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We're Losing Social Discipline

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In a recent conversation with a group of instructors at a vocational college, one of them said, “Finding these young fellows a job after they graduate isn’t the problem. The problem is that many don’t understand what they have to do to keep their jobs.”

They just can’t get it in their heads that they have to come to work every day. That they can’t just decide to skip a day or two. They can’t realize the importance of being on the job at eight, not eight-forty-five. That they have to have on a clean shirt. They have to have their tools.

The problem is not teaching them how to install and repair the equipment. We may have to start having classes to teach personal responsibility.

One recent national survey by a human resources group found that professionalism, and work-ethic is the number one applied skill that young workers lack. One business writer says that social discipline is the most important missing element among young workers.

Finding punctual, reliable workers today is harder, the survey found, than workers who could master the actual work. We’d love to hire enthusiasm and motivation, one H.R. professional said, but we have to settle for someone we hope will just show-up. 

What do you suppose we’ve done to downgrade American labor to such a degree?

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.

My mother introduced me to WKNO-FM and public radio long before I can remember. I suppose the first thing I really recall about WKNO-FM is that every afternoon, when my mother picked me up from school, the radio was tuned-in to The World, then All Things Considered, probably beginning around age 8. The way these reporters and hosts took you from the comfort of your mom's van to wherever in the world they were reporting from absolutely fascinated me. From then on, I was officially hooked.
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