Employability skills are soft skills that an individual can easily learn to become a good fit for a specific job or for an organisation. These skills can enable you to easily carry out daily tasks for the employer. Three pillars of employability skills are Knowledge, Skills and Attitude. To solve different situations at work, these assets can be utilised by your learners.
Here are 10 employability skills and ways to use them to help your learners standout in interviews and the workplace.
1. Communication/Interpersonal skills
Listening, speaking, reading and writing are four ways to communicate effectively. An employer notices how clearly you convey your thoughts. Within the learning environment, class presentations and debates can improve communication skills. However, for outside the classroom, group projects help build good communication skills.
2. Proactive and self-driven
The ability to take the first step without waiting for instructions is an ability that is in high demand. An innovative, creative and proactive attitude is what employers look for. Students generally opt for courses that offer practical experience of their future job to get a deeper understanding of the tasks and procedures required. Making the first move to solve an issue at hand or coming up with innovative solutions for them without being instructed is another example of learners being proactive.
3. Time management skills
Meeting deadlines and managing time effectively can only be done if you monitor your own progress and focus on timings. By managing your timings for your sessions, getting your own work done in time, being punctual yourself to class etc all sets a good example for your learners. Outside of the classroom environment, learners will follow the same behaviour that has been embedded in their training and learn to take punctuality seriously.
Take notes of what you have learnt from your own mistakes so that you can refer back to them when needed. In the classroom, try writing comments on each student’s assignment on ways to improve it further and train students to be able to give and receive constructive feedback. Outside of classroom, encourage them to critically analyse situations that they can improve by making small changes in their technique to work.
5. Accepting diversity
Be open to learn new things, accept different point of views of others while catering to individual needs. In the classroom, make the students work in groups and allow them to assign work to each other according to their unique skills. This will teach them to respect individual differences and perceive and promote others' talents. Outside of the classroom environment, create opportunities for them to participate in activities that expose them to work with people with different backgrounds and be open to learn new ideas and techniques from them.
6. Problem solving skills
Problem solving is one of the first critical concepts we learn in school. You can teach students to break a bigger problem into smaller parts and come up with solutions for each part. An example of this would be to use 'scaffolding' as a technique in your own teaching. In the classroom, during a practical demonstration, alert the students to examine each step separately and look for the mistake.
7. Ability to work under pressure
Working under pressure of meeting the deadline is a soft skill that can be learnt with meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques, anger management classes (if required), stress management classes, ensuring sleep, diet and exercise are suitable etc. In the classroom, allowing learners to delegate/assign tasks, volunteer for responsibilities, manage time, peer relationships etc effectively will help them build positive skills to reduce stress later on. Also, optimal utilisation of resources will always save time and cost.
Group work leads to synergy as people from different backgrounds, expertise and experiences can come up with innovative outcomes. In a classroom setting, working in teams is a way to promote diversity and makes you more accepting towards others.
Using data to support a point makes your decisions more reliable and trustworthy in the workplace. In a classroom setting, make sure to embed this practice and awareness of basic research skills and data analysis into your assignment tasks.
10. Negotiation skills
The ability of getting a point across without hurting others or turning a deal into a win-win situation in the best way to explain negotiation skills. In the classroom during group work, let the group decide roles for each other according to their own expertise. In real life, negotiation skills can be used to convince/defend your decision or stance on an issue and tell others how your decision is useful for the company.