21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth
What are “workplace readiness skills” and why are they important? They are a list of skills and behaviors determined by Virginia employers that are necessary for all students to know so they are able to properly interact with supervisors and co-workers when working in their careers. These skills are sometimes called soft skills but are best described as essential skills and are required as part of a Henrico CTE education.
Workplace Readiness Skills Updated for 2019–20
The Virginia Department of Education, with research assistance from the Weldon Cooper Center, has revised the Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth. Two new skills—initiative and self-direction, and information literacy—have been added, and telecommunications have been merged with information technology. The result is 22 skills among three domains: Personal Qualities and Abilities, Interpersonal Skills, and Professional Competencies.
Here are the skills:
Personal Qualities and Abilities
1. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION: Employs originality, inventiveness, and resourcefulness in the workplace.
2. CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM-SOLVING: Uses sound reasoning to analyze problems, evaluate potential solutions, and implement effective courses of action.
3. INITIATIVE AND SELF-DIRECTION: Independently looks for ways to improve the workplace and accomplish tasks.
4. INTEGRITY: Complies with laws, procedures, and workplace policies; demonstrates honesty, fairness, and respect.
5. WORK ETHIC: Consistently works to the best of one’s ability and is diligent, dependable, and accountable for one’s actions.
6. CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Negotiates diplomatic solutions to interpersonal and workplace issues.
7. LISTENING AND SPEAKING: Listens attentively and asks questions to clarify meaning; articulates ideas clearly in a manner appropriate for the setting and audience.
8. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY: Values individual differences and works collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences.
9. CUSTOMER SERVICE ORIENTATION: Anticipates and addresses the needs of customers and coworkers, providing thoughtful, courteous, and knowledgeable service.
10. TEAMWORK: Shares responsibility for collaborative work and respects the thoughts, opinions, and contributions of other team members.
11. BIG PICTURE THINKING: Understands one’s role in fulfilling the mission of the workplace and considers the social, economic, and environmental impacts of one’s actions.
12. CAREER AND LIFE MANAGEMENT: Plans, implements, and manages personal and professional development goals related to education, career, finances, and health.
13. CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND ADAPTABILITY: Accepts constructive feedback well and is open to new ideas and ways of doing things; continuously develops professional skills and knowledge to adjust to changing job requirements.
14. EFFICIENCY AND PRODUCTIVITY: Plans, prioritizes, and adapts work goals to manage time and resources effectively.
15. INFORMATION LITERACY: Locates information efficiently, evaluates the credibility and relevance of sources and facts, and uses information effectively to accomplish work-related tasks.
16. INFORMATION SECURITY: Understands basic Internet and email safety and follows workplace protocols to maintain the security of information, computers, networks, and facilities.
17. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Maintains a working knowledge of devices, resources, hardware, software, systems, services, applications, and IT conventions.
18. JOB-SPECIFIC TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES: Knows how to select and safely use industry-specific technologies, tools, and machines to complete job tasks effectively.
19. MATHEMATICS: Applies mathematical skills to complete tasks as necessary.
20. PROFESSIONALISM: Meets organizational expectations regarding work schedule, behavior, appearance, and communication.
21. READING AND WRITING: Reads and interprets workplace documents and writes effectively.
22. WORKPLACE SAFETY: Maintains a safe work environment by adhering to safety guidelines and identifying risks to self and others.