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last updated 2/25/2021 4:07:53 AM

Future Skills

The new-normal skill sets are going to change

The impact of COVID-19 has caused many organizations to proactively reimagine its way of working to achieve sustainable organizational success. It becomes inevitable for organizations to assist their talents to develop ability to learn agility. Interestingly, skills that are required to perform a job today are predicted to be different from the skills required to perform the same job tomorrow. Hence, organizations must pinpoint skills that complement the future workplace. For this reason, reskilling/upskilling the workforce becomes significant to stimulate the economic recovery from COVID-19.

There is no single formula determining future skills. Remember that each organization is unique. It will need to develop its own path as skills vary based on the requirements and issues of that industry. There are numerous factors that organizations must take into consideration when preparing its workforce. Based on the ‘new normal’, skillsets are going to change. Organizations will need to understand the current workforce before planning its future workforce. The essence of the gap analysis involves the assessments of the current organizational state, identifying the strategic objectives and future work skills requirements.

Our approach to action:

  • Re-define workforce planning (linked to manpower budgeting)
  • Understand the growth drivers through business focus
  • Identify new growth drivers and focus on specific skill sets required
  • Map out core skills of the organization to identify future skills and requirements

Following this, organizations must create skills roadmap and action plans for talent management and development initiatives. The L&D tools will vary depending on priorities or skills needed. Some examples include coaching/ mentoring, team building, job enrichment/ enlargement or even knowledge sharing. At a high level, organizations are recommended to establish at least two major roadmaps segregating front and back office functions. The result of our case study suggested that front office employees should focus on skills related to customer insights and satisfactions. They should always be prompted to seek business opportunities. In contrary, back office functions generally require detail-oriented individuals who can deal with a lot of data. More importantly, there are skills required company-wide regardless of the function. The significant skills overlapping between front and back functions are interpersonal skills, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

Further analysis indicated that soft skills have become necessary across all industries. As soft skills are unlikely to be replaced by automation anytime soon, these skills are increasingly in demand for the future workforce. Some of the general future soft skills include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Self-management
  • Strategic Thinking & Planning
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Adaptability & Agility


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