Select Page

The jobs market is pretty saturated at the moment, and sometimes it feels like you can’t keep up. Kids nowadays are being pushed into STEM fields, which is great and most likely will make up most of ones future careers, but those of us who are older millennials (30+) didn’t have the advantage of a school system that really valued maths and science. Still, there are still some incredibly important skills that will help you thrive in your chosen career, STEM related or not. Let’s take a look at the top 10 most important employee skills you’ll need to have in 2020, according to a report predicting current trends by the World Economic Forum

10. Complex Problem Solving 

We live in a world saturated by Big Data and AI. Technology is getting smarter, and we’re starting to fall behind. However, machines are still not smart enough to make their own decisions and solve complex problems without the influence of humans. Having the skill of complex problem solving is arguably one of the most important employee skills you’ll need to possess in the future. 

9. Critical Thinking

Falling behind in the jobs market is a terrifying thought. Critical thinking is one skill in demand, that could make a real difference in your career. Critical thinking means you have the ability to think clearly and concisely about a concept, and make a judgment based on logic and deep analysis. Allowing yourself to analyse and examine something, without being drawn into what other people’s opinions on the matter are, is the skill they’re after. Critical thinking is vital in an environment that requires innovation. 

8. Creativity

Sure, computers and AI help us get our work done faster and more efficiently, but at this point they lack a real sense of creativity. Being creative is a huge draw for employers, as they know that you’ll be able to come up with innovative ideas and really think outside the box. 

7. People Management 

Having good interpersonal skills, or people management skills, is one thing that everyone should learn if they plan on being a leader in their industry. Sure, some people are born with an innate sense of leadership, but it is something that can be learned. Managing your team properly ensures a sense of harmony, bolsters everyone’s morale, and promotes success in the long run. Happy employees make for a successful business. 

6. Coordinating With Others  

Coordinating with others forms a part of proper interpersonal skills, and is very much dependant on your communication skills. A lack of proper communication among team members will hamper the success of the group. In order to lead a group, you yourself need to master this skill! While remote working is becoming increasingly popular, you will still most likely need to work as part of a team at some point. 

5. Emotional Intelligence 

Yes, emotional intelligence is still a vitally important skill to have to be a success in the workplace. You need to be able to control and manage your own emotions. Letting things spiral out of control in a work environment is not only unprofessional, it can also be damaging to your coworkers. Everyone has bad days, but you have to remain sensitive to the experiences of the people around you at all times – regardless of how badly you’re doing. 

4. Judgement and Decision Making

AI still requires the input of our data to make decisions, so it can’t truly make decisions on its own. The demand for good judgment and decision making skills is really high for employees. Mastering this skill is highly required in corporates, and shows agency and confidence. Learn to make positive decisions, and reflect on when the decision you made was a bad one. 

3. Service Orientation

No, we’re not talking about being in the service industry. Service orientation simply means that you look at how you can help the people around you. Whether they form part of your team, are your employees, or your clients, maintaining a level of respect and an attitude of patience helps you grow and your team grow with you.  

2. Negotiation

Negotiating to your desired end is a really important skill. People often fail to reach the agreement that they want because they lack the proper negotiation skills. Standing firm in your goals and beliefs is the first step to any negotiation, although compromise is often necessary and isn’t always a bad thing. 

  1. Cognitive Flexibility 

Number one on the list of top 10 most important employee skills to have in 2020 is Cognitive Flexibility. Cognitive Flexibility is the skill of being able to handle different individuals and tasks, according to what they require. Being flexible about how you approach something is a crucial skill. Being too rigid in your approach is never a good thing – it can tarnish relationships and cause you to miss out on opportunities. Be flexible! 

Top skills

Whether you’re working remotely, in an office, in STEM or as a creative, having the top 10 most important employee skills for 2020 is a big plus. These make you a better person, and a better employee. Going forward, interpersonal skills are clearly just as important as other skills – let’s never forget the power of human interaction.