Attitudes can’t be trained.  We hear that all the time which is why it makes sense to hire a person who is a good “fit” for the job.  As an employee retention expert, I agree that it certainly makes it a lot easier if you have a person who has the “right attitude.”  Unfortunately, as society becomes more diverse, not everyone thinks the same and finding an exact “fit” becomes harder and harder.  So what is the answer?

As an employee retention speaker, I believe we have to take on the challenge of training for attitudes, or, at a minimum being able to change behaviors so that they do not conflict with the value system the organization has.  First, an organization needs to have a value system articulated that it feels are needed to make the business successful. Candidates need to hear the organization’s value system in the interview process so they can decide if they want to opt in or out before being hired.  Assuming you like a candidate and they opt in, you have a reasonable expectation that people will adhere to the organization’s value system while they are at work.

Unless an organization has a value system totally inconsistent with some deeply held belief that a person holds, a person is going to be able to adapt as an employee and particularly as a leader.  Take for example a value system that says people are expected to “listen” to others.  This is an essential skill as well as behavior that people need to to engage in.  Very few people are going to say they will not listen to someone.  I tell my audiences when working as an employee retention trainer, that all employees need to be trained how to do listen and then when they fail to do so, they need to be counseled so that they change their behavior.