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Are American Workers Prepared for the Future of Work?

March 12, 2013

American Management Association (AMA) announced the results of a new survey showing that U.S. executives are looking for workers with more critical job skills. The ability to think critically, solve problems, innovate, and collaborate are highly valued at every level within the organization, according to Edward T. Reilly, President and CEO, AMA.  Moreover, three out of four managers and executives surveyed say these job skills will become ever more important in the fast-paced, competitive global economy.

 The Most Critical Job Skills for the Future

AMA conducted the “2012 Critical Skills Survey”  online in December 2012. Of the 768 managers and executives who responded, most say that in terms of job skills, the four Cs – critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity – have been articulated within their organizations as priorities for employee development, talent management, and succession planning.  In fact, the majority agreed that their employees are measured in these skills during annual performance appraisals and that job applicants are assessed in these areas during the hiring process.

Room for Improvement

Unfortunately, though, more than half of the executives surveyed reported that there is significant room for improvement in these job skills among their employees.

 Executives admit that the majority of their workforce is average—or below average—in communication skills (62%), creativity (61%), collaboration (52%), and critical thinking (49%).

According to Edward Reilly: “We believe that critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity are the keys to keeping up with the relentless pace of change that confronts all businesses and their employees as we push forward in the global economy.”

2012 Critical Skills Survey pdf

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About The Author

Christina Parisi is Director of Digital Content at the American Management Association. Previously she was an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies.

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