A three-year study of more than 20,000 new hires found that 46% failed within the first 18 months. Surprisingly, only 11% of these failures were due to a lack of skills or technical expertise; a huge 89% failed due to poor interpersonal skills.
More specifically, the study revealed that 26% of new employees don’t make the cut because they can’t accept feedback or criticism, 23% because they can’t understand and manage emotions, 17% because they lack the drive to excel, and 15% because they simply have the wrong temperament for the job or the organizational culture.
Here are four ways you can ensure you’re not one of the 89%.
1. Show you want to learn
This means knowing how to accept criticism and being able to act upon it. Some managers think of this as “coachability” – the ability to accept and implement feedback from both bosses and colleagues. It is time to put away your pout and put on your grown-up face and understand that seeing criticism as a positive force is the path to greater knowledge and faster career growth. Ask for feedback, observe your most well-liked colleagues, and above all, listen and learn.
2. Be emotionally intelligent
No matter what your job involves, it’s vital for you to know how to not only manage and understand your own emotions but to correctly assess those of the people around you. Many experts now believe that a person’s emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, may be more important than their IQ, and that it’s certainly a better predictor of success, quality of relationships, and overall happiness in the workplace. When the people in a given business work well together, it can lift a company from averagely successful to excellent.
3. Stay motivated
A proactive attitude shows your managers and colleagues what you think of your company and your job. When you display drive and eagerness to not only “do the job” but to shine, it shows in the quality of your work, it impresses your superiors, and it makes you stand out among your peers. A few ways to stay motivated? Try to spend as much time as you can with cheerful, optimistic people. Identify the tasks you like most and invest yourself as fully as possible in them. And set up a few reasonable goals to work toward.
4. Be flexible
While the interview process usually weeds out candidates that aren’t a good “fit” with an organization’s culture, once you’re hired, you might find yourself a bit at odds with the way your new company rolls. This is where an ability to adapt will help. Employees all have different personalities; even two “introverts” won’t necessarily react or respond in the same way. By opening your mind and learning how to appreciate the different personalities around you, your own personality will expand and contribute to a positive work environment. Remember: diversity is one of the keys to an exciting workplace!