Finnish Mutual Pension Insurance Company Elo gave one hundred Finnish classes the chance to develop their strengths with positive peer feedback by using the Mightifier-app. To honor Finland’s 100 years of independence Elo wanted to encourage students to recognize their own and their classmates’ character strengths. The same strengths are needed also after the school years when moving in to the working life

Character strengths are universal and everyone has them, however people differ in the ways of recognizing and using their strengths. Employees who are familiar with their strengths are needed in the working life – especially in the future because of the changing nature of it. Digitalization makes the working life change in a faster pace than ever before. HR Partner Annette Lius from Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company knows exactly what is required from the workforce in the future: entrepreneurial mindset, communication competence as well as willingness and ability to learn new things.


Entrepreneurial mindset

”Entrepreneurial mindset and self-leadership will be highlighted in the future’s working life”, states Annette Lius. It is well known that the working life will become even freer and for that the entrepreneurial mindset is not necessary only for entrepreneurs anymore. Traditional leadership roles will transform and the employees share more of the responsibilities than ever before. For that reason it’s crucial to be a master in self-leadership. ”Sharing the responsibilities with employees requires a coaching look on leadership and giving feedback is an essential part of it. The skills of giving feedback are a necessity whether you’re in a leadership position or not”, Lius says. People who have a combination of leadership, co-operation and judgment skills will be valuable for the employers.

The changes in leadership practices are happening because of the mutual wish of the employers and employees and it creates a huge demand for self-leadership and the ability to control one’s own work. Entrepreneurial mindset calls for developing one’s own skills and strengths, keeping up to date, being independent and responsible, setting goals and being able to reflect on own actions.


Communication competence

Communication competence is required from everyone at the workplace but the changes in the working life have effects on the nature of interpersonal communication too. ”What it means to have and be co-workers will expand beyond our traditional understandings of it. Different virtual teams in organizations will be much more common and co-operation and communication skills are vital in those situations”, Lius describes. Teamwork is not just solo work in a team but requires sensitiveness towards others and the abilities to notice and utilize different points of views.

Understanding both the organization’s external and internal clients will be the key in almost any job positions. Social intelligence, perspective and creating positive atmosphere with kindness create a perfect foundation for employees’ communication competence. Listening is probably be the most important communication skill because it helps employees to understand the needs of other people and based on that communicate the values of the company in the most optimal ways.


Learning new things

”The opportunities created by digitalization will change the working life tremendously”, says Lius. The ever evolving digital world creates a need for workforce who has the skills to learn new things. New technologies age faster than ever before so creativity becomes an advantage. ”The amount of digital natives in the workplaces will increase rapidly in the next few years. It can change the structures and even the cultures of companies”, Lius predicts.

It’s necessary to feel the love of learning when learning new things itself becomes vital. The readiness to adapt, try new things and be creative are core strengths for future employees. However Lius points out that change just for change is not the way to go and cautiousness is the key in the middle of changing world.

Ways of working and the work environments will be in constant change during the next years. Anticipating the skills and capabilities of the employees is important from the perspectives of individual’s own work, the team or the company. Even though leaders and managers will guide these anticipation processes each expert themselves will be the best person to recognize the current and future opportunities and challenges of their job responsibilities. Increased need to anticipate brings the strengths of learning and cautiousness in the center of the future’s working life.

Developing character strengths is a lifelong process. Strengths can always be developed and focusing on strengths is the perfect answer to the needs of the changing working life. What are your core strengths? And what strengths of yours would you like to keep developing?