The 3 most important skills needed to thrive in the workplace in 2021 (and beyond)

Written by Stefano Mosconi

April 23, 2021

Written by Stefano Mosconi

April 23, 2021

What are the skills that will be needed now and in the future to thrive in the workplace? How will workers manage to remain competitive in this ever changing environment?

It’s 2021 and the world has been living for more than a year in remote mode: more than 60% of the work population has had to learn new skills, build new routines and re-learn what productivity looks like under the pandemic.

Linkedin has released a new Learning Workplace Report where they analyze where organizations are focusing their Learning and Development (L&D) efforts.

Are companies around the world focusing on helping their workers learn Artificial Intelligence, coding, databases, finance? Or are they focusing on something else?

In the era of robot and AI soft skills reign supreme

It turns out that in this era of robots and AI Learning and Development experts around the world are focusing on something else: soft skills. And why? Because the shelf life of any technical skill is very short, less than 5 years. While soft skills will last forever, and will apply to anyone in any role. So it’s a smart choice.

You might think that soft skills are having little “hard value” but once you have to lead 200 people without ever meeting them (like I have to do every day) you realize that the ability to think, lead and communicate effectively gives any employee tremendous leverage that can be used at any level of the company ladder.

The top 3 skills of 2021

According to the survey done by LinkedIn the top 2 skills are Resilience and Digital Fluency, but their rank depended from where you are.

They landed the #1 or #2 spots across every country LinkedIn surveyed. Resilience was #1 in the US, Canada, France, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, with technology skills coming in second.

In Germany, DACH, Southeast Asia, and India, the results were flipped, with technology skills ranking #1 and resilience #2.

The third most important skill for Learning and Development professionals was: Communication.

#1 Resilience

Resilience is that ability that allows us to “to be happy and successful again after something difficult or bad has happened”. And it’s no wonder that resilience would make the top 3 of the list. With all what’s happened and happening in the world, only those who can master this ability will be able to continue to function.

Contrary to what many of us think, resilience isn’t a fixed or elusive trait that some people have and some people don’t. In reality, it requires the willingness to try basic strategies like these

The more you cultivate this trait of your personality the more successful you will be. As resilience researcher  Lucy Hone says in this TEDx Talk : “Contrary to what many of us think, resilience isn’t a fixed or elusive trait that some people have and some people don’t. In reality, it requires the willingness to try basic strategies like these.” 

Resilience can be learned and she shares in there 3 easy strategies you can learn and apply yourself from now (watch the speech, absolutely brilliant and touching).

#2 Digital Fluency

Digital Fluency is the ability to use digital tools in a fluent manner. Surprised? I doubt. We have lived and worked remotely for more than 13 months and the average worker has had to learn (sometimes the hard way) how to collaborate with others via internet.

You’re on mute” has been the most quoted phrase in 2020 (and will be in 2021) for a very good reason.

You’re on mute – Everyone in 2020-21

Technology, even if we are in 2021, most of the times doesn’t work and you really have to know your way around certain quirks if you want to be productive. I don’t know how many working hours have been lost in the last year because something wasn’t working, but it must have been a hell of a lot of time.

#3 Communication

There you have my favourite topic: communication. Learning and Development professionals want their workforce to learn how to Communicate! Why? Well I believe that everyone has realized that “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” (the quote is from playwright G.B.Shaw not mine).

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – G.B. Shaw

Everyone is now sitting at their desk and the only thing that they have to make sure that some collaborative work gets done is their voice and their slides. Email and chat communication are distant second when we want to communicate and really that is the reason why so many of us are spending so many hours in Teams/Zoom meetings.

If we can’t convey our messages properly then how can we work in the first place?

That’s why I setup my Presentation and Communication Masterclass, because everyone has to sell their ideas, everyone wants to influence how things and situations develop, regardless of their role and position. And we can’t do that if we can’t master ourselves in front of others.

 

 

 

 

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LEARN HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEAS.
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masterclass

LEARN HOW TO SELL YOUR IDEAS.
JOIN OUR MASTERCLASS
TRY THE FIRST LESSONS FOR FREE!

Conclusion

Resilience, Digital Fluency and Communication are the top 3 skills that companies around the world are focusing on. All of these can be learned easily and I do suggest that you start today your journey in order to get ahead in your life and your careers.

Ref. Linkedin Learning Workplace Report 2021