Top 4 Employee Skills to Succeed During the Lockdown Era
Over the next 3 months we will see the carefully measured easing of lockdown: schools and businesses will be reinstated on a phased basis, within a climate of social distancing. While many employers will reinstitute office-based working, some remote working will have to remain in place, if safe social distancing is to be achieved in offices, without costly expansion.
The post-lockdown era will be characterised by careful operational transitions and remote working practices, especially in the hiring process, placing emphasis on the following skills:
1.Projecting your personality in video interviews
Both now and in the post-lockdown era, an increasing part of the hiring process will be conducted via video interview/conference and it’s important that protagonists are able to put their best foot forward in this environment. More and more careers will be advanced and jobs secured via video interview.
However, research shows that video interviews have a ‘personality dampening’ effect. A study in Science Daily found that candidates rated their video interviewers as less personable, trustworthy and competent than a face to face equivalents. While video candidates were rated lower and less likely to be recommended for hire by interviewers than face to face equivalents.
This means that projecting your personality in video interview is a skill in itself and to get an edge you need to be able to project yourself well in a digital environment. Here are a few tips to help you project in a video interview.
- Be more visually expressive than normal to convey enthusiasm
- Position yourself closer to the camera so your micro-expressions are also visible
- Get an HD camera so viewers can see the definition of your face and read your expressions better
- Practise having calls with friends and colleagues and ask for feedback and adjust things until you get it right.
- Ask your video interviewer how well you are coming across.
2.Adaptability and Flexibility
These two qualities have taken on an almost existential significance in the coronavirus crisis era. Front-line NHS staff, supermarkets, public houses, restaurants, retailers, small food producers have had to show extraordinary levels of adaptability and alacrity to rapidly re-engineer their fulfilment processes to ensure continuity of service, while ensuring adequate social distancing and safety. We’ve seen thousands of people including furloughed airline staff pivoting careers to respond to the supermarket sourcing and resourcing challenge.
With extreme uncertainty expected to be the norm for the foreseeable future, workers will need to show the ability to adapt to new challenges. Recruiters may need to prioritise qualities of adaptability and flexibility in new hires, during these unprecedented times.
3.Creative Thinking and Innovation. One of the biggest challenges during this coronavirus era has been the worrying shortage of resources and strained supply chains. Be that toilet rolls, flour or most crucially, ventilators and PPE, a lack of supply has been threatening continuity right at the point of need.
While there isn’t always a creative workaround to these challenges, in many circumstances there is, even within front-line coronavirus care. See some examples of lockdown inspired creative thinking and innovation below:
- Mercedes F1 rapidly pivoted from making racing cars to making CPAP breathing devices which could be used to help coronavirus patients, potentially freeing up ventilators for the more seriously ill.
- GPs took their consultations online.
- Locked-down pubs facing financial ruin pivoted into grocery stores
- Sit-down restaurants innovated into take-out and delivery businesses in order to survive.
There are many more examples which prove that out-of-the-box thinking has been, and will continue to be, crucial qualities during this crisis.
The ability to creatively innovate whilst under pressure should be a key quality in all new hires as creative organisations will not only survive but even thrive over the next 12 months.
Social distancing is placing a greater reliance on social and remote working technologies, particularly video conferencing software, cloud-based file management, software as as a service and old-fashioned email tech.
Digital transformation of businesses is now being fast-tracked throughout industry which means we need more than just ‘IT Literate’ or ‘Tech Savvy’ workers, you need to be digitally fluent.
Digital fluency means being aware of the full ecosystem of social and work-flow technologies in your niche and being skilled in each one.
The lockdown work-place has changed dramatically, with a greater emphasis on remote working, social distancing and social technologies, placing increased emphasis on these four qualities of digital fluency, adaptability, creative thinking and personality projection via video.
By exhibiting and developing these qualities you will quickly adjust to the new normal and be able to not just survive but thrive in the post-coronavirus world.
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