Several years ago during a meeting with different members of our various business units, we discussed our training programs. Our then vice president of Culinary and Custodial Services, summed up the discussion we were having and said, “We teach people how to work, and then we give them skills.”
The simple truth of this struck me and the quote has stayed with me over the years. So much so, that I use it almost every time I give a tour at one of our facilities. I have probably said it enough times that I should start paying our former vice president royalties. But what does this mean? Let me explain.
In almost every training program we provide, we offer “Work and Life skills” training as a component. It’s the “how to work” portion of what we do. They include the basic expectations few people mention and many assume everyone knows, but they don’t.
- “You need to come to work every day you are scheduled, on time, including returning from lunch and breaks.”
- “You may have to stand for the full shift and this could be 8 hours.”
- “You need to practice proper personal hygiene, including appropriate clothing for the job.”
- “There are going to be parts of the job you don’t care for, you will be expected to do them anyway.”
- Work and life skills go much further than this; they are also the relational aspect of the job.
- “How do I appropriately talk to my supervisor, even if I am upset?”
- “How do I get along with my co-workers?” The understanding that I am responsible for my actions and how I do my job and my attitude has an effect on the rest of the team and the overall results.
- “How do I, at least for a time, set aside some of my worries from outside of work, to focus on work?”
By the way, this isn’t unique to the people we serve, really it starts touching on self-awareness and emotional intelligence on which books a have been written and courses taught. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t end at the classroom door. Our great instructors lay the ground work, but our mentors, coaches, supervisors, line leads, managers, case workers, and trainers continue to directly and indirectly work on these work and life skills.
So there you have it, “We teach people how to work, and then we give them skills.”
Oh, I should add for all of you who have asked, and it has been many, “Wow, can you teach my employees that?” I recently found out the answer to this question is “yes”. Of course there is more to it than that, but if you are interested give me a call (414) 847-4889 or send me an email at Julie.Barber@goodwillsew.com.