Being able to do your job – even do it well – is no longer the only requirement for many hiring managers across the globe. Disruptions in the workplace, especially with the rise of the hybrid world of work, have refocused the need to upskill employees from solely relying on their hard, specialised skills to branching out and picking up the valuable soft skills (communication, leadership, flexibility, etc.) needed to thrive in a hybrid world.
When employees hone their power skills, companies are more resilient and able to adapt to ongoing disruption. The problem is, however, that acquiring power skills is not all that easy. Expecting a quiet software engineer to suddenly become a team leader or asking your personal assistant to resolve office conflict is simply not going to work. Unless they learn those skills.
We look at how the workplace is changing, and how upskilling and empowering your teams can help them navigate a new world of work.
The changing face of the workplace
Disruptions to the workforce we’re seeing right now are caused by the lasting effects of the pandemic, increased hybrid work environments, supply chain changes, technological transformation, and the green transition. This has caused the workplace to break up into three main work models:
- In-office work
- Remote work (from home or in co-working spaces)
- Hybrid work
Which one is most popular? The 2021 Future of Work study by Accenture showed that 83% of people see hybrid work as the future of work. In essence, a hybrid workplace means there is less focus on the place and more on the people.
PwC’s 2022 Global Hopes and Fears survey underscores this sentiment and says that for organisations to become future-fit, they need to adopt an agile and employee-centric approach to work – one where employees are valued for both their hard and soft skills. The most effective way to do that is by increasing those skills that are most valuable in these dispersed settings – skills that may be different from the ones employers traditionally value most. These are what we call power skills.
Power skills for a hybrid world of work environment
In a hybrid working environment, some social functions and meetings will happen at the office, while much of the work will be done remotely. What are the most important soft skills that employees and their managers need for businesses to run smoothly and teams to work well together?
- Leadership: Motivational and coaching skills that bring alignment, authenticity, and connection across the remote/office divide, and the skills needed to manage hybrid teams.
- Supportiveness: Continuously reach out to others to see if they need help.
- Compliance: Being self-disciplined, responsible and organised without constant supervision.
- Conflict management: Negotiate and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements in the absence of physical cues.
- Relationship management: Connect and engage with people through meetings, chats and regular check-ins to find out how they’re doing personally and in their work.
- Communication: Build trust and create a sense of belonging to make employees feel connected to each other and the business as a whole.
- Agility: Quickly adapt to fluid working environments, embrace the unfamiliar and stay curious.
- Collaboration: Able to work cross-functionally (as opposed to siloed) and unite around a business’s shared goals.
How to make power skills work for your business
Power skills are notoriously difficult to measure, but they can be learned. Management and HR teams can encourage and establish skill-building activities to start building more resilient teams. Here are a few ideas:
Senior staff can be tasked with sharing knowledge with new employees about relationship building, conflict resolution, and time management.
Create new leaders
Give employees informal leadership roles that allow them to practice this skill and fast-track their careers.
Opportunities to collaborate
Involving everyone, from the bottom up, in tasks and projects show how pooling ideas and working in teams can increase productivity.
Use the opportunity to show employees how they can improve their time management and organisational skills, be assertive and maintain connections while working remotely.
Invest in power skills training
A structured power skills training course led by professionals is by far the most effective way for employees to remain productive, engaged, and acknowledged. Luckily, your employees and teams can acquire the skills needed to overcome obstacles that come with hybrid working.
Get ready for the MasterStart Power Skills course
In a hybrid working environment, your CV will get you in the door, but your power skills are what will keep you in the job. It’s up to business leaders to ensure their employees have the necessary power skills to succeed in today’s dynamic hybrid work environment.
Get your teams the Power Skills they need. Find out more