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Soft Skills

An Historic Perspective

colleen champ

on 29 December 2016

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Transcript of Soft Skills

According to 2009 employers, today's workforce is ill-prepared because it lacks applied knowledge of the following skills:
Oral and written communication
Diversity skills
Social Responsibility
Problem solving
The application of information technology (Casner-Lotto, et al., 2010)
An Historic Perspective

Soft Skills

Executive Perceptions of the Top 10 Soft Skills Needed in Today’s Workplace
75% of long-term job success depends on people skills, while only 25% is dependent on technical knowledge (Klaus, 2010).

Hard skills contribute only 15% to one’s success, whereas 85% of success is due to soft skills (Watts & Watts, 2008).
Early reference of
"Soft Skills"
was made by the U.S. Army
in the early 1970s.

In the workplace, these early soft skills were about being a good, dutiful employee:
Back then, a soldier needed the "hard skill" of map-reading...
... and the "soft skill" of decision-making after reading the map.
(Fry & Whitmore, 1972)
Deliver excellent customer service
Adapt to your work place
Please your manager
Learn and know the skills of your job
(Fry & Whitmore, 1972)
1999 Soft Skills
A soft skill shift occurred Between the '70s and '90s. The ability to do as told, to "take direction" wasn't enough. Employers began training their employees to also be critical thinkers and strong communicators.
Communication skills
Interpersonal skills
Personal Qualities & Work Ethic
Strong Cognitive skills
The Ill-Prepared Workforce
(Casner-Lotto, 2010)
As we slid into the aughts, soft-skill demand slid slightly away from critical thinking; employers needed less "thinking" and more "doing."
The soft-skill demand in the new millennium was for
According to business owners
Boss says,
"I need 30 bottles!"
Hmm.. How many more cases should I bring then?
(Conrad, 1999)
Conrad (1999) argued that in the '90s, qualified minorities were discriminated against because employers unfairly assumed they held poor work ethics.
Interpersonal and communication skills...
Employers ask, "Are you good with people?"
"Are you a hard worker?"
Cognitive skills...
Employers began asking, "Are you SMART?"
70s "Smart"=Remembering stuff
90s "Smart"=Figuring out stuff
Employee of the Month
Teamwork Skills
Interpersonal skills
Positive Attitude
Work Ethic
(Robles, 2012)
(These are getting back to what we saw in the 70s about basic politeness and consideration of others. They may be driven by a generalized impression of the new millennial employee.)
90 Executives Responded!
New Media Literacy
Design Mindset
Social Intelligence
Virtual Intelligence
Cognitive Load Management
Computational Thinking
Novel & Adaptive Thinking
Cross-Cultural Competency
Sense Making (Problem Identification)
Work Skills
(IFTF, 2011)
Strategic skills?
Functional Skills?
(These sound like they are driven by web and information literacy issues)
Birdie Champ, B.S., M.Ed., CG(ASCP)
© 2013 CHAMP
© 2013 CHAMP
Knowing that five times six is thirty is not enough. How do you apply the knowledge to your work?
Hmm... Why does this sound familiar? Remember soldiers reading maps?
Do you provide employees soft skills training in any of these areas?
Full transcript