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Skill sets of a new age employee [Work] [Times of India]
[January 25, 2014]

Skill sets of a new age employee [Work] [Times of India]

(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Arshie Chevalwala speaks to experts about skills required by the new age employee In the era of flat organisational structures, it is imperative to have a multi faceted work personality and moreover have a flexible approach towards learning new skills. Experts tell us what skills are a must have in today's work scenario Critical thinking Deepak Kaistha, Managing Director, Planman Consulting believes that global competition, the Internet, and widespread use of technology all suggest that the economy of the 21st century will create new challenges for employers and workers.

He says, "As computers and advanced technology become commonplace features across workplaces -- on factory floors, in small grocery stores, and in client-service operations -- the basic and technical skill requirements of traditional jobs are changing. Now a days employers are looking for employee that are multitasking, smart working, posses lateral thinking approach and are able to work under stress and be productive at the same time.

Critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, collaboration, and communication skills have become more important in a fast-paced, competitive global economy." Global mindset Srimathi Shivashankar, AVP, diversity and sustainability, HCL Technologies says, "The sphere of work has changed dramatically over the past few years. Organisations are more global and the demographics of employees are becoming diverse than ever before. Diversity and inclusion is gaining top priority across organisations as there is a changing focus on leveraging it for business goals in the future. Employees in the 21st century, will be evaluated for a global mind set. This means being able to enter a new context, understand the sensitivities and being comfortable doing so - understanding the perspective of other cultures rather than one's own alone. Being 'multicultural adept' is the key to becoming a truly effective 21st century employee." Raj Reddy, SVP and chief HR officer, CSS Corp says, "While a lot can be said on the skills that a 21st century employee should embrace to be successful in today's corporate world, it is equally important for corporates to align themselves well with the new generation. 21st century employees typically like to play by day and keep it simple. Therefore, when dealing with the new generation it is ideal not to over complicate procedures and processes, enhance instant rewards and recognition, and focus on elevating their lifestyle." He points out a four C framework that will help the corporate world align with 21st century employees: Communication: Make it simple; we need to remember that we're competing for their attention.

Collaboration: New gen employees tend to work well in communities that encourage their passion/ interest. Having technology and internal social networks will help to a great extent.

Contribution: Increasingly we are seeing that today's generation is extremely perceptive when it comes to social and environmental issues. Companies should increase the scope for employees to contribute towards corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Compensation: A robust HR policy to instantly reward and recognize new-gen's good work that will also result in elevating their lifestyle, will add immense value.

Cross cultural connect Tina Vas, vice president, Global HR, Collabera believes that the world's getting increasingly flat by the day, with boundaries diminishing rapidly. Apart from evident differences in food and fashion, there also exists a multitude of contrasts in cultural orientation and thinking patterns.

She says, "The cross cultural connect will only increase from here on. Unless companies raise their preparedness quotient, the onset of culture shock looms large. Cognizant of this, companies are leaving no stone unturned to get their employees mentored on multicultural nuances. While crosscultural and cross-gender education programmes have been in prevalence for many years, most companies are refreshing them to get their employees and up-to-speed for adapting to the changing demographics. It's in the interest of both the employer as well as the employees to acknowledge, accept as well as respect the multi-cultural facets that exist. The neo-cultural diversity school of thought propagates the right approach to make the most of opportunities to build cross-cultural relationships - by overcoming apprehensions, communicating effectively and establishing genuine trust and acceptance." Agility "The fast moving technological world demands people to quickly adapt into a new tech platform, new geographical location and ability to play different roles at various points in time of the same engagement. This not only applies to generic profiles but even in a specialist role to a certain extent," advises Aravind Ponniraivan, head, delivery operations, Veric Systems.

(c) 2014 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited

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