Everyone deserves a chance to show his or her potential and make a difference in the world while they make their own way. However, not everyone gets the opportunity to demonstrate just what talents they have to offer. The barriers people experience come in many different forms. Some are from personal choices, which burden them with a record that follows them for life. Some barriers come from disasters that appear out of nowhere and have a lasting effect on the future. Some barriers come at birth and make many opportunities most people take for granted, seemingly unachievable for those who face them. Fortunately, people who experience physical and mental disabilities find it possible to achieve different life goals when the community comes alongside them offering valuable life skills.
Experience Is a Gift
No matter what your education or status in life, experience is the common thread that opens doors. Most companies who are looking to hire people want someone who has done the job before. Additionally, no matter what the job is, customer service is at the heart of every career from fast food to administration to retail. What if there was a way for people facing mental and physical barriers to obtain free training while learning necessary skills working for a local business?
On-the-job training has always been the best and most solid form of training because it’s hands-on and relevant. Local companies that tap into local communities who are teaching life skills to developmentally disabled adults experience a win/win for everyone. Gently introducing these talented people into the workforce by exposing them to real customers with real questions and needs, as well as teaching basics like inventory, cleaning, and co-worker relations gives them the experience they can take with them when they are ready to apply for a paying job.
Details Make the Difference
It’s one thing to want to reach out and help people obtain work skills that may otherwise be difficult for them to acquire. It’s quite another thing to know exactly how to go about training them in useful and relevant skills. Everyone wants to feel necessary and this is a delicate balance of slowly integrating these new employees while making the tasks helpful to their education. Start with tasks like
- Greeting customers for exposure to professional courtesies
- Cleaning and inventorying to become familiar with the products and store layout
- Making displays or organizing areas around customers and other employees
- Being accountable for being on time, respectful of management, and polite to customers
- Working on special projects that contribute to store sales or special events
A simple list that you put together each morning keeps you prepared for when your staff arrives and lets them know you are waiting for them, relying on them, and really need them. These are things every employee wants to know.
Help Is On the Way
How does this help your company? After taking a few minutes each day meeting with your new staff, sit back and watch how beautiful the interaction is between your customers and other employees. Additionally, this opportunity for on the job experience you are offering gives you free manpower to accomplish daily tasks you would otherwise pay for. Finally, and most importantly, you will be giving back to the community. The spirit of your environment becomes a lovely circle of helping each other to serve each need and come together for a common purpose. Many communities experience different forms of giving back and they are usually based around a community center like the Sullivan Community Space. Tap into these centers to find opportunities to help in your community.
People with barriers are often people with hidden talents they can use to make a huge difference in the world. Use your position in your company and your community to make your own difference by reaching out and training tomorrow’s future.
This is an article provided by our partners network. It might not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of our editorial team and management.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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