The National Association of Colleges and Employers released a list in 2018 ranking the top qualities institutions look for in students and employees. Number one, problem-solving skills. Number two, the ability to work in a team. Number three, communication skills (written and verbal). Number four, leadership and number five, strong work ethic.
In this series, Braathe Enterprises will identify and analyze how a student can improve their skills in the classroom and prepare for life after university.
Why Group Work is Actually Important
Group work is difficult. Sometimes you feel like it would just be easier and more efficient to work alone. But, it is the inherent frustrations associated with group projects that are beneficial to you as a student and future employee. Approximately 80 percent of employees work in groups. Dealing with the positives and negatives of teamwork helps develop communication skills that will benefit you throughout your career.
You learn through the positives and negatives. Here are some of the benefits:
- Students who work in groups rather than alone have shown to have better knowledge acquisition and retention. These students have high-order problem-solving skills and reasoning abilities. Working in groups allows students to construct their individual knowledge into a framework that works for everyone.
- Working with others provides students with different learning perspectives and can improve their vocabulary. The organization, delegation, and effective communication are essential to success.
Dealing with the difficulties:
- In a work environment, it is expected that not every employee will share the same point of view. While this is natural and normal it can sometimes be a stumbling block for team projects. Working with your classmates prepares you to manage other people’s personalities as well as your own. Although it may be difficult this is an extremely important skill. The ability to hear what others have to say while giving your own opinion will be a daily situation, so get good at it now.
- Accountability, for your group members as well as yourself, comes from group work. Other students (employees) may budget their time differently than your own- whatever that schedule may look like. Regardless of how the work is done, there is a deadline. Learning to encourage, aid, or remind other group members will help you in the workplace. It also teaches you to be accountable, because your work affects the overall project and the people working on it.
Working alongside others allows you to better understand how you work, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Group work encourages dynamic awareness and cooperation, skills that will follow you out of the classroom and into your career.
Keep a positive attitude, emphasize communication, and leverage the talents of your peers as well as your own.