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The new skills in the era of work hybridization

eye 711 Published on 05 May. 2022
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tag #HR advice

Hybrid work has grown strongly and is challenging companies to rethink the way they work.This new way of operating  involves major restructuring and changes the work dynamic. Thus, 65% of HR professionals expect major transformations of their company in 2022, an increase of 11% compared to the previous year.1

HR departments are faced with major challenges, including the development of the skills necessary for a hybrid organisation and the transformation of working methods. Rather than finding a balance between different workplaces, it is the very relationship with work that is changing, calling for a review of the sense we give to it and the way we do it. It is a real shift with the world before, which can certainly destabilise, but which above all obliges us to review the fundamentals in order to be in tune with this new era.

Changing priorities

The figures are revealing.. Nearly one in three skills that were necessary to get a job in 2018 will no longer be necessary in 20222. The reason? New skills have already replaced the skills required a few years ago. The ones that lose out are technical skills. Once the most beloved by HR , they were easy to assess and gave a concrete measure of a candidate's job knowledge. If previously they were valid for 20-30 years, their lifespan is now limited to 1 year, at most .5year, especially  for digital skills. Outdated too quickly, it is now more than risky to rely on them, especially since they do not allow us to face current challenges.

New skills

Revealed by the crisis, cross-functional skills have emerged as the solution in the era of work hybridization. These skills are of the order of know-how, know-how to think and know-how to act, but also know-how to learn and know-how to become. The major advantage is that they can be used in different professions and are valid for all sectors of activity. They therefore do not come under traditional knowledge and go beyond technical achievements and knowledge. Their transversal nature takes on its full meaning in an individual's ability to correctly mobilise these skills, to deploy them at the right time, and above all, to reinvest them in different situations of their personal and professional life. 

They are themselves hybrid by nature since they are composed of an amalgam of character traits, sources of motivation and interests, emotional abilities better known as soft skills, and cognitive factors.

Let's look at some examples of transversal skills that we encounter on a daily basis.

  • Flexibility to adapt to changes and calmly manage uncertain situations. It also promotes the establishment of a balance to combine effectively with the hybridization of work.
  • Agile learning to evolve in phase with its environment, knowing how to offload outdated knowledge in order to renew it.
  • Curiosity to be open to the world, to constantly rediscover it and to follow the rhythm of developments by being one step ahead. It allows you to look for new elements on which to reflect in order to find original and appropriate solutions. 
  • Self -confidence to not be at the mercy of others and the environment, but to take charge, move forward with confidence in a complex and uncertain climate, make satisfactory choices based on the information available and be autonomous to manage their personal and professional life.

Cross-functional skills are the way forward to enable HR to restructure its strategy in this new era. Little impacted by the too rapid evolution of technical skills, decompartmentalised between professions and training, generalizable to all, transversal skills are also perfectible and tend to be sustainable over time. They are the solution to new performance evaluation needs.

The next challenge for HR will be to appropriate these cross-functional skills and to use them effectively, to now start from the skills of an individual in order to generate the range of possible missions and thus better meet the needs of companies.

1.  Gartner study - Top Priorities for HR leaders- 2022
2.  Hopes and Fears 2021 - PWC

Helen Simard

Consultant Psychologist

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