Posts Tagged ‘team collaboration’

Where to Begin Developing Workplace Talent

Americans by an over whelming majority believe to stay competitive workplace talent must be developed. Many are also in agreement this action must take place at institutions of higher education.  Yet, is there where the emphasis should be?

workplace-talentWhen we look at what employers are seeking, even college graduates fail to meet what is needed in the workplace such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Team collaboration skills
  • Technology skills

Many of these skills are not necessarily learned in the classroom and probably should have already been learned through the past 12 years of education.  Unfortunately, these skills are not being learned unless someone is involved in athletics (team collaboration skills) or debate (communication skills).

Workplace talent should have been developed by the time young people leave high school.  They have 12 years to learn and hone the necessary workplace talent skills.

When we look at those who graduated before the early 1970s and those who graduated after, there appears to be a noticeable difference for many.  Beyond the curriculum being “watered down,” there exists a different mentality about work ethics and even self worth.

As a sales manager I saw this difference.  There were those few employees who gave more by working harder and far more employees who expected a paycheck for less work.  The old adage of giving 8 for 8 was true back then in the 1970 and 1980s.

Being an elected school board trustee in the late 1980’s and early 1990s, one observation that was pretty consistent was I could not tell some of the teachers from the students. Gone were the days of being professionally dressed.  Now the goal appeared to be like a student instead of a professional leader.

Possibly if we want to develop workplace talent, then maybe the starting place is with developing teachers.  What this means is teachers must leave any preconceived ideas about politics, social justice, etc. and start without bias to truly opening up the capacity to learn and to grow.

Our country needs competitive workforce talent.  And probably the first place is to deep six the idea “everyone wins a trophy” because in the workplace there are no trophies.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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