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Teaching soft skills...Is it really possible?

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See this entire webinar at www.nereta.org...then click onto the training page.

Everyone in workforce development has hear employers say of applicants and new workforce entrants:
“They don’t show up on time.
They aren’t dressed appropriately
And sometimes they don’t show up at all.”
How do we help jobseekers recognize and embrace these “work ethics” so they can become productive employees? And, once they get a job, how do we help them keep the job?
In this webinar, Joanie will define what soft skills are and how we can help workforce development customers develop their work ethic through relevant, participatory exercises that emphasize dependability in the workplace.
This webinar will:
• Teach the use of reinforcements that change behavior and build the fundamentals of responsibility and choice.
• Help you understand the importance of positive reinforcements that change behaviors.
• Teach you how to improve team building techniques in customers
• Identify educational tools that help you enhance classroom participation.

Published in: Education, Technology, Business
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Teaching soft skills...Is it really possible?

  1. 1. Teaching Soft Skills… Is it Really Possible? Presentation for the North East Regional Employment and Training Association By Joanie Stephen Smart Work Ethics
  2. 2. If you ignore it-- it just gets worse
  3. 3. Work Ethics Soft Skills
  4. 4. “They don’t show up on time.” “They aren’t dressed appropriately.” “And sometimes they don’t show up at all.” Business and Industry continue to say…
  5. 5. Employers are looking for people who: • Want to work • Who have an understanding of workplace responsibilities • Who are willing to learn and grow • Who can work cooperatively with others, and • Who are disciplined and motivated in their work habits In other words, someone with “WORK ETHICS”
  6. 6. What are Work Ethics? Why are they necessary? Who needs them? How do people get them?
  7. 7. Work Ethic A motivating belief that employees owe their employer a full day of diligent work including following their supervisor’s instructions. Courtesy The habitual use of “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” and “May I help you?” in dealing with customers, supervisors, and colleagues. Teamwork The ability to share responsibilities, confer with others, honor commitments, help others do their jobs, and seek help when needed. Purdue University lists Soft Skills as: PURDUE UNIVERSITY Responsibility
  8. 8. Why are “Work Ethics” Important? Impacts production Enhance workplace environment Creates the culture of the workplace Allows employees to move up the career ladder
  9. 9. What Happens When Your Workforce Doesn’t Have Work Ethics? Perceived problem that a workforce is not available Classes for hard skills unfilled Lack of enrollment in tech programs Harder to learn hard skills Causes higher unemployment Creates high turnover Impacts production
  10. 10. How Do You Get a Quality Workforce? Identify Workforce Presently employed—but problem employee Unemployed School graduates Future school graduates
  11. 11. So, where do you “get” work ethics? Home School Work Role Model --Sports or other activities
  12. 12. What about the person who has never been taught work ethics?
  13. 13. If you ignore it, it just gets worse.
  14. 14. State governments have great programs and doors are opened every day. However, the open door sometimes feels like . . .
  15. 15. Work Ethics Resume and Interview Skills Job Skills Mentoring Present Workforce SUCCESS
  16. 16. Understanding Strengths and Stressors Attitude Punctuality and Attendance Appearance Cognitive Skills Interpersonal Skills Time Management Goal Setting Self Management Working with a Difficult Boss So, let’s talk about work ethics. What do we really mean? Personal Responsibility
  17. 17. Work Ethic A motivating belief that employees owe their employer a full day of diligent work including following their supervisor’s instructions. Courtesy The habitual use of “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” and “May I help you?” in dealing with customers, supervisors, and colleagues. Teamwork The ability to share responsibilities, confer with others, honor commitments, help others do their jobs, and seek help when needed. Purdue University lists Soft Skills as: PURDUE UNIVERSITY
  18. 18. We need an “out of the box” solution
  19. 19. E-learning Videos (DVD) Motivational Speaker http://www.act.org/products/workforce-act-national- career-readiness-certificate/
