The year 2021 is finally here. And, although 2020 is over, one thing has become clear -- uncertainty hovers. Zoom meetings, online classes, and a huge shift in organizational models to online learning are some of the legacies that the past year has left behind. It is up to us to effectively tackle these challenges head-on.
A recent study by Deloitte that explores the upskilling also talks about building a future-ready workplace equipped to address the ever-evolving industry. As AI (artificial intelligence), analytics, automation, and digitization disrupt industries and transform businesses, they’re also reshaping existing jobs and giving rise to completely new roles.
Triggered by the pandemic, the past year revamped our definition of learning and today everything is about change -- how to adjust to it and how to shape our abilities to manage change effectively.
The state of upskilling has thus transformed dramatically. When we think about the learning trends for 2021, it has to do hugely with how the past year has affected us.
Amid the uncertainty, self-mastery is a valued skill.
Spending a considerable time at home was tough and it included a lot of retrospection. Successful leadership cannot only be defined by an individual’s ability to drive change and motivate others, it also encapsulates strong productivity and mental health skills. Uncertainty during this period saw a rise in depression and anxiety disorders (WHO report). Fortunately for our generation, mental health is not a taboo anymore.
In fact, we have seen more and more employees resorting to mastering their emotions and taking control of their time. A healthy mind equals a healthy life, and that is the motto we bring in this new year as individuals resort to resilience skill courses to master this growing trend.
Often it is understood that collaboration makes or breaks any business strategy. What we all fail to comprehend is that collaboration needs good communication skills in place so that there is no loss in transmission. In 2020, the high demand for communication skills showed that teams were learning how to be better communicators, since remote work took the world by storm.
In 2021, therefore, communication for remote collaboration is key. This means a new range of behaviors for employees who have previously never dealt with such technologically advanced remote work systems.
Data literacy is the new computer literacy
Data literacy is the new currency. Data science is not just for data scientists anymore. In fact, in the past few years, the rising consumption of data analysis and manipulation courses make it evident that it has become important for each individual in any organization.
Today, those who can systematically interpret data, draw parallel insights and effectively communicate these insights to significant stakeholders are invaluable to their organization.
Since global workforces have gone into remote working, there has been an added emphasis on IT teams to manage cybersecurity issues. Employees are not within their stipulated secure digital systems anymore, and securing organizational files and data are of utmost importance.
Further, organizations should also aim at protecting their employees and provide continuous security training for all technical teams and training for all employees in cybersecurity is a best practice one should adopt.
The past year has been all about learning, re-learning and unlearning traditional methods of training. COVID has rampantly changed the face of education and online learning, and consequently, it has forced ed-tech to up its game. Schools, universities or offices, there hasn’t been any one industry that has not shifted to upskilling during this period. It would be safe to assume that COVID has indeed acted as the pulley, which has propelled the process of organizational upskilling.
Irwin Anand is MD at Udemy India. The views in this article are his own.