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Top 10 job skills for 2020

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As we leave behind a decade of disruption, and stride boldly into one that could bring even greater disruption, we look at the 10 job skills HR pros and their charges need to meet the challenges of 2020 – and beyond – head on.

1. Data literacy

Data is fast becoming every company’s most prized asset – the fuel that drives business. Organisations that don’t use that fuel to maximise their chances of success will be at a disadvantage against their competitors. To maximise the impact of this data, companies must hire candidates who have data literacy skills and the ability to harness it potential.

 2. Critical thinking

In the modern workplace, there’s no shortage of information, but those with the ability to discriminate between information that’s trustworthy among the dizzying mishmash of misinformation – such as fakes news and propaganda – will be crucial to the company’s success.

 3. Being tech savvy

Technical skills will be required by HR and employees alike. AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, robotics and more (some as yet unforeseen) will become a part of an employee’s daily experience. Awareness – and an ability to apply – these technologies and relevant technical skills will become a necessity for every job from hairstylist to accountant to factory worker to lawyer.

 4. Adaptability and flexibility

It’s essential to grasp that what worked yesterday might not be the best strategy for tomorrow, so a willingness to unlearning skills and acquiring new ones is crucial. People must be cognitively flexible to new ideas and ways of doing things.

 5. Creativity

Despite the increased role of data and AI, it still takes a human to be creative. It’s crucial that creative individuals are employed by companies to invent, imagine something new and dream up something better. The modern workplace demand new ways of thinking and human creativity is critical to that.

 6. Emotional intelligence (EQ)

Another area where humans excel is EQ – our ability to be aware of, control, and express our emotions as well as understanding the emotions of others. This ability will remain essential as long as there are humans in the workforce since it influences every interaction we have with one another.

 7. Cultural intelligence and diversity

Companies are increasingly diverse, and effective employees must be able to respect differences and work with people of a different race, religion, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Employees with a keen cultural intelligence and who can empathise with those who perceive the world differently are vital to developing a more inclusive and robust business environment for the organisation.

 8. Leadership skills

Leadership skills will be paramount for not only those at the top of a traditional corporate hierarchy but increasingly for those individuals throughout the company who are expected to embrace the modern workplace. Possessing an understanding how to bring out the best in and inspire employees and colleagues within a diverse and fast-moving workplace needs strong leadership skills.

 9. Judgment and decision making

Individuals with the ability to take input from the data while considering how decisions can impact the broader community, including effects on human sensibilities such as morale, are crucial members of the team. So, even if the data support one course of action, a human needs to step in to think about how a decision might impact other areas of the organisation, including its people.

10. Collaboration

When organisations are seeking individuals to thrive in the modern workplace, skills that are uniquely human such as collaboration and strong interpersonal skills will be highly prized – employees who can interact well with others and help drive the business forward as a team.

Parts of this article first appeared on forbes.com

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