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Workers’ skills lacking in key areas

Every manager and top executive wants only the best people to work for them. Creative, motivated and highly skilled workers are essential to the success of every organization, but a new survey shows that the reality is often far from the ideal.

Every manager and top executive wants only the best people to work for them. Creative, motivated and highly skilled workers are essential to the success of every organization, but a new survey shows that the reality is often far from the ideal.

A new report by the American Management Association found that companies are placing increased importance on communication and creativity. However, most executives admit their workforce is average at best in these areas. In highly competitive environments, merely average is not enough to maintain success.

“We believe that critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity are the keys to keeping up with the relentless pace of change that confronts all businesses and their employees as we push forward in the global economy,” Edward T. Reilly, president and CEO of AMA, said in a statement.

Improving key skills
Modern employees specifically lack skills in four main areas: communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. To help improve these areas, companies may want to consider implementing employee reward and recognition programs. These initiatives can be part of an overall push to strengthen the relationships between departments and create a supportive environment for workers. By engaging employees with a series of challenges and rewarding improvements in specific areas, companies can build a culture that encourages teamwork, Business Day Online reported.

The office environment plays a key role in improving company performance. As team members feel camaraderie with each other, they are more willing to collaborate on new ideas and develop innovative solutions to common problems. Recognizing the commitment of individuals or teams who have undertaken various projects may inspire others to tackle new challenges. This process also sends feedback to employees about the importance of communication and critical thinking.

Creating better staff development programs
Reward and recognition programs are a valuable tool in building office cultures, but they can also be used in conjunction with training programs. Rewarding staff members for taking classes or developing new skills highlights the importance of continual learning to companies’ success. While some employees will automatically undertake their own career development, organizations could benefit from establishing clear developmental goals for each worker. Placing an emphasis on skills like critical thinking or communication will improve the areas companies need to remain competitive.

Regardless of what initiatives businesses use to improve their workforce, they need to ensure the programs are having the desired results.  Business Finance Magazine notes that internal audits are necessary to review various employee reward programs. Adjusting performance metrics, team goals or other aspects can help firms see continual improvement in their employees.

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