Employers consistently report dissatisfaction with many of the job candidates they see, particularly those for entry-level positions.
They feel such individuals lack employability skills and a positive, appropriate attitude toward work.
Specifically, what employers want in their employees are:
- Positive work habits, such as the ability to perform tasks assigned and see them through to completion.
- Work ethics, such as a willingness to show up for work every day, on time, as well as a commitment to long-term employment.
- Appropriate workplace behavior.
- Effective communication skills and courtesy in dealing with supervisors, co-workers, and customers.
- A sense of personal responsibility encompassing self-discipline and self-confidence which involves learning from experience and being able to accept criticism without feeling resentful or insulted.
- Ability to work both on a team and independently.
What Workers Want
A common misconception is that the only thing people want out of work is money. Many surveys in recent years indicate otherwise. The results of one such survey, conducted by Rainmaker Thinking, indicate the following among the benefits employees want from their work experience:10
- Flexibility, in such things as schedules, work locations, work requirements, and career paths.
- On-going opportunities to improve skills and abilities that allow employees to become more marketable both within and outside the company.
- Challenging, meaningful work that makes the job enjoyable.
- The chance to show proof of ability and value through such mechanisms as portfolios of accomplishments, authorship of work, and written letters of commendation and recommendation.
- Increasing job responsibility leading to the potential for advancement.
- Access to decision makers within the company.
- Performance-based compensation and benefits that recognize individuals for their personal and team-based contributions.
- Coaching-style managers who believe in and support personal and professional development to the benefit of both the employer and the employee.
Carolyn Martin, Ph.D., Rainmaker Thinking, presentation at the “2002 Workforce Academy,” Clackamas, OR.