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Tuesday, 04th of May 2021
What skills do people really need to thrive at work in times of uncertainty?


When it comes to upskilling & reskilling in organisations, we often hear leaders talk about skills development. Which are the ones that matter in times of uncertainty?

Building capabilities in an organisation is essential for sustainability of business growth: the future of work will require organisations to become learning organisations - those that foster continuous learning, create opportunities for creativity and innovation, opportunities to experiment (even fail if needed), ensure that their employees are equipped for the future - AI & machine learning, digital capabilities, data analytics, and other skills required for the specific business to grow.

Equally -if not even more- organisations will have to become centred on the human well-being; and need to consider supporting employees in the growth of their psychological resources. Psychological resources refer to attitudes and mindsets: such as optimism, growth mindset, resilience, sense of purpose, and connection - which are all vital parts of one's mental well-being.

Burnout, anxiety, stress, and various other mental health challenges are continuously faced by employees in organisations around the globe. It is the silent pandemic that we are just now starting to bring forth in the post-COVID world. Although, it is not something new - we are just now taking actions towards managing this. According to Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report 2020 - over 80% of respondents stated that mental wellbeing is important or very important for their organisation's growth. Finally, due to the current crisis, we are ready to put some actions behind those realisations and statements. We can no longer ignore the fact that according to some statistics, over 46% of employees globally are living through some of these mental health challenges daily. This directly impacts your business. It is costing organisations in countries like the UK, over 30 billion GBP annually as a result of burnout, absenteeism, leaveism, and other mental health challenges.

Organisations need to invest equally in up-skilling to future skills ("the how to...") and in the psychological capacity of their people ("the how to be..."). They go hand in hand, it does not have to cost an arm and a leg to do so.

One of the biggest learnings of the COVID era is that employees are highly resilient - despite the situation, organisations have been capable to accelerate their transformation: new services, new business models, new technologies have been quickly implemented because of the sense of urgency and purpose during challenging times. Imagine how much more organisations could achieve, if their people had the right learning culture through skills and psychological resources to augment their capacity to embrace change?

Written by Elena Agaragimova,
Managing Partner at Bessern (

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