With advances in technology impacting every aspect of our lives, the way we work is changing at a rapid rate. There's never been a better time for managers to develop the skills they need to ensure they thrive. We explore some of the key skills that managers will need to evolve to be ahead of the game and thrive in the workplace of the future.
Creativity in an automated workplace
Creativity is one of the greatest assets any individual can possess - and in a world where automation is increasingly prevalent it's an area where a robot can't match a human. Imaginative thought processes can prove the key to success in business with inspirational ideas putting companies ahead of their rivals in the marketplace.
When certain situations or problems arise, think of how to tackle the issue in not just a logical or reasoned manner, but in an innovative way which could open new doors and reap fresh rewards. Try and gain more creative skills by expanding your interests or engaging in courses which broaden your horizons - they may just provide that 'light bulb moment' which could prove key to future success.
To discover insights into how automation is impacting jobs and the steps managers can take to prepare, get your copy of the Hays What Workers Want Report 2019.
Data analytics and data driven decision making
Selecting projects which have the greatest chance of success is a skill in itself. Before you make any key strategic decisions make sure you do the groundwork and don't always take things at face value. Look for what consumers are likely to be seeking in the future. Try and stay ahead of the game by being the first to offer these products or services.
Research and data analysis is often required to recognise those schemes which will bring companies the best dividends. We’re living in a data-driven society, so leverage analytics tools to seek out growth areas and predict future trends. When you spot what you think is a 'winner', volunteer to lead the project.
Management – from in-house to off-site
With advances in technology and communication changing the way we work; remote working is becoming an increasingly attractive and popular proposition.
As employers cut costs by minimising office space, it's resulted in a growth in remote workers, freelancers and contractors. But while the ability to work from any location has become much easier, the shift towards remote working demands new skills from managers tasked with leading and uniting their on-site and off-site teams.
Consequently, it's become even more important that managers establish a clear communication strategy with workers based both in and out of the office. Keeping communication frequent and inclusive will enable you to establish common goals and the skills each team member contributes towards achieving those goals. Managing and balancing the needs of both on-site and remote teams simultaneously can be a difficult and much sought-after skillset. Exemplary interpersonal skills will become an essential asset for managers looking to foster a stronger sense of team spirit and unity across distributed teams.
As well as being able to delegate responsibility, an ability to motivate staff is important. Knowing how to connect with people in the right way is a vital skill in its own right.
An ability to recognise different individuals’ strengths and weaknesses, their personalities and how to get the best out of them can often lead to a rise in productivity. This is another aspect of management where the human has the upper hand over a machine.
Being able to judge a person's emotions and moods can sometimes prove crucial to business. Don't forget to dish out praise when it's warranted - it will help produce a feelgood factor for all concerned - and may bring better future results. At the same time when things aren't going quite right don't be afraid to listen and empathise, take a sympathetic stance and offer encouragement.
If these kinds of interpersonal skills aren't something that come naturally, it's never too late to learn from others - because it's something that may pay off for you in the long term.
Agility and embracing change
This is one skill that will always stand managers in good stead. Globalisation, distributed workforces and advances in technology are changing the way we do business, so an ability to adjust smoothly is becoming even more valuable – and it's something that will bring your company success.
Adaptability is an essential soft skill that can put you ahead of the opposition when it comes to tackling new opportunities. So, the next time things aren't working out as you anticipated, try and approach the situation from a different viewpoint. Learn from others, be willing to step out of your comfort zone, and always be ready to shift focus in accordance with the needs of your organisation.
Take your career to the next level
Mastering these skills will provide a solid foundation on which to take your career to the next level. If you’re considering taking the next step in your career, demonstrating these skills to your employer or recruiters will help you stand out from the competition.
Our annual What Workers Want report series addresses employer and employee perspectives on different workplace challenges. Download your copy to uncover detailed insights into employment market trends and what workers want both now and in the future.
About this author
With 30 years’ experience, Elisabetta’s recruitment expertise spans the UK and overseas, private and public sectors, contingency and contracted business. As the Managing Director for Hays Talent Solutions in the UK&I, she is responsible for ensuring clients retain a competitive advantage in talent management through our technology-enabled MSP, RPO, CMO, SOW and Direct Sourcing solutions.