Be kind: your employees are probably going through some tough battles

Originally posted May 20, 2017.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Thought to be originated by Ian Maclean

Finding talent is difficult, regardless of whether you’re the president of the United States trying to fill a cabinet post or an employer trying to place an $8/hr. rank-and-file employee.

The problem with people is that they often have messy lives and have challenges that can affect their work.

Employers are often more likely to come from a different socio-economic background than many of their rank and file employees. Engineers, doctors, lawyers, and professionals are often coming from a different background than many laborer positions making $10 or less an hour.

Consider that at the writing of this article, the unemployment rate is 4.7% in the United States.

Economists often say “full employment” is considered to be at about 4%. In other words, most people who want to work are able to have work. (They may not make as much as they want or they may not have as many hours as they want, but that’s another story.)

In other words, about 4% of the workforce or those wanting to be in the workforce may not be ready for employment.

There can be several reasons for this.

Consider the following:

15.1 million, or about 7% of adults 18 and older had Alcohol Use Disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol and Abuse and Alcoholism.

-About 31% of children live with single parents. Being a single parent makes it much harder to be a part of the workforce.

-About 6 million Americans have felony convictions. This can be especially tough considering some companies have rules that they don’t hire felons.

-About 20.5 million Americans 12 and older have a substance use disorder.

The list of hardships and addictions can go on.

Many Americans are struggling. In many cases, they’re struggling for causes that they brought on themselves. Chances are if you work in a company that has at least a handful of people, at least one is going to have some struggles.

And these issues affect the workforce.

Being aware of this won’t solve the problems they’re dealing with, but it can hopefully make us all think twice before making a snap judgement.

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