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Critical thinking essential to modern workers

Employee reward programs could be used to recognize workers who have demonstrated complex problem solving by helping teams or departments overcome obstacles.

A recent survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) is helping to highlight the skills that employers are looking for in job candidates. The study found that 93 percent of employers wanted their workers to demonstrate critical thinking, communication and problem solving. These skills were more important than candidates' majors when it came to hiring recent graduates.

"No matter what careers students seek, their college education must equip them with intercultural skills, ethical judgment and a sophisticated understanding of the diversity of our society and of any successful business or organization," said Mildred Garcia, president of California State University, Fullerton and chair of the AAC&U's board of directors.

Businesses can emphasize the importance of these skills for all staff members with employee reward programs. These initiatives could be used to recognize workers who have demonstrated complex problem solving by helping teams or departments overcome obstacles. This creates a culture that promotes the use of critical thinking and communication skills that will be essential to the long-term success of an organization.

The study shows that innovation will be vital to college graduates looking to enter the job market. Ninety-five percent of respondents said finding innovative workers was a priority in their hiring practices. Reward programs are essential tools for businesses looking to build creative environments for their workers that foster the development of new innovative ideas. 

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