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Understanding and dealing with your ‘Next-Gen’ employees

Our recent college graduates are not ready for the workplace.

Our recent college graduates are not ready for the workplace.

That’s not an opinion; that’s a statement of fact.

Employers say so, college career center staff say so, and even the recent graduates themselves say so. And this couldn’t come at a worse time.

According to a Rutgers study, only 51 percent of students who graduated from a four-year program within the past five years have full-time jobs. It is more important than ever that these young people learn how to become productive and valued members of their companies.

The problem is that they don’t have the “soft skills” needed to be successful employees.

According to a 2012 study by the Center for Professional Excellence at the York College of Pennsylvania, HR professionals and supervising managers listed the areas where they say the biggest gaps between what they expected, and what they are getting from new hires.

Top of the list was “sense of ethics,” followed by “accepts personal responsibility for their decisions and actions” and “competent verbal and written communication.”

It is also worth noting that the number one factor in the firing of new employees is poor attendance.

For those of us from an older generation, it’s a bit of a mystery why these young people behave the way that they do. Granted, there are always exceptions, but in general, they have never been taught otherwise.

As Arthur Levine and Diane Dean point out in their book, Generation on a Tightrope, these people are the first natives of a digital world that the rest of us have come to as immigrants.

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