L&D Readiness: Are your employees skills ready for 2021?

Sumant Joshi | Blog Author
Sumant Joshi December 09, 2020
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The year 2020 has ushered in an ever rising demand for newer skills that are critical for modern workplaces. And, it has become imperative for businesses and employees alike to stay ahead of the curve and embrace the ‘digital’ and ensure future readiness. Irrespective of the goals set for 2021, learning some of the most critical skills will help businesses and employees stand out from the rest and achieve a competitive advantage.

Addressing skills gap, and developing talent and capability has always been a highly strategic priority for L&D, more so in times of unprecedented disruptions and tech advancements. Constant innovations in the workplace and the rising attrition rate have resulted in a constant demand for talented employees, and calling on L&D pros to be more proactive in their approach to optimize available talent and focus on capability development in order to address the skills gap.

Here are some of the most sought-after courses that will help L&D and HR leaders get a better understanding of the current upskilling and reskilling trends and device an effective learning program, starting with the skills they need the most.

  • Mental Health & Wellness

As mental health and productivity go hand-in-hand, wellness and mental health as a skill have become a must-have for successful leadership, not only at the C-suit level, but also at team lead and managerial levels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety disorders cost $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. With the impact of 2020 on global workplaces, mental health in the workplace and productivity have seen an uptake, and based on its demand in 2020, it’s clear that businesses and employees see the benefits of mastering this skill set. Skills to master:

Anxiety management | Resilience | Stress management | Meditation | Mindfulness

  • Productivity

‘Burnout’ has most recently been recognized as an ‘occupational phenomenon’ by the WHO. No surprise then why organizations are rushing to address its cause and impact at the base level and empower employees to be more mindful in terms of time management and self-discipline skills to tackle the challenges of burnout; more so in today’s highly volatile business environment where the cause for burnout can range from meager to major. Skills to master:

Time Management | Motivation | Focus Mastery | Self-discipline | Memory | Goal Achievement

  • Communication & Collaboration

Complex problem solving, although a skill in itself, requires employees coming together to ideate and brainstorm innovative solutions to solve pressing business problems; however, historically, collaboration between opposing personalities and view-points often leads to more problems than solutions, which is why teams need to be more mindful of skills like active listening and conflict management to collaborate effectively. In 2020, the demand for communication skills has increased as employees realize the value of listening and accommodating. Skills to master:

Listening Skills | Business Communication | Business Writing | Business Etiquette | Conflict Management | Interpersonal Feedback

  • Leadership

Creating effective leadership in organizations is by no means a new topic, but it has become increasingly important given the frequent disruptions in how business is done globally. The role of leadership in improving the business outcomes, processes, and effectiveness will certainly become more vital in the near future, and L&D pros will become more instrumental in ensuring effective leadership development. Skills to master:

Diversity & Inclusion | Decision Making | Strategic Thinking | Facilitation | Teamwork |
Cultural Awareness

  • Growth Mindset

As the name suggests, a growth mindset is a skill employees must cultivate in today’s era of rapid change to rise up to the evolving workplace challenges, while organizations need to foster a growth mindset by updating and nurturing the employees’ knowledge and skills required for their professional role. In an ever-growing globalized and competitive society, the importance of having a growth mindset cannot be overstated.

From the learner’s perspective, individual employees must remain competitive with peers, and seek opportunities to stand out from the rest. However, employees often see having a growth mindset as something that they achieve through courses and training programs. But, a growth mindset is more about continuous learning and skill development that will help improve performance and help stay updated on all new developments in the industry. Skills to master:

Critical Thinking | Innovation | Creative Problem Solving | Emotional Intelligence


It’s a given that evolving workplaces will demand newer skills going into 2021. That’s why it’s absolutely imperative for businesses to adopt a continuous learning culture, while also tapping into the latest trends and in-demand skills sought by global organizations.

So, are your employees skill-ready for 2021?

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