Managing Your Emerging and Declining Skills
“The capacity to learn as a gift; the ability to learn a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” – Brian Herbert
Just like competitive business landscapes are constantly changing and evolving, our teams and individual skills do the same. As individuals, we need to have the willingness to ensure that our skills are always current and growing. As leaders, we need to ensure that our employees have the capacity and opportunity to do just that.
In the “new normal” the three main reasons organizations struggle to compete or adopt new technologies are:
1. Skills gaps in the local labor market
2. Inability to attract specialized talent
3. Skills gaps amongst the organization’s leadership.
While different business domains have different skill needs, there are certain cross functional skillsets that are foundational to all business domains. When surveyed, employers see the following four as clearly rising in importance and prominence:
1. Critical thinking and analysis
3. Self-management (emotional intelligence)
4. Working with people (interpersonal skills)
While critical thinking and problem-solving have been at the top of the list for years, it is highly encouraging to see that “soft skills” like emotional and social intelligence are making the top 4 list since research has proven that up to 85% of career success relates to these skills as opposed to the technical skills we spend most of our time training for.
The good news is that employees realize the need for up-skilling and there is a clear and significant (up to 88% increase) demand for personal development training. Leading this increase in demand are skills relating to self-management, mental health, and emotional intelligence.
The challenge for employers is how to stay up with the demand for re-skilling and up-skilling. What seems to be working for most employers is a blend of internal, external, and digital expertise and tools. Large organizations with mature internal Training and Development organizations will lean more heavily on internal training. Smaller organizations or companies with less mature T&D capabilities will lean on a combination of external training partners and digital/online programs. The key to remember here is that it is not a one size fits all solution. Depending on the topic or skill, one method may not provide what employees need in a given situation and a combination of approaches would be more effective.
The bottom line is this: The post Covid business environment requires new and upgraded skills. Employees are eager to learn, and employers expect up-skilling and re-skilling from employees. So the stage is set. The question now becomes one of focus, budget, and method. Leaders who are empowered with a budget for training and development and a focus on the growth of their teams will be most successful and those organizations will be rewarded with engagement, retention, productivity, and profit.
At Meridiem, two of our primary focus areas for training, coaching, and consulting is leadership and practical emotional intelligence. While there is a myriad of content relating to emotional intelligence, it remains a vague, intangible topic that few employees understand well enough to practically apply in the workplace. Our emotional intelligence training focuses on the practical implication and application of EQ to allow for real, tangible growth; not just in the individual but in the organization. Contact us if improving your organization’s overall emotional, social intelligence and productivity is of interest.