of working. Delivering well on one’s job will mean reconstructing the way it is executed to eliminate bottlenecks and solving problems proactively and creatively. The thought process with design thinking will help people solve problems faster and better.

5. Working with an entrepreneurial attitude: Enterprises will start encouraging an entrepreneurial attitude, where they expect employees to be a lot more independent and reliable to deliver results. This requires taking ownership for the outcome and getting the job done on time by collaborating with multiple stakeholders.

Trusting oneself and ceaselessly building capabilities is important than ever to stay on top of the game. Who knows? This time may well be a great period of reinventing oneself to prepare for the coming decade.

The author is the Founder & Director at Avaali Solutions Pvt Ltd.



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