Why do individuals such as these make such challenging employees? First, because they often lack an intuitive understanding of their employer's unspoken expectations. Instead, these inexperienced workers mistakenly use the rules of their personal lives to judge the appropriateness of their workplace behavior.
Second, because many have never learned the soft skills needed to manage emotions, see others' points of view, express concerns, or deal with criticism. Instead, they rely on their "survival skills" when they feel stressed or upset, often making tough situations worse.
We can help. Workin' It Out is a dynamic, story-driven curriculum that offers the new insights and skills that we all need to fit into the workplace. When delivered by skilled instructors in a supportive setting, WIO can open new doors for non-traditional job seekers.
A steady job that pays a living wage can be a powerful thing. For struggling people, a good job offers more than just a paycheck. It offers a chance to reclaim a sense of pride and purpose as well.
But many non-traditional workers are poorly prepared to meet the demands of today's employers.
Dislocated or long unemployed workers
Individuals with disabilities
At-risk youth and young adults
Citizens re-entering the community after incarceration
People in recovery from addiction
Preparing Non-Traditional Job Seekers for Workplace Success
Five Soft Skills Programs
The "Workin' It Out" (WIO) program series represents five, related classroom-based, cognitive-behavioral curricula designed to help challenging workers succeed in today's workplace. The programs are available ONLY to instructors who complete a 3-day training to become certified as WIO soft skills instructors.
1 Workin' It Out
For Inexperienced or Non-Traditional Workers
"Workin' It Out" is a 10-lesson classroom-based soft skills training program designed to help challenging, often inexperienced workers adjust to the unfamiliar expectations of the workplace.
WIO helps participants:
Understand how their personal beliefs may conflict with the unspoken rules of the workplace.
Improve interpersonal workplace skills such as anger management, giving feedback and taking criticism, and problem solving.
2 Learning to Work It Out
For Hard-to-Serve Individuals
"Learning to Work It Out" is a 12-lesson soft skills program designed to help individuals with multiple barriers to employment gain confidence, people skills, and insights needed to transition into the world of work.
LWIO helps participants:
- Set relevant goals for self-improvement, understand conflict, and recognize how their own personal beliefs and behaviors keep them from finding success.
- Improve interpersonal work readiness skills such as self-management, dealing with criticism, expressing concerns, and problem solving.
3 Beginning to Work It Out
For At-Risk Youth and Young Adults
"Beginning to Work It Out" is a 10-lesson soft skills program designed to help at-risk youth and young adults develop the people skills and personal insights needed to transition from adolescence to a life of work.
BWIO helps participants:
- Understand how their personal beliefs, especially attitudes toward authority, may create problems in the workplace.
- Improve interpersonal skills such as anger management, expressing concerns, and problem solving to improve work readiness.
4 Makin' It Work
For People Re-entering the Community and Workplace
"Makin' It Work" is a 10-lesson training program designed to help returning citizens who are transitioning from corrections to the community adjust more successfully to the world of work.
Makin' It Work helps participants:
- Understand how their own attitudes and perceptions have justified illegal actions in the past.
- Gain new insights into employer expectations in the workplace, and mentally shift their own outlooks to be more successful on the job.
- Improve interpersonal skills needed to manage difficult workplace situations.
5 Workin' with Tradition
For Native-American Job-seekers
"Workin' with Tradition," is a 10-lesson soft skills training program designed in concert with employers and tribal members of North Central Montana to help Native Americans improve the soft skills need to find and keep good jobs on and off the reservation.
Workin' with Tradition helps participants:
- Appreciate the strengths of their cultures while acknowledging the difficulties faced when seeking employment..
- Explore the value of work in building pride and identity while gaining valuable new insights into unspoken employer expectations.
- Improve interpersonal skills needed to manage stress, organize time, express concerns, and make logical decisions in difficult workplace situations.
What Your Colleagues Have Said about Workin' it Out
“This was a very engaging, fun, and energetic training. I gained so much knowledge and was able to relate and follow. Dr. Steve held my attention, and is very knowledgeable. This is the best training I’ve had in 10 years.”
Natasha Dodson, Employment Specialist
Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative, Milwaukee, WI
“I am normally very critical of new programs and their content. This curriculum is not only fantastic, but sure to make a significant difference. I really had fun learning and feel GRATEFUL for this material.”
Margarita Killpack, Teacher
Utah Correctional Institute, Draper, UT
“I am always hesitant to attend trainings. My thoughts are something like ‘I don’t have the time for this’ or ‘I should be in the field with our students.’ This training was so engaging, entertaining and helpful for my confidence as a trainer. Thank you!”
Melissa Silver, Lead Employment Specialist
Goodwill of the Heartland, Iowa City, IA