Congratulations! You just accepted an offer with an amazing company in a role that you've dreamed about for months. It took countless hours of preparation, what seemed like a million interviews, and many restless nights nervously awaiting feedback, but you did it. You can take a deep breath, because the hard part is over with, right? Well, not exactly.
A study conducted by Leadership IQ found that 46 percent of new employees fail within their first 18 months on the job, while only 19 percent go on to achieving unequivocal success. Statistically speaking, this means that you have an 81 percent chance of either failing to meet expectations or having an underwhelming career. Now that's a mood killer!
Even if you're a gambling "man," odds like this require your consideration and respect. Let's take a look at the top five traits, this study states, that will increase your chances of achieving new hire success within this short timeframe.
5. Technical Competence
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? How can this be the fifth most important trait? Although functional and quantitative skills are a must, they are not the main reason managers indicated as to why their new hires failed. The truth is, regardless of how convenient it may be upfront, many technical competencies can be taught. Plus, technical abilities are only as good as their application. If you have the ability but your company doesn't use it or see the benefit, then advanced skills will not help differentiate you from others -- especially in only 18 months.
In plain English, your attitude. In a study conducted by Lilian K.Y. Li, a graduate of Applied Sociology from City University of Hong Kong, there was a direct correlation found between one's attitude and their effort. Think back to your favorite subjects in school. Were they ever classes that you couldn't stand going to? Probably not. You had a more positive outlook and therefore performed better because the effort required (attending class) was overshadowed by your interest in the subject. The same can be said for our jobs. Those with a more optimistic view will also put in more effort -- a trait that gets manager's attention.
We all would agree that great leaders have the uncanny ability to encourage and motivate their employees. However, if a manager finds themselves continually needing to motivate an employee, then there's a bigger problem. In the words of Simon Sinek, best-selling author of Start with Why, "Great companies don't hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not."
If you lack a sufficient drive to achieve your full potential and excel at your job, then there's little a manager can do to inspire you.
2. Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
AKA, the ability to understand and manage emotions. You may not think that there's room for emotions in business, but the truth is, people are influenced by their emotions daily. In fact, neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a groundbreaking discovery when he observed that patients with damage to the parts of the brain where emotions are generated functioned normally until asked to make decisions. Without the ability to weigh simple emotions, minuscule decisions became almost impossible to make. Recognizing this, people who can manage and leverage their/others emotions have a significant advantage.
TalentSmart, a provider of EQ services, found that a whopping 90 percent of the high performers they studied at work tested high in EQ making EQ the strongest predictor of performance. Developing your EQ leads to a heightened sense of self-awareness, self-regulation, and relationship management -- all intangible traits that result in a more dynamic employee.
This is your willingness to course correct after receiving direction and feedback. It requires humility and the ability to manage your ego (a major deterrent to EQ). Michael Jordan was quoted saying, "My best skill was that I was coachable. I was a sponge and aggressive to learn." Top performers understand that the only thing preventing their progress is themselves. If you can let down your defenses and open yourself up to advice, you'll quickly tackle the learning curve.
There are numerous ways that your success as a new employee can be stymied. Rather than rolling the dice and taking your chances, develop these traits, tackle the learning curve and you'll beat the odds.