Mar 29 2022

The Fundamental Power of Behavioral Skills

“Most companies today struggle with either finding top-tier talent or uncovering the full potential of their teams. ”

by  Ankit Durga, Co-founder, Fundamento

Employers are increasingly pushing their teams to go beyond and push boundaries to deliver outcomes that stand out. However, teams are understaffed, overworked, and there are a lot of interconnected elements at play - increasing attrition, evolving work dynamics, job uncertainties and a constantly changing business landscape, that catapults this problem even further. 

The world of business is undergoing rapid changes with the advent of technology, automation, and evolving work models. In fact, over the last two years, the pace of work has dramatically increased across sectors with digital technology driving the speed of execution. As a result, managers are looking at redefining job roles to get teams to do more than what’s standard operating procedure. The most recent reflection of this shift was visible in McKinsey’s 2021 insights on the future of work vis-a-vis changing functional roles at the workplace. It suggests that the world of work is changing so quickly that while some jobs will be lost, and many created, almost all jobs will change in the coming months and years. 

This is increasingly being proven true. Employers are stuck in a situation where they compromise quality while hiring, which heavily contributes to the already existing skill-gap in the organization. Even if it is tackled by training, the impact is measured on inaccurate benchmarks. It’s an ongoing cycle. The problem that most of these companies face is that they have no objective data to rely on while predicting job performance. The recruitment and training process is subjective and driven by gut feelings.

Additionally, companies often hire people on the back of competencies which are essentially the ‘what’ of things. Behind every ‘what’, though, is a ‘how’. For those competencies to manifest, there are essential skills required. This is where behavioral skills and emotional intelligence come in. Skills like persuasion, influencing people, being empathetic are what go on to become the ‘how’ for the ‘what’. 

Behavioral skills and emotional intelligence attributes essentially reflect performance and attitude. They are considered extremely valuable in the digital era, and rightly so. They’re highly transferable, learnable, help navigate changing work dynamics and predict job potential. 

Over the years, industry experts, academicians and employers across the world have identified some essential behavioral skills that are important for employability and the future of work - effective communication, teamwork, motivation, problem-solving, enthusiasm, accountability and trust, among several others. These skills also form an important part of the competency frameworks of many organizations and are vital in defining success at work. 

These are fundamental skills, not because of their derived value, but how they play a significant role in helping teams not just survive the future of work but thrive in it. 

Why are they fundamental skills?

  • Building blocks that are important for developing job-specific competencies
  • Lifelong skills that are relevant across roles and organizations
  • Transferrable in nature and unlock mobility in careers
  • Critical for leaders who need to influence and develop other people

There is enough and more research to back this up. In fact, companies are beginning to identify these skills as critical to business growth. The 2022 LinkedIn Global Talent Trend Report talks about “flex culture” replacing the old way of working. A recent study by IBM stated that behavioral skills are looked at by executives as most critical for members of the workforce today. 

However, companies often think of these skills as intangible skills that are very hard to measure. Thus, the big question is how these skills can be accurately assessed. 

Fundamento solves this very problem. We’ve leveraged decades of research in I/O psychology to build a platform that provides objective data to accurately predict job performance. Our assessments have been developed and designed specially to test for behavioral skills and emotional intelligence traits at the workplace. Fundamento is powered by Skill Flex® which is based on the evidence that behavioral skills will become increasingly important in the future and are the best way to ensure workplaces are future ready. 

At Fundamento, we’ve identified 15 behavioral skills and 17 emotional intelligence traits that we believe matter at the workplace such as critical thinking, resilience, creativity, empathy, initiative, conflict management and more. 

Objective data on these skills helps companies make the right talent choices with precision. The skills assessments on our platform help make accurate hiring, promotion and training decisions. In fact, behavioral skills can be developed over time through training, experiences and commitment to intentional practice. Thus, these assessments are critical because they help organizations discover high potential talent and identify skill gaps in the organization to make informed and evidence-based decisions. 

In a future where skills are the currency for organizations and individuals, objective data on behavioral skills is going to be critical for building enduring teams. With Fundamento, we work every day to reinforce the belief that behavioral skills are in fact, the fundamental skills that you will require to succeed in your career.

Ankit Durga, Co-founder and CEO at Fundamento, is an alumnus of Harvard’s Executive Program for Strategic Nonprofit Management and an INK Fellow. He has been a youth representative for Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program—a youth recognition program for students from across the world. Ankit’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2013 with Leap Skills. Before that, he worked in various managerial roles across both — corporates and start-ups. Following his graduation from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, Delhi University, Ankit worked at Ernst and Young as a risk analyst. He then joined the start-up sector and worked at successful companies such as Zomato and Happily Unmarried, acquiring significant insights into start-up work culture.


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