YES Worksites are Safe Spaces

Any employers who become Worksite Mentors are confirming that their worksite is a safe space for YES student employees. To a certain extent, all workplaces assert that they are safe spaces for their employees, but partnership with YES comes with specific and vital commitments. 

YES Safe Spaces

We want student employees to get a sense of what “real world” job experiences look like, but it is important to remember they are young-and sometimes first-time-employees. To that end, please try to be mindful of the following: 

  • Providing young people with safe opportunities to explore how their personal resiliency can be used to develop enhanced problem-solving and conflict resolutions skills is an opportunity many adults may shy away from, but one that can be a huge gift.
  • There is a population of young people who may struggle with one or more of the individual skills that make up professionalism, and providing a safe space in which they can practice and develop these skills can be transformative for them.
  • They need an environment where they feel safe enough to make mistakes, learn from their mistakes, and have opportunities (and the encouragement) to try again.

Strategies for Worksite Mentors

Here are a few ways you can ensure your worksite is a safe space:

  • Encourage your student employee to ask questions as often as necessary.
  • When your student employee has questions, be sure to model patience and engaged listening. 
  • Take the time to review mistakes as learning opportunities whenever possible. Help the student recognize the takeaway from these situations rather than just telling them what they did wrong.
  • Demonstrate strong communication with your student employee and clearly outline your expectations of their time and attention. 
  • Be sure they know who to go to with questions in the event you are unavailable to them. 
  • Provide recognition when they hit a goal or accomplishment. Be sure they feel they are a part of the team and acknowledge their role so they learn to take ownership in their work.