It can be very annoying for people who have a good work ethic to find themselves in an environment where the rules seem to have changed. Each week I hear people complain about the differences between the way that they were trained to be good employees and the traits of those who have recently entered the workplace.
- Sense of Entitlement - Author Bill Eddy claims that over the past few decades we have focused on teaching our children to feel good about themselves without teaching them skills or ways to give back to others. The result is a self-centeredness that expects everything without a price.
- Lack of commitment - Employers often tell me that it is very annoying to find that they have hired individuals who arrive late for work, take excessive sick days and then quit the job without giving any notice. Many have never learned to use criticism as a trigger for personal growth so they do not want direction or critique.
- Inability to think in a practical manner - Commonsense isn't all that common anymore and it doesn't make sense to everyone. I hear horror stories about employees all the time. Like the man who drove for almost two hours to get to the job site only to discover that he had forgotten his work boots.
- Disregard for rules - Even though there are zero tolerance policies regarding alcohol and drug use while in safety-sensitive positions, many employees think that even though they have signed a contract stipulating this, they can break the rules and get away with using. When they are caught they often blame the employer for being too strict. In other situations, employees think that they can take supplies home from the office even though they have not paid for them and justify this with the idea that the employer can afford it.
- Skills sets - How many times have you noticed that a cashier doesn't know how to make change without the help of a computer or a calculator? There are many individuals who cannot tell time unless they have a digital clock. I was horrified to learn that my grandson reached grade twelve and couldn't remember how to write capital letters because throughout high school he had never used a pen and paper but only used a computer for writing projects.
- Procrastination - Certain things require specific deadlines but often these are missed without concern because employees either don' know how to triage or are not directly affected by the consequences of missing the deadline.
- Social interaction - Twitter, Facebook, text messaging and other forms of social media have hypnotized this generation into thinking that relationships and immediate responses are more important than productivity. They argue that this is just the way the world is now. Unfortunately, businesses are having to put in software programs that block use of social media because too many man-hours are lost by employees who are mesmerized into using them for hours on end.
If you find that you are working in a company where the above is occurring, do not think that it is up to you to change everyone. Do not lose sleep or think you have to do the work of everyone else. If you are a supervisor, manager or owner it is up to you to clearly outline the job duties and hold the employee accountable for fulfilling them on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you are an employee, it is best to focus on your own job and do the best you can to ensure that you are a good employee which means getting your own tasks completed in an efficient and competent manner.
Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email firstname.lastname@example.org