Published March 21, 2017 14:35
The day teenagers head out the door for their first-ever day of work is exciting. Jobs build work ethic, teach dedication and help develop professionalism.
But a new employee has to bring the right tools into the workplace to reap the benefits.
Yes, students have physical and intellectual abilities along with language skills in that tool belt. They may even have leadership skills they developed through extracurricular activities.
But when faced with a question such as "what should you do if you finish all your work tasks early?" many wouldn’t know what to do.
And rightfully so. These are not easy questions. The truth is there’s no one right answer. But there are several ethical solutions, and all of them are taught by the Better Business Bureau Foundation’s new educational program.
LIFT will soon roll out in the Pembina Trails School Division and the Winnipeg Boys and Girls Club. It will be an extra program offered to students free of charge.
It hasn’t even started yet but leaders in Manitoba’s business community are applauding the curriculum. Jamie Hall, chief operating officer of SAFE Work Manitoba, is excited about what the program offers — a stronger future workforce.
A stronger workforce doesn’t just benefit the workers and community—it helps entrepreneurs and small business owners as well.
While statistics vary, experts say between 20 and 30 per cent of business bankruptcies are attributed to employee theft. And this isn’t always in the black-and-white areas, such as taking money from the till. It’s often in the grey areas LIFT teaches about, such as using work supplies for personal reasons. Such acts can greatly impact a business’s bottom line, harming owners and employees.
"If the company you work for goes bankrupt, you don’t have a job and they don’t have a business," Hall said.
The LIFT program can help both employees and employers get what they’re looking for out of a workplace. It eliminates the "us versus them" thinking that dominates unhappy work environments.
The BBB and BBB Foundation work with both sides — employees through LIFT and companies through accreditation — to create workplaces in which people enjoy their eight hours each day.
Once students learn the basics of ethical behaviour from LIFT, they can implement that knowledge in their new workplaces.
"The behaviours developed in a student’s first job become the habits they carry with them in subsequent jobs — especially if it helps them succeed. Workers who act ethically escalate into higher positions —they get where they want to go," said Len Andrusiak, president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau serving Manitoba and Northwest Ontario.