Group assignments provide transferable skills for the workplace


In my past teaching life, the greatest number of complaints I heard from students involved group assignments. Most students dreaded being paired with their peers. Some students said their peers were lazy, disorganized or freeloaders who weren’t responsible enough to carry out the assignment. We all know and experience these chaotic moments in our lives, and students nowadays are no different.

Whatever resistance you encounter regarding work in group settings, know that such assignments can benefit the class.  Working within a group or on a team is a necessary and valuable skill in today’s job market, one that employers seek in job applicants and employees. Group assignments help students develop the important skills they need to have a competitive advantage in the job market.

The student must realize that the academic world is preparation for the real world, and the skills they learn during these types of assignments will benefit them as they enter the working world.

Group assignments help build the interpersonal skills necessary to becoming a successful leader, problem-solver, critical thinker and good communicator.

The skills I’m referring to are called “soft skills”. Some people naturally have them; others don’t always know how to interact with others or how to effectively communicate with co-workers on work projects.

Perhaps your job requires you to collaborate with others from diverse cultures or know how to problem solve. These are all valuable and transferable skills in the job market and are sought after by many employers. Students must be made aware that although having a professional skill – such as knowing how to code or having the great culinary skills – is important, they are not the only skills necessary to land that dream job. Employees also need soft skills to obtain and maintain employment. As mentioned, some people have them, and others never develop them fully. But group assignments give all students an opportunity to develop these skills. So, next time, embrace that group assignment. It may help you land and keep that dream job. 

Derrick Darden, PhD (Triple D)

http://dcdardentalks.com

Reference:

Fry, John P., “Procedures for Implementing Soft-Skill Training in CONARC Schools,” Paper presented at the CONARC Soft Skills Conference, Texas, 12-13 December 1972

Whitmore, Paul G.; Fry, John P., “Soft Skills: Definition, Behavioral Model Analysis, Training Procedures. Professional Paper 3-74.”, Research Report ERIC Number: ED158043, 48pp.

About DCDARDENTALKS

The goal of this site is to bring a balanced research perspective of topics that relate to the workplace that targets areas such as Team building, Management and Leadership, styles, employee behavior, and appraisal systems and lots more; the topics will be from the interest of both private and public sectors. Additionally, embracing diversity is significant in an organization or business, because it promotes a comprehensive understanding of the variety of cultures, values, and lifestyle differences that make up our society. Where do all of these topics come from is the field of study in Organizational Behavior, " the study of human behavior in organizational settings, the interface between human behavior and the organization" THE WORKPLACE. As a Gulf War Veteran and Senior Army Warrant Officer who worked in the fields of logistics and Federal Acquisition as a federal government worker. I have worked in many diverse environments all of my 30 plus years serving the American people, and I know for a fact that human behavior is ever changing, sometimes minute by minute. Also, embracing diversity can reap creative results, efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity; all of which make the shareholders (American people) happy. For organizations to stay competitive in the 21st century and beyond; organizations must find ways to harness the creativity of their diverse workforces. They must be able to generate ideas among the individuals within their workforce, increase social skills, and foster an appreciation of other cultures and traditions. An organization that does not practice diversity nor invest in its employees will miss out on the most significant workforce in the world -- the American Worker
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