There's nothing permanent except change -Heraclitus. How will technologies like cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) change your workplace in the coming years? Every organization is different, but you only have to use the self-checkout in a grocery store to see how machines are replacing people. The good news is studies suggest technology will ultimately add more jobs than it removes.
These jobs will likely require different skills, but it can be hard to predict what they might be. So how can you help employees adapt to these changes and prepare for the future? Start by focusing on uniquely human skills. In other words, help employees get better at the things machines can’t do.
5 Future-Proof Professional Skills
The ability to work well with others will never go out of style. Your organization’s success depends on employees being able to communicate, collaborate, and get along. Training topics to focus on include:
-Communication - Help employees learn how to share and receive information more effectively. You might start with the basics, like how to write professional emails, and move on to topics like how to establish feedback loops.
-Collaboration - Great minds don’t always think alike, and that’s the beauty of a diverse workplace. Differences can lead to innovation, but they can also lead to conflict. Help employees learn how to work together by offering training on a range of diversity, equity, and inclusion topics.
-Emotional intelligence - The ability to express and control one’s emotions and practice empathy plays an important role in workplace relationships. Employees can grow in this area through training in relationship building, cultural competence, and similar topics.
The human mind is an amazing thing. When you nurture creativity, employees can come up with incredible ideas to help your organization grow and improve in ways beyond what technology can offer. To promote inspired discussions, train managers on topics like how to encourage a speak-up culture. And, look for opportunities to build:
- Curiosity - Encourage employees to ask questions. Then, respond as thoroughly and transparently as possible so they continue to feel comfortable asking questions.
- Imagination - Praise employees who share new ideas—even when a suggestion might not work. Talking things through can lead to better outcomes.
- Problem-solving - Give employees the freedom to explore unique solutions. Instead of telling them how to do something, focus on the “what” and let them figure out the “how”.
3. Time Management
Showing employees how to work smarter can improve their lives and help your organization be more productive and successful. Key topics to cover include:
- Goal-setting - Guide employees in setting meaningful personal and professional goals. Then, provide them with the support and training they need to reach their objectives.
- Prioritizing - Teach employees how to prioritize tasks so they learn to focus on what’s important.
- Planning and organizing - Help employees establish balanced schedules and effective routines. Share different methods and tools so they can figure out what works best for them.
Technology puts more and more information at our fingertips. But data is only useful if you know what to do with it. Knowing how to analyze information enables employees to make informed choices and avoid costly errors. Look for ways to support:
- Data literacy - Show employees how to interpret data, so they understand and can explain what numbers mean in specific situations.
- Critical thinking - Data should never be followed blindly. Encourage employees to question data—both the accuracy of the collection process and what the numbers mean from a human perspective.
- Decision-making - Teach employees how to use their data literacy and critical thinking skills to make strategic decisions based on evidence.
Change can be hard. To help employees adapt to the changing workplace and remain productive, aim to encourage:
- A growth mindset - Strive to develop a workplace culture that welcomes challenges and values continuous learning.
- Active learning - Make it easy for employees to find, interact with, and digest new information.
- Flexibility and resilience - Give employees the tools they need to adjust to new conditions by providing proper support and training.
Online Training and Development Made Easy
Encouraging a growth mindset is the best way to prepare employees for an uncertain future. Niche Academy can help you quickly set up an always-available online training program focused on developing professional skills and more. You can create content or select ready-made tutorials developed by a global pool of experts—including Niche Academy’s learning design team. Set up a free trial to explore all the ways Niche Academy makes online training and development easy.