Blog Post

These 12 Skills Are Critical for 2020—And They’re Available for Free This Week

Cornerstone Editors

Learning is rising to the top of business agendas in 2020.

According to research from PwC, the availability of key skills is a top concern for business leaders worldwide as they look to ready their companies for the future of work. In recent years learning has been in their top five concerns for the future; in 2019, it rose to the top three.

Thanks to the rise of technology, change and disruption are the new normal for companies today—and that shows no signs of slowing down in the future. For example, the average tenure for companies on the S&P 500 is declining, expected to drop in half by 2027. Some of the top challenges all companies face include transforming in the face of disruption, reducing risk and meeting compliance mandates, and the persistent challenge of pursuing revenue growth and increasing operational efficiency.

But what are the top skills that employers—and employees alike—should focus on to instill resilience at their companies in the face of this new normal? At Cornerstone, we had the same question. In 2019, we gathered data from 40 million users to discover which skills were the most in-demand, and the following 12 topped the list:



Personal Growth

Active Listening

Stress Management


Time Management

Unconscious Bias

Conflict Management

Project Management

Emotional Intelligence

Customer Service

Unlike the top skills of the past—focused on functional tasks—these skills will help employees remain resilient to the myriad ways jobs, companies and industries will change and evolve in the coming years. And, as evidenced in the PwC study, developing them is an urgent prospect for companies today.

Our team at Cornerstone wanted to ensure that companies and employees could start mastering these skills as soon as possible. So, in honor of Digital Learning Day on February 27, we’re going to make courses in the most in-demand topics available to everyone—for free, for an entire month.

Today, over 4,000 courses are available on the Cornerstone Content Anytime platform, accessible via desktop or mobile to make it easy—and true to the name—for employees to learn wherever, whenever. From this list, we’ve culled the 48 most critical for 2020 based on our research, including "How to Make Stress Your Friend" from TED, and "Lead With Compassion" from BigThink, among many others. These courses will be available to anyone with an interest to learn—which, according to our research, is a top priority not only for employers, but for employees across generations.

Be prepared to take advantage of this special event this week, by marking February 27—Digital Learning Day—on your calendar and take advantage of these free learning opportunities. The portal will be available via Cornerstone’s Digital Learning Event page until March 30th.

Interested to read more about the growing demand for these 12 skills? Download the ebook, "Overcoming the Skills Crisis in Today’s Modern Workplace," here.

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Spotlight on Electrolux and Ageas: Preparing for and maintaining impactful learning programs

Driving business outcomes from an investment in learning content requires an engagement strategy that makes learning materials available and accessible to employees. Organizations need to launch and maintain learning programs effectively to ensure they have maximum impact on both employees and the business as a whole. Both Ageas and Electrolux have successfully launched digital learning programs, each taking steps to maintain and sustain engagement.

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