According to a survey conducted in 2012 by the American Management Association, “More than half of executives admit their employees are “average” at best in critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills.”
The AMA Survey defined the skills as follows:
- Critical thinking and problem solving – the ability to make decisions, solve problems, and take action as appropriate
- Effective communication – the ability to synthesize and transmit your ideas both in written and oral formats
- Collaboration and team building – the ability to work effectively with others, including those from diverse groups and with opposing points of view
- Creativity and innovation – the ability to see what’s NOT there and make something happen.
Executives and managers say that these skills are considered during employee reviews, as well as new applicant interviews. There are some very good reasons why employers seek these skills. In fact, three out of four saw these skills as being increasingly important over the next three to five years.
We live in a fast-paced business world. Competition has gone from the local town to the world for many. Only the strongest businesses survive. Without employees who can solve problems, communicate effectively to their target audience and customer base, work collaboratively with other employees and departments within the company, and think outside the box, a company can be left in the dust of its competition pretty quickly.
How can an employer work with its current staff to improve these skills? The survey revealed that most employers feel that mentoring and in-house training are the key. One to one coaching, job rotation and professional development are other methods that can be used.
The survey also suggested that managers and executives feel that it’s easier to train a student or recent graduate, who may be more open to new ideas, than a more experienced worker, who may be set in his ways.
Download this Infographic to learn the skills that employees need, to become more productive and increase effectiveness.
At EDSI, we have been resolving employee development, leadership, generational, professional presence, and personal effectiveness issues for over 30 years. Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization.