Business Research Reveals 15 'Personal' Skills Needed on the Job

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Employers are also looking for workers who have that special something: the work skills, tendencies and attributes that help to keep productivity - and profits - up.

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Employers are also looking for workers who have that special something: the work skills, tendencies and attributes that help to keep productivity - and profits - up.

What are they? Businesses are looking for employees with strong "personal" skills, according to ACT research. Keep these in mind, because employers certainly are.

  • Carefulness: Do you have a tendency to think and plan carefully before acting? This helps with reducing the chance for costly errors, as well as keeping a steady workflow going.
  • Cooperation: Willingness to engage in interpersonal work situations is very important in the workplace.
  • Creativity: You've heard of "thinking outside the box"? Employers want innovative people who bring a fresh perspective.
  • Discipline: This includes the ability to keep on task and complete projects without becoming distracted or bored.
  • Drive: Businesses want employees who have high aspiration levels and work hard to achieve goals.
  • Good attitude: This has been shown to predict counterproductive work behaviors, job performance, and theft.
  • Goodwill: This is a tendency to believe others are well-intentioned.
  • Influence: Groups need strong leaders to guide the way. Influence includes a tendency to positively impact social situations by speaking your mind and becoming a group leader.
  • Optimism: A positive attitude goes a long way toward productivity.
  • Order: "Where did I put that?" A tendency to be well organized helps employees to work without major distractions or "roadblocks."
  • Safe work behaviors: Employers want people who avoid work-related accidents and unnecessary risk-taking in a work environment.
  • Savvy: This isn't just about job knowledge, but knowledge of coworkers and the working environment. It includes a tendency to read other people's motives from observed behavior and use this information to guide one's thinking and action.
  • Sociability: How much you enjoy interacting with coworkers affects how well you work with them.
  • Stability: This means a tendency to maintain composure and rationality in stressful work situations.
  • Vigor: This is a tendency to keep a rapid tempo and keep busy.

For more information on how to assess and build upon these and other "personal" skill areas - as well as "foundational" skills such as math, reading and writing - go to http://www.act.org/workkeys.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please run this story anytime during the holidays for the benefit of adult workers in your community. ACT is a nonprofit organization.

CONTACT:    

Will Valet

Media Relations, ACT Inc.

Phone: (319) 337-1028

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ACT Inc.
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