Creativity and its Utility in the Workplace

This week, I want to expand upon the cultivating creativity manifesto I shared a few weeks back, by articulating how it can be used in the workplace- and thankfully, I have the data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers to help me out.

Each year, NACE conducts a survey (summarized as their Job Outlook report) to assess what skills are most in demand in job applicants. What qualities should they have? What are you looking for? Where are the gaps between their needs and the workforce we presently have? As I dived into the data, I started to draw connections between the tenets of creativity and the expectations of prospective employers. Below, I’ve encapsulated these connections through an infographic:

Creativity and Its Utility in the Workplace Infographic

To clarify, the percentage next to each trait or desired ability indicates the percentage of employers who expressed they will be requiring this skill in a hired candidate.

Below, the data in text:

Broadmindedness (employing ideas from one scenario, in a new or disparate environment)

  • Initiative: 65.9%
  • Detail-Oriented: 62.1%
  • Organizational Ability: 47.7%
  • Entrepreneurial/Risk-Taker: 19.7%

Collaboration (working with and alongside others to achieve a goal, even as it shifts and changes)

  • Ability to Work in a Team: 78.0%
  • Interpersonal Skills: 58.3%
  • Friendly/[Outgoing] Personality: 25.8%*
  • Tactfulness: 25.8%

*We’ll come back to this soon.

Determination (staying with a project for its full duration, even when it becomes difficult)

  • Strong Work Ethic: 72.0%
  • Strategic Planning Skills: 37.9%

Execution (closely tied to determination, the ability and endurance to translate an idea into action)

  • Communication Skills (written): 75.0%
  • Communication Skills (verbal): 70.5%
  • Technical Skills: 56.8
  • Analytical Skills: 64.4%

Flexibility (the ability to change course when internal or external forces require it)

  • Problem-Solving Skills: 77.3%
  • Flexibility/Adaptability: 63.6%
  • Strategic Planning Skills: 37.9%

What are your programs, procedures, trainings, and student interventions doing to help students develop these crucial and in-demand skills?