Teaching Rookies How to Adult

Shawnee Love   •   September 10, 2020

Beyond education in workplace health and safety, today’s new and young workers seem to need additional training if they are going to be effective and competent workers.  I am not talking about job skills training though. I am talking about training in the ways of being an adult. The gaps in understanding occur regarding:

  • Body health (sleep, nutrition, exercise): So many people don’t connect the dots between how they feel (at work and play) and the choices they make about what they eat (and drink or smoke), how active they are, and whether they get rest.
  • Boundaries for privacy and technology: Aside from time spent online (i.e., less time for other activities like exercise and social interactions), online gaming and betting and social media overreliance can lead to a variety of problems at work. Anonymity and ease of posting combined with the permanent nature of what is said and done, and the abundance of opinions and noise which drown out facts and logic create a perfect ecosystem for harassment, bullying, fear mongering, and abuse. Few seem to know how to protect themselves from trolls, bullies, negative influencers, and crooks.  One study I read demonstrated a noticeable reduction in self esteem (more than 50%) directly caused by use of social media and I have done more than a few investigations where people assumed what they said and did online was untouchable even if it seriously hurt the people or organization they work with.
  • Money management and personal finance: Continuously ranked as the number one reason for relationship failures and a top stressor for people of all ages, poor skills and knowledge here lock people into jobs and relationships they detest and create bad behaviours such as fraud, theft, time theft, etc.
  • Mental health resiliency: Employees entering the workforce can talk about their mental health needs and challenges but are not so well equipped to take responsibility for resolving them. Its understandable to want to bring your whole self to work, but when that “whole self” is unkind, negative, abusive, passive-aggressive, irrational, etc., it often spills onto coworkers just trying to do their jobs.
  • Accountability: Being a contributing member of society and a workplace means taking ownership over yourself and your stuff. I don’t know how people used to learn this, but more and more people coming into the workforce seem to expect others to fix their problems for them.

While I have opinions on who should be teaching these things, no other groups seem to be taking responsibility. If employers don’t step into the void, the problems which arise out of these knowledge / skill gaps is likely to continue.

Have you noticed these gaps or any others which need attending to in your workforce? We’d love to hear from you!