"" Welcome to my thoughts: Why People Fail To Succeed In Their Jobs

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Why People Fail To Succeed In Their Jobs

We know that the most effective leaders and employees demonstrate superior skills in communication, conflict resolution, critical thinking, ethics and emotional intelligence. Soft skills trump hard ones, but we don’t hire for them. Instead, we still prioritize candidate rankings by experience, education and school brands.
Education and experience matter, and depending on the job, hard skills such as budgeting, writing, software design, typing, engineering, etc. really matter. Hard skills are important considerations when making hiring and promotion decisions. I consider these factors when making hiring decisions, and depending on the position, the minimum education and experience requirements may be rather non-negotiable. However, the bitter truth is that soft skills provide a better metric than education and experience ever will for assessing performance and predicting success. Highly educated and very experienced employees get fired every day because they fail to demonstrate critical soft skills.
We hire for success but fire for failure. We promote people with the best education and experience and then complain that they can’t lead their teams, build coalitions or resolve conflict. We think of people as great leaders and then get disappointed when they don’t know how to manage. Disastrous hiring and performance management methodologies are causing organizations, leaders and employees to fail.
Both sides are unhappy. Employees aren’t being set up for success, and supervisors report being drastically dissatisfied with employee performance. The Eagle Hill National Attrition Survey found that “employers end up with average or low performers 75% of the time.” This is a huge problem. We – employers, hiring managers and supervisors – get too excited about what people promise and too disappointed when they don’t deliver.
We hire for experience, but we don’t fire for it. We hire for a degree, but we don’t fire for it. We hire for a particular certification, but we don’t fire for it (except in instances where the person has lied about it). And we don’t mitigate poor performance as a result of these credentials. Most, if not all, factors that contribute to poor performance and/or employee terminations correspond to deficiencies in soft skills and human behavior. 


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