Are you really ready to work? Today a large percentage of people preparing to enter the workforce are significantly lacking in the “soft” or workplace readiness skills — such as teamwork, decision-making, and communication — that will help them become effective employees and managers. In a Job Outlook 2015 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), the top characteristics looked for in new hires by 276 employer respondents were all soft skills: communication ability, a strong work ethic, initiative, interpersonal skills, and teamwork. In addition, the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) found that while credentials (degrees and certi cates) are important, it is the development of soft skills (those that are more social than technical) that is critical to developing a strong, vibrant workforce.
But what does “workforce readiness” mean? And why is it important? Workplace readiness skills are important because they ensure workers have the basic academic, critical thinking and personal skills necessary to maintain employment. Academic skills such as reading, writing, basic math and communication skills are essential for optimal job performance. The ability for employees to think and make sound decisions is essential. Further, workers who possess personal qualities such as punctuality, work ethic and a friendly and cooperative attitude perform their jobs honestly and have respect for their co-workers and superiors.
Both employers and employees benefit from workplace readiness training. Workers who possess job readiness skills are better equipped to succeed because they have what it takes to perform job duties. Workplace readiness skills also give employees the confidence and proficiency to pursue advancement opportunities. Employers who hire skilled workers realize an increase in productivity because employees perform their jobs correctly, complete work on time and achieve company goals and objectives. Hiring skilled employees also minimizes employee turnover because workers recognize advancement opportunities.
The Learning Oasis supports career training programs at Community Colleges and Adult Education Centers, throughout California. Each career training program includes comprehensive training in the workplace readiness skills that prepare the graduate for the 21st century workplace.