What Do Employers Want: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Workplace Communication Skills in Middle-skill Level Employees

The purpose of this sequential exploratory mixed methods study was to assist employers, the local economies, and California Community Colleges in identifying and defining what communication skills are necessary to be successful in a middle-skill level position. a Likert-type scale survey and focus group responses were used to determine what skills are important to middle-skill level employers, managers, and/or supervisors. Participants identified (a) communicating information effectively, (b) listening thoughtfully and carefully, and (c) communicating effectively in stressful situations as most important to job success. Focus group responses provided comprehensive definitions including the types of communication used, the nonverbal components, and the organizational influence on communication. the definitions can be used to assist in the creation and revision of communication course curriculum to better reflect the needs of a student population who may not necessarily complete a degree. Further, these findings will help California Community Colleges meet the needs of the local economy in regard to communication skills. These findings reinforce the mission and vision of California Community Colleges. Additionally, these findings argue that community colleges should look beyond completion as a measurement for success and instead look back to the California Master Plan to meet the needs of all students entering the California Community Colleges.


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