Hire a Teenager and Change a Life

teens in groupThere isn't much celebrated today about the value of work experience for younger employees…and the positive impact it has on their development and future success.

Our company has employed thousands of high school and college age individuals over six decades. That tenure as employers has given us the opportunity and an unique vantage point, to have had young and inexperienced employees, and then to have witnessed them become mature adults, succeeding in their careers.

Literally hundreds of times we have had stories relayed to us from past employees about the value of their work experience and how it set them up for success in whatever career path they had chosen.

Our past employees have shared they were more prepared for the rigors of their job than their coworkers. They were better team players, had more respect for their boss, they focused on solutions and getting the job done…and less on what was in it for them (…all a part of their job training with our company). And that approach had gained them promotions, raises, opportunities and respect, that others (without workplace readiness) didn't experience.

A combination of formal education and work experiences prior to graduation is the winning formula. It benefits the individual, the business/organization, the economy and the community.

I'll acknowledge that many entry level staffers are less prepared for the workforce, however I believe they are as able as any generation prior. It is going to take employers of this age group to educate them on why a strong and positive work ethic matters

Employers have more influence on the lives and futures of their young workforce than ever before. You may be the only place where they hear the message of the value and benefit of acquiring a strong work ethic. Continue to teach these young people the importance and purpose of responsibility, accountability, service, communications, respect, people skills, job expertise, and continual growth and education. When those become habits, an individual will always be employable. Never assume they understand this simply because you are giving them a paycheck…. you need to educate them.

So while your young staff are serving you and your customers… serve them. Be inspired to Pay it Forward, by preparing your employees for their future. Given the role you have in their lives, own that responsibility and view it as a privilege.

Many employers do an awesome job of this … keep it up!

What success stories do you have in your role as an employer of youth, and its impact it has had on their lives and future?

Happy Mentoring.

About The Author

ken whitingKen Whiting is an amusement park and attractions food and beverage operator, and industry consultant for improvements in F&B, retail and workforce productivity. Reach out with any questions or comments you may have at: