Employers will always be on the lookout for college seniors and recent grads they think will contribute to the success of their organizations. As you might expect, organizations need people who can get things done, make things better, advance within their organizations and help the organization grow and become more profitable. However, many organizations are frequently frustrated and disappointed with the students they hire.
Performance issues that frustrate employers:
1. Work Attitude – Employers have high hopes for their new hires. They hope that they have hired students with the right attitude. The most successful organizations seek students with a “Can do!” “How can I help?” “Let’s give it a try” attitude. However, sometimes organizations get complainers, prima donnas and poor attitudes. These misguided individuals expect everyone else to adjust to them. They resist doing anything that is inconvenient, uncomfortable or difficult for them. When employees fail to act in the best interests of their employer, they are being disloyal and hurt everyone.
2. Communication Skills – Too many students today graduate from college without the communication skills that are needed to succeed in the world of work. They use slang, abbreviations, improper punctuation, spell poorly and have a limited vocabulary. When employees can’t speak and write properly, they loose credibility with executives, peers, subordinates, customers and suppliers.
3. Respect – Respect, good manners and business etiquette are all part of becoming successful after college. Unfortunately, many recent grads annoy and offend executives, other employees, customers and suppliers when they fail to demonstrate proper social and business etiquette.
4. Honesty – When an employee lies about something or hides a mistake, it usually makes things worse and adversely affects others. Employers far and away prefer employees who tell the truth and recognize and admit mistakes, so they can be fixed or minimized. When the fix is delayed, time, money and manpower are sure to be wasted. That’s not something that impresses an employer.
5. Accountability – Employees who are willing to be held accountable for their performance and the results they achieve have a far greater chance for success than someone who shirks responsibility, makes excuses and blames others for performance problems. Employers want stand-up employees who can lead and perform their way through the problems and challenges that always pop up.
6. Games/Politics – In an effort to make themselves look good, some employees play games that hurt others. They use their political skills to turn influential people against their own competitors and enemies. To gain power, they side with those in power, play up to them and try to use their power and position to intimidate others. The best employers know that teamwork and cooperation will always yield the best results, not games and politics.
7. Decision Making – Some recent grads lack the willingness or ability to make everyday work decisions. They always wait for their supervisor to make the decision or defer to someone else. They think that they can’t get into any trouble that way. However, good employers count on hiring college grads who can find the information they need and use it to make the best decisions and get things done. When employees lack or fail to use good decision making skills, the employer will suffer. Accepting responsibility means making decisions, decisions that other will judged by others.
All of these employee problems are anchors that will weigh people down and damage their careers. Employers will not tolerate these problem behaviors for long. They hurt your reputation and limit your potential. That’s why wise students recognize their own shortcomings and take steps to address them.