Adapting to Workplace Expectations
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Adapting to Workplace Expectations

Probably the hardest thing to find is a person who is going to show up every day.
– Advanced Manufacturing Employer 17

The personal quality of adapting to workplace expectations was emphasized more by advanced manufacturing interviewees, who also stressed conscientiousness and punctuality.

“Quite frankly, those who tend to be most successful are those who can manage their personal and life situations. Those who learn to balance and manage those things are those who tend to be more successful” (Advanced Manufacturing Educator 7).

Employers we spoke with — particularly those in advanced manufacturing— reported little patience with employees who arrive late, leave early, check smartphones during the workday, or fail to call in when ill or unable to get to work.

Adapting to workplace expectations has been defined as a combination pro-social interpersonal/teamwork skills, including:

  • courteousness and cheerfulness,
  • initiative, and
  • dependability

This emphasis is consistent with the time-pressed culture of the manufacturing production workplace, where many different tasks need to be completed on deadline (41% of advanced manufacturing interviewees called for this employability skill or conscientiousness compared with 12% in IT).

It’s very difficult to motivate a person into a learning cycle if that’s not something that someone has an interest in doing. – IT Employer 16

Three research articles focused on measuring the presence of positive attitudes about “work ethic” in workers with different background demographics or job roles. To address this gap, the research team augmented its literature review to incorporate theories about the importance of addressing attitudinal differences among different generations and building understanding of how notions of “work ethic” can promote bias and stereotyping. We also incorporated some practical literature focused on techniques to improve time management skills and support work-based learning.