COVID-19 has challenged the resilience and sustainability potential of numerous organizations. According to a Business Perception Survey conducted by the Institute for Competitiveness and Times Network, 71.31 percent of businesses in India dealt with staggeringly low profits during the lockdown period. For some businesses, these issues became so severe that they had to shut down. Several others had to resort to desperate measures like substantial pay cuts and layoffs to stay afloat. A report by CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) suggests that approximately 12.2 crore Indians lost their jobs in the first quarter of 2020.
While remote working and digital technologies have emerged as saviors for businesses, the drastic shift in business methods has put unprecedented pressure on the employees. This pressure can be overwhelming and has the potential to reduce productivity, not to mention the toll this ‘new normal’ has taken on mental health.
It is, therefore, necessary for the employees to develop sustainability skills that can help them keep up with the rapidly changing work environment. Here are some of the essential sustainability skills that every worker should possess:
This is perhaps the most crucial skill that every employee should possess – especially in the context of the current scenario. The pandemic has turned the business world upside-down and organizations have to find solutions to new and unprecedented challenges every day. Problems are occurring abruptly across several business-critical areas, and organizations need agile and analytical employees to find the source of the problem and fix it.
While innovativeness is closely linked to one’s problem-solving skills, it is more about a person’s ability to ask the right questions and find appropriate answers. It allows one to see the same problem from different perspectives and convert it into an opportunity. Take the cosmetics industry, for example. During the Covid-19 lockdown, as the demand for hand sanitizers skyrocketed, several cosmetics companies adapted their business model to produce hand sanitizers. This helped them garner substantial profits and goodwill from the customers at a time when most businesses were struggling to survive.
Creativity is one of those skills that will keep humans relevant in a technology-driven industry. Our ability to think out-of-the-box allows us to adapt to changing scenarios and make the most of the resources at our disposal. It is an essential sustainability skill that every worker should possess. The market is always in need of better solutions and a creative outlook can go a long way in developing a vision and executing the same excellently.
There shouldn’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that the future will be digitally driven. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution picks up speed, a wave of digitization is sweeping all across the world, pervading every industry and domain. Even before the pandemic, digital transformation was changing the business landscape in the country. Now that most businesses have either migrated to online platforms or are planning to do so, digital astuteness has become a highly desirable skill.
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, has been a valued skill in the corporate world since Daniel Goleman wrote and published a book about it in 1995. Tech giants like Google are offering all the mindfulness courses and CPD modules to help their employees develop a higher EQ. These companies understand how important it is to have control over one’s emotions in the corporate world, especially while servicing clients. As a capable employee, one needs to keep one’s ego in check and make an effort to understand the other perspective. It makes them easily approachable for queries, assistance, and collaboration – making them an inimitable asset to the organization.
These sustainability skills are here to stay as the corporate world has truly transformed in the last year. Not only do these skills make one a better resource, but they also help to improvise one’s personality and gain a competitive edge.