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What Corporate America Wants From Employees

Connie Podesta -- If you want to succeed in your career, know what's expected from you. Here's some no-nonsense insight from top corporations. Have you got what it takes?

As a keynote speaker, I work with 70-80 top corporations each year and they are always telling me exactly what they want and need from employees today and usually -- they're pretty candid!

1. Lose the high maintenance

It's funny (and not in a good way) how many employees or prospective employees come in with big attitudes and big demands. Bottom line: organizations are fighting to thrive and survive in a fast-changing, technology- driven world. They don't have the time or energy to babysit personnel. This includes whining, complaining, procrastinating, waiting to be told what to do and resisting change. Their message today is -- come ready to be innovative, creative and forward-thinking. Don't wait for ideas--generate them. Don't wait to be motivated - -take it upon yourself to inspire others. Don't wait to learn new skills-keep current and up-to-date. In others words: "own" the job and get it done.

2. Be willing to embrace change

The truth is we're going to be in a constant state of change. Our world is evolving in the click of a mouse, our economy changing at a roller coaster pace. Those who will succeed (and in make themselves invaluable to their organizations) will not only embrace change -- they'll leverage it! I talk about the difference between fearful and fearless people with my audiences. Fearful people are afraid, worried and overwhelmed and they let those fears paralyze them -- they become part of the problem. Fearless people also have worries and fears, but they forge ahead and use those fears to transform themselves so they can take ACTION.

3. Come willing to work hard

You know what's interesting is that the number one complaint from employees is that they have to work too hard! I always smile and say, "I know, that's why they pay you money." It's called work for a reason and in today's world that means more than just putting in the hours -- it means coming focused, determined and willing to do whatever it takes to push forward. If you've got that "it's not my job" attitude -- corporate America is not the place for you.

4. Check the drama at the door

One of the biggest issues to frustrate leadership today is employees who bring their personal life (and social media addictions) into the workplace. At work, the number one focus must be the customer -- internal or external. Every minute we get paid is a minute of work we owe the organization. That is only fair -- so check the rest at the door.

5. Exceed expectations

Success today, I tell my audiences, is all about EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS -- not simply meeting expectations. Employees need to figure out how to bring added value beyond what is required to the job. They must Stand Out From the Crowd and differentiate themselves as unique and memorable if they intent to move ahead, stay employed and have a career and life they want and deserve.

Connie Podesta is an award-winning keynote speaker and author, educator, entrepreneur, human resource professional, actress, comedienne, song-writer, radio/TV talk show personality, board-certified organizational/family therapist, and executive life/career coach. For more information, visit her site at or call 972.596.5501.

© 2011 Connie Podesta

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