Monday, November 24, 2008

THE HARD FACTS About Soft Skills

THE HARD FACTS About Soft Skills

  • A survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council found that although MBA’s were strong in analytical aptitude, quantitative expertise, and information-gathering ability, they were sorely lacking in other critical areas that employers find equally attractive: strategic thinking, written and oral communication, leadership, and adaptability.

  • Research at DePaul University concluded that recruiters want business schools to pay more attention to people-oriented skills like leadership and communication. Students, however, frequently complain that those "soft skills" won't get them jobs, and they're pressuring their business schools to focus instead on functional or technical content, the researchers say.

  • One study found that among 358 randomly selected Johnson and Johnson managers, the best performing ones possessed significantly higher levels of self-awareness, self-management capability, social skills, and organizational savvy.

  • Research on more than 200,000 managers and workers at multiple companies during a 10-year period links employee recognition with financial performance. According to the data, companies that effectively recognized personal excellence had triple the profitability—as measured by return on equity (ROE)—in comparison with firms that didn't.

  • In a survey of 100 human resources executives conducted by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the outplacement firm, nearly half said that entry workers lacked writing skills and 27 percent said that they were deficient in critical thinking. “It appears that young employees are writing company e-mails as if they were texting cellphone messages with their thumbs,” noted the New York Times (Phyllis Korkki), adding, “in response employers a sending a message of their own: When you’re in the office, put on those dress shoes and start spelling your words correctly, and in full.”

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