Why is it so hard to find employees who can think outside their training?

Why is it so hard to find employees who can think outside their training? Topic: Why is it so hard to find employees who can think outside their training?
July 18, 2019 / By Cristina
Question: I don't consider myself to especially intelligent or talented, but I can usually work through most problems that come up - whether it's an equipment break down, a computer problem, or something else. Even if my solution isn't exactly procedure, I can almost always find a way to get done what needs to get done. The thing that bothers me as a manager is that it's almost impossible to find employees who are able to do this. It's not like being a manager is the secret, because I have always been able to figure things out by looking at a manual or just working my way through the problem. I'm just wondering if this ability to work through things is a natural talent that is difficult to teach or if there is a method for teaching people how to think their way through things. Often when I'm training or helping people I will set them on the right path and see if they can figure it out, but I usually have to give even more help. I find it so frustrating because it's so easy for me. A bit more information. I manage a movie theatre and virtually all of my employees have never had a job before, or they have worked at McDonalds or something similar. So they don't usually come in with any real work experience. But what I'm seeing (or not seeing) is an almost total lack of instinct or critical thinking. One example I can use is counting change. Almost to a person they are dependent on entering what the customer gave them and then having the computer count change - and then they just hand them the change without counting it back. Even after teaching them how to properly count change it's like they are paralyzed to do it themselves. I guess to a certain extent I would blame their education. But it's weird how so many of these kids can do well in advanced math classed but struggle with basic counting?
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Best Answers: Why is it so hard to find employees who can think outside their training?

Bettina Bettina | 7 days ago
You probably love your job. The bottomline is : if a person likes what he/she is doing they will learn to be more innovative & work smarter too. You need to offer jobs to people on merit, past work experience & run them through a series of personal interviews before hiring, to make sure they're not in it just for the money. They should add to the value of your firm/establishment.
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Bettina Originally Answered: Can anyone help me find a study on the percentage of restaurant employees who smoke? I know its out there!?
I found a reference to an article that should have the information you're looking for Fichtenberg, C. M., and S. A. Glantz. "Effect of Smoke-Free Workplaces on Smoking Behavior: Systematic Review." British Medical Journal, 325(7357), 2002, 188. Go to your local library to see if they have access to this.

Aidith Aidith
If they were any good, they probably would not work for you. They'll probably be a manager themselves. Don't you agree? Sometimes, you just have to accept that different people have different capabilities. But I do agree with you that it's hard to find good employees. I sometimes blame on the culture, education even the parents for the way they brought up their child. I'm probably from another part of the world from where you are, where these days the younger people are so pampered and demanding. They want higher salary, easy job, less work load, 5 days work, nothing to do with sales, indoor job, etc. They just no longer believe in putting their back into the task and money doesn't come easily. This is why, domestic crimes are just increasing day by day. Well, on the bright side, at least they are not entirely running the business the way they like and there are still some willing to listen to your direction. At least you can still control what's within your grasp. So let's not complain and try to be happy with what you have. .
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Toal Toal
You may not have noticed this but MOST people cannot think outside the box, and not just in a work environment. Lateral thinking can be taught just like sporting skills can be taught but a few people have it as a natural ability. The one's with natural ability, coupled with training will rise head and shoulders above the rest, whilst the majority will be able to perform at an average run of the mill level. There will be some individuals who NEVER will be able to perform even at an average level because that is not their aptitude. The trick is to recognise that and fit the people to the roles which fit their strengths, whilst encouraging the one's with potential to become the best that they can be. Look at it this way. If everyone had that ability who would do the manual jobs that require very little intellect day in day out? Horses for courses. Louise P.S. Flowcharts sometimes help.
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Randell Randell
You must understand that your experience with critical thinking is going to be a lot different from someone who is in a lower position than you. You can take more risks because the consequences are less for you if you fail. For example, let's say Anne is one of your employees. She does something gutsy, out of the ordinary, and solves the problem. If she receives praise in public, her co-workers are going to clap politely then start the inevitable back-biting and name calling. If she fails, then unless she's very confident, which is unlikely considering that is only 1/3 of the adult population, she will probably be reluctant to try again. In addition, companies are very conservative organizations as a rule. Conformity is constantly stressed and reinforced. People are lumped into clever euphamisms such as "Human Resources," or "team members." Individuality is often frowned upon. Suggestions are often discarded as soon as they're brought up. Only the least threatening change is often accepted, and very rarely is credit given where it is due. Many mid-level managers or supervisors think nothing of taking a subordinate's idea and claiming it as their own. In addition, companies are often ridiculously harsh with the level of punishments they mete out. With this kind of environment is it any wonder that people are reluctant to take risks? Critical thinking is a skill, and one that takes practice, confidence, and forgive this bit of blasphemy, but occasionally bending, or even breaking the rules so carefully codified in the policy manual.
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Martial Martial
I do think some people are more apt to problem solve than others. but i think most people can learn it given the right environment. maybe you should look at your training techniques.. Instead of putting people on the right track,,,, get them to put THEMSELVES on track. when they ask you "what do i do now?" Ask them "what do you think you should do ?" .. Let them know that a wrong answer does not mean getting sacked.. make them give you more than one answer... then ask them how they came up with their answer. .. even if it's the correct answer. maybe there is more than one correct answer,,, maybe one way is better than another. their answer may have been a lucky guess, or it may have been what they were taught to do. if they cannot tell you why they would behave in a certain way you should question why you hired them in the first place.. maybe put senarios in your interveiws. If they give you the wrong answer, don't say NO... ask them how they came to that conclusion too. either way you are teaching them to work things out for themselves... which is what you want. Lee
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Martial Originally Answered: Training my lab to duck hunt, is it hard?
Labs don't HUNT....they retrieve the shot-by-humans dead waterfowl! Spaying doers NOTHING remove reproductive organ. Only TRAINING alters behaviors. The nastyazz spoiled brute needs TRAINING. FENCES stop "running off". & it's displaying FEAR,not "protection"!

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