Six skills on the agenda for 2021

The world as we know it has changed forever. Here are six skills to take forward into 2021.

Laura Broad Senior Learning Designer

Six skills on the agenda for 2021

After what has felt like the longest year known to man, it's time to reflect on the year just passed and look ahead to what comes next. 

For the THRIVE content team, this means thinking about what learning content we want to see in the world over the next 12 months. And as knowledge is best shared, here's a sneak peek at which topics we've got in the works for 2021.


We've long preached it at THRIVE, but this year has all but confirmed it: the traditional model of leadership needs a rethink. 

As a leader, you need to be human. You need to show empathy. You need to have a culture of trust in your organisation that starts from the very top. And you need to be able to do all of this consistently - even when under pressure or in a crisis. These are all themes we've been covering since day one of our content journey.


Leadership hasn't been the only lesson learned in 2020. Now more than ever, the importance of clear, honest and consistent communication has come to light.

In the early days of the pandemic in the UK, a survey revealed that 43% of employees felt that workplace communication needed improvement. This isn't just about keeping people in the know either - it's about connection, relationships and teamwork too. Communication is always a skill we can build and improve on.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Equality and diversity is a topic we've always considered to be far more than a tick-box exercise. In 2021, we must all take it one step further with inclusion.

As people, we all perform better when we're able to bring our whole selves to work in a safe and welcoming environment. It should be the goal of every organisation to build an inclusive workplace where everyone is able to thrive. 

Emotional intelligence

We connect better with each other when we're able to tap into how we feel and when we can step into someone else's shoes and feel what they feel. These are two important pillars of emotional intelligence. 

This is one skill we think no one, especially leaders, should go without. So in 2021, why not work on these areas.

  • Self-awareness: Knowing what you're feeling and why you're feeling it.
  • Self-management: Being able to handle and manage your own emotions.
  • Motivation: Giving yourself that push, even when you're not in the mood.
  • Empathy: Recognising and considering other people's feelings.

It can be hard to stay motivated when it feels like everything is changing. Being able to self-motivate and motivate others around you can help you and your teams succeed even when the going gets tough.

Hot topics

We don't know about you, but we've lost count of the number of times we've heard the words ''unprecedented' or 'never-before-seen' this year. But one thing we can take away from this is the learning experiences. 

Many of us have learned more about topics like empathy, kindness, racism and epidemiology than ever before! And one thing we in L&D can take away is the importance of always being willing to listen to our learners so our content is relevant and timely. Our hot topics bundle lets us be reactive to real-world events and the lessons we can learn from them, so no doubt 2021 will see it grow.

Skills for work and life

For many of us, 2020 is the year where dining room tables became desks for the first time. Partners, pets and children became coworkers. The lines between work and home lives blurred. How did we all do it?

Time management. Adapting to change. Resilience. These are the kinds of skills we've had to get good at in 2020 to overcome the challenges thrown our way. The uncertainty of what the next year will bring means they likely aren't going anywhere as we head into 2021.

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