The World Economic Forum predicts that 40% of workers' basic skills will change in the next 5 years. It will happen due to many factors: the pandemic, the global recession, the transition to green technologies and new trends in the labor market. What skills should managers acquire in order to remain valuable and relevant specialists in 2023 - we analyze research and forecasts from the World Economic Forum, Deloitte, Accenture and Gartner.
Hard skills: from data analytics to online sales management
Digital transformation became one of the main topics at this year's meeting of the World Economic Forum. Under the impact of the pandemic, companies have accelerated the adoption of digital solutions and tools to compete in a changing business environment. And with it, the demand for workers with advanced digital skills has increased. But, as the experts of the same Forum say, every three out of four workers still do not have the digital skills needed by the business.
In order to adapt to changes and help businesses survive these difficult times, managers need to acquire skills in 5 digital areas:
- Data analytics are advanced skills in working with analytics of business indicators or even Big Data, mastery of BI systems tools and building models with the help of machine learning.
- Cybersecurity — due to the rising risk of cyberattacks, knowledge in the field of data protection is necessary not only for managers, but also for financial specialists and business analysts.
- Automation and artificial intelligence (AI). These new technologies are changing work very quickly. For example, in finance functions, AI helps improve performance management, analyze data, make predictions and better manage risk.
- Online business and sales. The skills of working with web analytics and other digital marketing tools are also necessary for managers who work in online business and responsible for commercial processes in the company.
Digital skill sets like these help managers more easily innovate to improve business processes, improve company financial performance, and stay relevant in the labor market. But digital technologies alone are not enough for this. According to Accenture's Future of Work: Work in Progress 2022 study, managers also need organizational flexibility and work autonomy. What other soft skills should managers develop this year?
Soft skills: authentic management and empathy
Last year, companies constantly faced challenges related to finding valuable personnel, controlling costs and employee burnout, which turned into a wave of trends. First it was the "Great Resignation" and then the "Quiet quitting" when workers began to refuse to work outside the limits of duties and working hours. These challenges now require special savvy from leaders to attract talent to the company and keep them on the teams.
And for that, according to Gartner experts, managers will need three important skills in 2023:
- Authenticity means originality and relevance. According to experts' estimates, only 26% of employees have similar opinions with colleagues on controversial issues. To avoid team tension, managers must balance open self-expression with company values.
- Empathy. In remote mode, leaders must support not only the work needs of team members, but also the life needs. And this requires greater empathy — manifestations of concern for the safety and support of the psychological state of subordinates.
- Adaptability. The transition to hybrid work leads to greater control over workers: what and how they do. And attention to their professional needs. Therefore, managers will control more individual processes to achieve results instead of managing general work processes.
Also, as Deloitte writes in the study of global trends in human capital development, in order to manage change and develop professionally, in 2023 managers must think like researchers. Namely, look at each task as an experiment to find modern solutions to increase efficiency and new results.
The one thing that hasn't changed and will be relevant until at least 2026, according to experts, is the importance of communication skills, attention to detail, collaboration, leadership and personal learning. Because in a world where work is done anywhere, anytime and mostly through digital channels, communication skills, empathy and interaction become even more relevant.
So, managing flexibly with empathy, transparency and trust are the main requirements for managers. They will need it to be productive, to transform processes in the company and manage people in a new way. And for this, they need to constantly learn and introduce advanced training into the entire team experience.