A survey held by the Association for Talent Development that looked to discover what executives thought were their biggest HR concerns in terms of the skills their future talent will need to help them survive in the business world. 83% (or 8 out of 10) are facing a skills gap at present, and 78% foresee it occurring in the future. So, what are the skills that are in high demand now, and in the coming years as well?
50% of the survey respondents expressed that they knew their organisations didn’t have adequate leadership strength to call off the bench, while 47% mentioned they were expecting, in the future, a gap in executive and leadership skills.
The fact is that companies still aren’t giving their employees adequate preparation for advancement into executive and other senior positions of leadership. It’s time to start investing in training and empowering staff so that they flourish in senior leadership roles, and that the company is in safe hands as each leader is succeeded.
Critical thinking is the process of analysing an issue without emotion, looking at all the different perspectives and angles to get to a conclusion that is logical and sound. Critical thinking doesn’t happen automatically – after all, humans are emotional by nature – which is why it’s an extremely desirable and valuable skill that employers are looking for in their staff, whether current or prospective hires.
When team members have well-honed critical thinking skills, there’ll be a noticeable improvement in productivity, teamwork and employee relationships. It’s difficult to consciously disregard your irrational feelings, biases and self-interest, but you’ll be making yourself irresistible to employers.
Effective verbal and nonverbal communication is critical in any employee and organisation’s success. Positive communication helps with forging beneficial relationships with peers, leaders, clients and customers; encourages and improves teamwork, and ensures clarity with any ideas, suggestions and feedback.
Not a day goes by where we don’t communicate in some form or another, so building and improving on communication skills is essential in the business world.
It’s important to identify and close skill gaps as they are found, but things won’t really improve unless all key personnel, especially those in HR and senior management, are committed to the process. Don’t become part of the statistics; solving this HR problem is easier than you may think.
Sonia McDonald is the Chief Executive Officer of LeadershipHQ, a Brisbane, Austriala-based leadership and strategy consultancy. Prior to LHQ, she was in executive management with AHRI and FutureStep/KornFerry (Asia). Sonia was recently named as one of the Top 250 Influential Women Leaders across the globe for 2015. Her writing is read on Linkedin, Richtopia, Business Insider, Women’s Business Media and The Australian. Follow her on Twitter.