Wall Street Journal reports that in order to fill jobs, more employers are training workers on the job. Training for young workers today also includes lessons on handshakes and eye contract.
Scott Johnson, president of Certified Retail Solutions, doesn't mind teaching workers on the job. These days to his dismay, that includes showing them how to shake hands. "You have to teach them how to look you in the eye when they do it (shake hands)." Mr. Johnson said.
Students in Mr. Johnson's training class report being "terrified" of all the interactions required in the work world. "I didn't really know how to talk to people in a professional manner," said one student, age 17. "It's not something they really teach you in high school."
New jobs that survive automation and robots require moregood social skills than did the factory jobs of the past. "Robots still can't be friendly, make small talk, and calm unhappy customers, which offers opportunity for people," commented Johnson.
In the banking industry where teller jobs require more customer interaction, young workers are trained in the "life stages" of customers - to show workers what it is like to be a parent, carer, or retiree.
Hospitals are using online courses and videos to help workers develop skills such as the best way to approach difficult conversations with patients. Now nursing skills include the ability to help families and patients understand what's going on - probably the biggest job duty for the medical staff.
"All of us text more, all of us use cellphones more, less live conversations," said a hospital employer. "So we're not as practiced at verbal communication and even writing skills."
In addition, college graduates are not skilled in critical thinking, communication, and professionalism according to survey by NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers).
Employers are having to become much more creative and much more proactive in training their workforce.
Jobs requiring high levels of social interaction grew by 12%; whereas, jobs requiring less social skills fell by 3.3%, between 1980 and 2012. "Work has shifted toward an emphasis on things that we can't do with technology," said David Deming, professor at Harvard Kennedy School. "There is no way to program a robot to figure out when a customer has had a bad day."
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