There’s a palpable, growing urgency to focus on social-emotional learning (SEL) in our schools. Education experts and policymakers recognize that building healthy relationships and responsible decision-making matters to student outcomes, and teachers overwhelmingly acknowledge that SEL is important to learning. Meanwhile, recent “staggering statistics” reveal the high rate at which today’s students suffer from mental illness and trauma – conditions which certain SEL-related practices can work to address. For these reasons and others, more and more educators are seeking to intentionally cultivate learning environments that help students develop socially and emotionally.
As a talent development consultant, when contracted to develop "onboarding" or "new hire" programs for fresh-to-the-workforce hires, I'm most often asked to create learning experiences that will teach business communication, relationship management, conflict resolution, professionalism & etiquette, time management, research & analysis, listening skills, and solving problems as a team.
"They are intelligent, capable, and technically savvy," one client said of his new sales hires, "but they show up not knowing how to behave and engage professionally in the workplace. They have to be told not to curse when speaking to clients, that ripped jeans are inappropriate work attire, and that e-mails need to be written in complete sentences. "
Professional organizations and businesses alike are all lauding this new crop of employees as highly qualified, innovative, ambitious, and skilled; however, their shortcomings in soft skills are impeding their success in the workplace.