  20. 20. The Small Steps Necessary Training Building on skill development Goal setting Celebrating successes Reinforcements Movement to the next step --successful employment
  21. 21. TRAINING Telling is not training Orientation Policy Manual Supervisor Instruction Employee Meetings Motivational Speakers
  22. 22. Training Must Include Experiential Activities Tell them what you are going to have them do -- and why Have them do what you want them to do Have them report on their experience
  23. 23. Effective training must * Engage the person * Create interest * Provide relevance If it does not do these things then it is like going to a foreign film and not being able to read the subtitles.
  24. 24. Build On Each Skill Introduce the skill Give them a point of reference When introducing new skills refer back to other learned skills and show how they connect.
  25. 25. It is just like telling a child to “Go clean your room.” If they have never cleaned their room then it is a good idea to start with: Hang up all the clean clothes that are in your room Then: Put all the shoes away in the closet Then: Pick up all the dirty clothes and put them in the dirty clothes hamper Then: Make your bed
  26. 26. Encourage Success Feedback is important Trainer feedback Participant feedback Reinforcement program Tangible reinforcers Social reinforcers
  27. 27. Reinforcement Program Behavioral reinforcement is used to create change. Reinforcement refers to methods of strengthening behaviors so that they will increase, or will continue, to be performed. Use: • Tangible reinforcers (material objects) • Social reinforcers (attention, praise, approval and acknowledgement)
  28. 28. Reinforcers are used to  Create interest  Encourage enthusiasm  Take ownership They are designed to move participants from classroom reinforcements to natural reinforcements  Job retention  Promotions  Pay raises
  29. 29. Some critics of behavioral methods have argued that individuals should perform desirable behaviors simply because of their intrinsic value.
  30. 30. “They just need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps” “They don’t want to work” “They feel entitled.”
  31. 31. Except for behaviors that satisfy our basic physiological needs, such as eating or sleeping, the value of all behaviors is learned. Participants in a Work Ethics program will learn that increased work ethic can lead to: • Increased job retention • Fewer work place problems • Increased productivity • Promotions • Pay raises
  32. 32. Consider These Ideas! Teach Work Ethics in schools (Grade/s ?) Teach Work Ethics to everyone who comes to the Career Centers/ One Stops Teach Work Ethics at the beginning of the GED programs
  33. 33. Consider These Ideas continued Teach Work Ethics with company orientations Teach Work Ethics with juvenile probation programs Teach Work Ethics with re-entry programs
  34. 34. Consider These Ideas continued Teach Work Ethics at every Community College Teach Work Ethics with every Technical College Teach Work Ethics to applicants for Pell Grants/ student loans
  35. 35. Consider These Ideas continued Teach Work Ethics with Ready-to-Work programs Teach Work Ethics with Housing Board recipients Teach Work Ethics in the Foster Child Independent Living Program
  36. 36. Consider These Ideas continued Teach Work Ethics with Big Brothers Big Sisters Programs Teach Work Ethics to Job Corps participants Teach Work Ethics…
  37. 37. What can be done TODAY • Acknowledge the need for a new approach to Work Ethics training • Incorporate a program for Work Ethics in the schools/prisons/GED programs, etc. • Create the change necessary to provide states with a stable and strong workforce • Train the present workforce in Work Ethics • Train the incoming workforce in Work Ethics
  38. 38. REALLY GREAT RECIPE Serves 6 12 Ounces thick-sliced bacon Kosher salt Vegetable oil 1 pound small pasta, such as cavatappi 1 quart whole milk 8 tablespoons butter ½ cup all-purpose flour 12 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled ½ cup Rioja wine ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 5 slices French bread, crusts removed ¼ cups chopped fresh basil leaves
  39. 39. SHOPPING LIST Cavatappi Gruyere cheese Extra-sharp cheddar cheese Blue cheese Nutmeg Basil Rioja
  40. 40. So, what do we end up with?
  41. 41. Or this….
  42. 42. You can provide an “out of the box” solution.
  43. 43. REALLY GREAT RECIPE Serves 20 Attendance Critical Thinking Commitment Good Attitude Dependability Goal Setting Time Management Punctuality Self Management Appearance Good Work Ethic And ……
  44. 44. Facilitator Training Participant Manual All Classroom Materials All Reinforcements Coaching SHOPPING LIST
  45. 45. It’s time to get started!

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