The impact of technology on the workforce cannot be underestimated. According to a 2016 survey in the World Economic Forum’s jobs report, 7.1 million jobs will be lost to automation and technological disruption by 2020. That’s in just 4 years.
Another WEF survey predicts that, by the time today’s primary school kids hit the workforce, 65% of the jobs they will engage in currently don’t exist.
Cegos Asia Pacific helps companies prepare for the future of work and we have identified four core skills that will have lasting value. If you help your people develop these skills now, they will be well-equipped to deal with whatever the future holds and keep your company competitive.
1. Technical know-how
It’s no surprise that being tech-savvy will bode well for future employability. But it’s not just your skills with a laptop or smartphone that will be in demand. The ability to process and find patterns in big data will be valued, especially as we become more reliant on data to fine-tune our business plans and offerings. If you can do this without being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data coming at you, go to the front of the queue.
2. Social intelligence and new media awareness
Despite the rapid developments in artificial intelligence, computers are a long way from having the soft skills most professionals need to do our jobs well. In particular, the ability to empathise and navigate cross-cultural divides will be highly valued as the world becomes more globalised. The ability to work and communicate across multiple platforms will stand you in good stead, too – virtual collaboration is already a thing and will become more commonplace in the future.
3. Lifelong learning
The pace of change means we need to be constantly learning to keep up. Employees, particularly professionals, will need to become effective and disciplined learners, making use of the latest learning technologies to brush up their skills outside as well as inside the classroom. Equally, teaching skills will be in demand as more leaders and managers will be expected to handle an educational role within their organisations.
4. Business acumen and adaptability
With the rise of the ‘gig economy’, more people are working as freelancers or running their own small businesses. The millennial generation has been raised to be entrepreneurial in their outlook and this is having an impact on salaried workers too. Many professionals today are expected to play a part in business development, whether that be selling or helping the company reach its organisational goals. As the nature of business changes even more, the ability to collaborate, adapt to rapid changes and think strategically will be highly prized.
We can never truly know what the future holds, but we can prepare for it with what we know now.
Companies who act early who will stand a greater chance of survival than those who simply look after the status quo. Which one will your organisation be?
If you’d like more practical advice on how to implement these four skills into your organisation, join us for our next event “Brave new ways of working – leading a workforce fit to win” in Singapore on 23rd March, 2018. During the day you’ll hear from business, HR and learning leaders (from traditional and disruptive businesses) and take part in workshops that will provide you with useful ideas to implement within your own organisation. Find out more and register here.