Do You Play Well With Others? – Interpersonal Skills Seem to be in Short Supply These Days

Have you ever made “the wrong hire?” Have you ever had to work with someone who was clearly “the wrong hire?” (Have you ever been “the wrong hire?”).

There is so much work to be done – in every job. And that work needs to be done well, as quickly as possible, because the next project or task or project or collaboration always awaits. Always! “Get to it” is the order of the day, every day.

So, what “skills” are employers finding hard to find in the workers they hire? Here’s the latest results from two annual surveys (I read about this on Business Insider: Businesses Say They’re Having Trouble Finding People Who Will Show Up For Work):

Every month, the New York Fed conducts two surveys: the Empire State Manufacturing Survey and its services-sector counterpart, the Business Leaders Survey. And each April it asks respondents of both surveys questions related to the difficulty of finding potential hires with certain skills.
This year’s pair of April surveys confirmed that, like in previous years, employers are having trouble finding people with advanced computer skills, interpersonal skills, and general punctuality and reliability.

Advanced computer skills falls under the “hard skills” category.  Get the right education, go to classes/training, and you can learn these.  Well, maybe you can — I’m not sure I’ve got the propensity to learn these…  (Clearly, not enough people are learning these skills – thus the difficulty in finding such workers).

General punctuality and reliability have to do with work ethic. And, after reading a lot of books touching on this, I think work ethic is tough to develop if it is not developed early – maybe very early – in life.

But those interpersonal skills – those fall under the oh-so-difficult-to-train “soft skills” category.

As I tell my students, assuming that a person is competent, and trustworthy (reliable), “do you play well with others?” is the big issue in keeping a job and being valuable to a team.

Again, there may be some propensity/’personality involved in this, but I am convinced that anyone, everyone, can get better at interpersonal skills. Learning how to interact, get along, collaborate well, is so very valuable for any and every job in every organization. And if folks are having difficulty finding/hiring people who are good at this, well,  —  that provides an agenda for training, coaching, and mentoring, doesn’t it?

(The article has tables and percentages — worth a look)..




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