Past experience can negatively influence current job performance

Previous jobs don't always benefit employees in their current one.
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Feb 24, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

You may seek job experience when deciding between qualified candidates for openings at your practice, but you may need to change your way of thinking. According to a new study, workers often develop bad habits that carry over into subsequent jobs.

Researchers from Ohio State University, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania conducted the study with data from 771 employees and job applicants of two call centers for a major U.S. insurance firm. The researchers examined the employees' job performance evaluations and separate work-related skills and knowledge ratings, then compared the information to the employees' prior work histories.

While previous experience helped the employees in their jobs, those positive effects were somewhat balanced by negative factors. Results also showed that the longer employees were with the insurance company, the less that experience from previous jobs helped their performance. But bad habits lingered much longer.

The key for success, according to the researchers, is for employees to adapt to their new surroundings by accepting the ways of the new company and shedding old, ineffective habits. A workplace culture conducive to teamwork and efficiency also helps employees develop new habits, so make sure you're providing this for your employees.