The other side of aptitude

AUGUST 21 — The generation of today’s employees seem not to be loyal to one job; they tend to change or quit easily — probably to advance their career, seek better careers, or as a result of a fallout with their employers. In the case of a fallout, people are too quick to take sides. Generally, they blame employees’ decision to quit their places of work on the unfriendly attitude of the managers or employers. Though this may be true to some extent, however, there is always another angle to every issue. Of course, it takes a deep reflection and an objective mind to investigate the true cause of the disparity. It could be a result of an interplay of a variety of factors which, most likely, may not be revealed.

Many articles, journals, and other writings have been written to exonerate employees from their decisions to quit their jobs. This article tends to deviate from the bandwagon, or rather, the consensus. Aside from lack of trust, respect, and support, poor welfare conditions, lack of compensation or appreciation, lack of advancement or growth opportunities, feeling of underutilisation, poor management, poor communication, feeling overworked or overstressed, unhealthy work environment, disparity between personal or professional goals and organisation’s values, certain life changes in terms of geographical location and relationship, among others.

Have you ever considered the grounds related to employees’ inaptitude? Employees are expected to possess certain skills for the job position they held or are to occupy. Every organisation requires this competency component (that is, aptitude) in every employee. It has to do with employees’ ability to do particular work at a certain level. Employee aptitude is determined prior to employment and checked throughout their working life. Aptitude is more of an inborn potential, rather than an ability which is learned, acquired, or developed. Talented people tend to show high results in certain activity; however, such an activity may be in a single direction.

Effective managers recognise the fact that the “ideal” employee is a recruit and, thus, requires a certain level of development together with their skill in order to capitalise on their potentials for improved organisational productivity. Thus, their development is a manager’s essential task. A manager’s skills are measured basically by increased employee performance. In other words, the better an employee, the better their superior and, ultimately, the entire organisation. Increased employee performance enhances the employer’s values.

Thus, employee development should assist employers in fulfilling the arduous task of getting the right person in the right job. Note the intentional use of “right” here. This is because no organisation or employee is ideally perfect. Practically, employees may not be able to fulfil or accomplish every requirement or demand of their job. The reason is not farfetched from the constantly evolving organisation’s requirements as well as the workforce.

Nevertheless, every employer strives to get the maximum inputs of their employees in terms of skills and abilities. In return, employees are expected to increase their knowledge and skills. This may be through in-service training or self-development. Anything shorts of this has an indirect implication of the non-requirement of the service of such an employee.

Employee inaptitude is usually demonstrated after their actual placement in the organisation. Employees are usually expected to meet their given targets within a specified period. The failure to meet those targets could be a basis for an employer to dismiss their employees. This is because every organisation has goals that must be met and each department in the organisation, though distinct, works towards a common goal. An organisation that establishes the inadequate performance of its employees on that ground may dismiss such employees as retaining them may have a negative impact on the organisation.

Usually, employee inaptitude is an interplay of many factors. It could be as a result of the employee’s failure to adapt to certain modification, particularly in the technical area, of their job and their impossibility to be redeployed to fit into another role in the company or development of sudden apathy in the job by the employee. The latter makes the employee carry out their duties poorly and usually in dissonance with the capacities, skills, and potentials discovered in them by their employers prior to their employment. There is also professional inaptitude which occurs when an employee commits multiple errors.

However, there are some underlying factors such as an extreme feeling of depression or anxiety, which may eventually result in a nervous breakdown. Usually, employees tend to set a certain standard or expectation for themselves. This makes them vulnerable to workplace stress. Such an individual may commit themselves too much to details that are not in direct relationship with their immediate job requirements. This places their productivity at a stagnation. Thus, inaptitude sets in, and they risk losing their jobs. In the eventuality of job loss, the employer may be justified.

The inaptitude of employees could have devastating effects on their lives as well as their survival and success in future jobs. It then boils down to employers to put in place necessary strategies to equip employees with self-management skills. They must be trained in the use of a systematic approach in managing their personal and professional life. Employees tend to perform below expectations not only because they lack the needed technical skills but also as a result of poor self-management. Employees are one of the greatest assets of any organisation, and their potentials should be effectively utilised.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

* Associate Professor Dr Roy Prasad is the Dean of the School of Business Accounting and Management at Genovasi University College.

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