New core skillsets for employees will enable HR leaders to help future-proof their businesses and employees’ careers, according to Josh McKenzie, CEO at Development Beyond Learning.

Recent research by McKinsey predicts that up to 50% of the workforce in several of the world’s largest economies may need to switch occupations by 2030 as a result of automation.

HR leaders will increasingly need to help people to reorient their skillsets more quickly and more often, and this will become a critical part of organisational development and workforce planning.

Josh shared his insights on the future of skills at a recent ChapmanCG HR leaders roundtable hosted by Kirby Grattan, Director Organisational Capability at Optus in Sydney.

Core skillsets

A range of core skillsets will be critical for every employee to enable them to adapt to a rapidly evolving business environment, regardless of their role. These include:

Foundation

Skills for everyday interaction help employees to thrive individually and as a group within any business environment. These include establishing a personal brand, giving and receiving feedback, use of social intelligence, and the ability to work as part of a team, network and present to groups.

Capabilities

Skills to approach complex challenges help to support the development of innovative solutions. These include complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and the ability to influence.

Qualities

Being able to adapt to a changing environment will also be critical. Skills that support this include self-awareness, a growth mindset, adaptability, residence, leadership and a global mindset.

Using behaviour insights to drive change

Reorientation of employees to new business skillsets and ways of working involves the development of new behaviours and mindsets to help them transition smoothly into new roles.

This helps people to grow their beliefs and skills, and enables them to see the benefits of the transition. It also supports them to be more courageous in moving outside their comfort zone, as this is where the most growth occurs.

Understanding this underlying behavioural need is critical to the success of any skills transition.

Transforming organisational frameworks

Many organisations are reshaping their competency frameworks to focus on core skills rather than technical ones. This includes focusing on agility and a growth mindset as key skills for their employees to manage an ambiguous and constantly evolving future.

The concept of performance is also starting to shift from outputs towards how you learn and adapt, how you leverage this, and what you contribute to others.

Rapid digital learning

Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020, and they consistently rank access to learning and development as the most important benefit when considering moving to new employer.

Organisations are now providing ‘always on’ learning pathways as well as driving the acquisition of data and technology skills through open-access corporate learning academies.

These digital learning platforms help to support rapid content development as industries evolve, and enable quick dissemination to broad regional or international employee networks. Using play and excitement through gamification is also helping to increase the rate of adoption of digital tools and level of employee engagement in some traditional organisations.

New approaches to early careers talent acquisition

Large multi-nationals are becoming more strategic and agile in sourcing early career talent as industries are often evolving much more rapidly than traditional educational institutions, and universities are not necessarily producing graduates with the right skills and capabilities.

One large multinational headhunts talent directly after completion of secondary school and offers strategic internships and apprenticeships instead of having this top talent attend university first. These corporate programs offer an individual the opportunity to work while they study and ‘earn while they learn’.

Staying ahead of the talent curve

For talent acquisition and management, the future of skills means being less concerned about what potential employees have done in the past, and more with how they can solve complex problems and collaborate to drive innovative solutions.

Progressive organisations are also constantly mapping new career neighbourhoods and corridors as industries evolve to enable them to broaden their skills base and access new talent pools.

The future of skills is a rapidly evolving area and we look forward to continuing to share further insights from a range of experts. A big thank you to our hosts at Optus, and the lively attendees who contributed to our discussions from Westpac, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, AstraZeneca, Cochlear, ASX and Gilbert & Tobin.

 

Josh Mackenzie, CEO at Development Beyond Learning