Employer Expectations

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What is an Employer Looking for in an Employee?

In recent years, employers have ranked an individual’s work ethic as a characteristic they look for the most in prospective employees. Someone having a good work ethic is many times used to describe someone who is “hard working.” While this is a valuable attribute and one that is equally admired by both employers and co-workers, having a good work ethic involves more than being a hard worker, especially in today’s world. It involves simple soft skills.

The perception by employers and businesses is that there has been a deterioration of the work ethic of employees in the U.S. (Ford & Herren, 1995). Depending on who you talk to, many believe that the absence of soft skills contributes to the weakening of the work ethic in our country.

According to some experts, soft skills should be endorsed and integrated into course study in middle and high schools so that young people are prepared when they one day enter into theworking world. Hard to believe, however true, even college graduates are leaving their campuses unaware of the importance soft skills will play in their future.

Several local schools are embracing the importance of soft skills within their student body through integrating lessons into their curriculums. For instance, Hobart High School has taken an Employer Expectation poster developed by the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board and the Center of Workforce Innovations and turning it into a living and breathing lesson. They not only incorporated the 10 expectations, that came from a survey of over 100 region employers, into many of their career curriculums, they have the poster displayed in each one of their classrooms. Portage Township Schools took a previous version of the poster and distributed them in all their classrooms from K-12.

The 10 competencies addressed on the Employer Expectation poster and that are believed to shape a good work ethic are:

1. Show a positive attitude
2. Work well with others
3. Follow directions
4. Arrive to work on time
5. Recognize problems and find solutions
6. Manage time effectively
7. Apply good listening skills
8. Be honest and dependable
9. Know the need to pass a drug or background test
10. Dress properly and practice good hygiene
Whether an individual works in a corporate office, retail store, restaurant, or they are in a self
employed circumstance, by accepting and practicing the 10 above mentioned competencies,
they are contributing to their own success and to the success of their company.

For a copy of the poster, contact Barb Grimsgard, Communications manager at the NWIWB/CWI office at 219-462-2940, ext. 28, or by email at bgrimsgard@cwicorp.com.