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The top skill sets employers and employees need



According to a recent article in Forbes, a full five out of ten of the attributes employers are looking for in 2015 are related to self-discipline. As employers move away from the supervisory model towards a more team-oriented approach, they are looking for people who are more capable of working independently.

That means having the ability to prioritize, plan, and organize as well as problem solve and make decisions. They’re also looking for creators rather than just conformists. Team members being able to obtain, analyze, and process information and data on a level sufficient to be able to write and edit their own reports is essential.

As middle management departments continue to shrink as the result of improved information sharing technology such as cloud computing, employees who require very little supervision are becoming highly sought after.

Communication Skills

Being a successful contributing member of a team requires a number of interpersonal as well as communication skills. One of those skills is active listening, so that the team as a whole is able to maximise individual members’ contributions by encouraging active participation. Teamwork also requires people to set their own egos aside to fully appreciate the contributions of others, which can be difficult after a lifetime of being trained to be competitive.

The competitive spirit must be reserved for those outside the organisation, just as potentially sensitive information must be reserved for those within it. The ability to communicate effectively and diplomatically with people both within and outside of the organisation is high on the list of desired skills. One of the specific skills that defines effective business communication is the ability to influence others, which is perhaps the single most important factor in the success of a company’s sales department.

Another important skill in this category is conflict resolution. While many people tend to view conflict as negative, it can be helpful to view it as people with differing needs struggling to be understood for purposes of achieving mutually beneficial compromise. This can help reduce the potential for misunderstandings that can occur when something is perceived as a threat.

Information Technology Skills

Among the skills most in demand by employers in 2015 are a high degree of technical knowledge and proficiency with computer software. Writing reports, building and maintaining databases, and accessing and analysing data all require computer software skills.

With more people working remotely, employers need to know that their people have the technological skills to troubleshoot and problem solve to accomplish what needs to be done. It’s easier than ever to acquire and expand those skills, without having to spend years and thousands of dollars in college tuition. Studies have shown that technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that the majority of technological information that college students learn is already obsolete by the time they graduate.

However, there are now certification programs approved by software industry leaders that add new developments in software to the curriculum as quickly as they are developed. A few of these programs are well known for requiring hands-on practice in using the most commonly used business software programs, as well as advanced skills testing. That’s why certification in one of these programs can carry as much, or more, weight with employers as a four year degree.

Employer/Employee Benefits

Today’s job seekers can expect to enjoy a higher level of professional autonomy than in the past, as well as a higher level of trust from their employers. Many will also enjoy greater flexibility in their work schedules. Being able to work remotely from nearly anywhere can make it easier to achieve a healthy balance between work and life. A more relaxed atmosphere, combined with not having to deal with a daily commute results in a decrease of unhealthy stress and an increase in healthy motivational stress.

In exchange for those benefits, employers expect today’s employees to be self-motivated, proficient as problem-solvers and actively involved in decision making. Employer benefits that result from granting their employees a higher degree of autonomy include increased morale, higher productivity, reduced management costs, and more time to spend on creative innovation. Today’s top business skills sets are a real win/win.

About the Author:

Philip Piletic is an aspiring writer and blogger with a love for business, finance and technology. His goal is to give useful advice and help people adapt to ever evolving world of today.