Employers to Returning Employees: Be Like Water

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Prostock-Studio

Employee adaptability will be crucial for HR leaders as they get ready to bring back their remote workforce.  And in Singapore, it will be a deal breaker, said an NTUC LearningHub's Employer Skills Survey report.

“As we enter phase one of re-opening the economy, we face a new normal. And as the changes persist, so will the enduring importance of adaptive skills in helping workers and companies remain resilient,” says NTUC LearningHub's chief executive officer, Kwek Kok Kwong.

The survey was conducted during the circuit breaker (Singapore’s term for WFH) in April 2020 with business leaders in Singapore. It looked to uncover the most in-demand skill sets in the COVID-19 era.

Overall, adaptive skills saw a surge in demand. They include 'Adaptability and Resilience' (56%), 'Teamwork and Collaboration' (52%) and 'Innovation' (49%). These overtook previous digital-related competencies, including 'Digital Marketing' (44%) and Project Management Skills (43%). See diagram below for more details.

Source: NTUC Learning Hub

In a press release, Kwek points out that employees need to take charge in improving their adaptability skills. He advises a hefty dose of self-reflection. “Workers must actively identify gaps in their current skill sets to determine the areas in which they need to upskill to keep pace with evolving labor market demands.”

Kwek feels that it is not surprising that employers want their employees to be adaptable. As companies navigate unfamiliar processes and procedures, employees who can adapt and perform amid such uncertainty will be much sought after.

“Adaptability and resilience are especially pertinent during these uncertain times as workers would need to adjust to new work environments, with remote working being a key aspect. They will also need to be equipped with the skills that enable them to quickly recover from challenges arising from the downturn, while keeping up the morale of their teams,” he says.  

Employees who are able to work collaboratively will also be in demand as they can help their colleagues to remain productive while driving organization-wide innovation. 

“This in turn will help accelerate business transformation,” Kwek observes.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Prostock-Studio