It’s been a month without a business class and I’m back to working my minimum wage part time job at home. Thank goodness though because I NEEDED a break. However, the business woman inside my brain never shuts up and has been thinking about the following since I’ve been back home:
For nearly 6 years, I have done everything from bagging groceries in the chaotic time that was the “market basket shut down”, working in retail, and working in the restaurant industry.
All of the 4 jobs I’ve had have been part time through my high school and college career to earn some extra money.
With nearly 6 years on the front lines of big consumer stores’ operations combined with my half completed business degree (focused in finance and accounting)- it doesn’t take much for myself or anyone like me to realize there’s some big problems within the industry.
1.Part time employees aren’t given enough credit:
- The CEOs and executives may believe they deserve credit for making the company run smoothly but they’re dead wrong.
2. The part timers know more about the day to day operations of their business than any CEO or franchise owner.
- Just watch Undercover Boss and you’ll see right away that these executives have no clue how to do the simplest jobs that keep their businesses alive.
So listen up CEOs and Executives,
The part timers, high school and college kids, are the people that interact with your customers, build relationships and brand loyalty, and essentially run your stores!
However, the fact that these part time and full time employees essentially make the business what it is, is usually overlooked. Although corporate may say they are aware of these employees’ dedication and hard work, it hardly seems like it to the people on the front lines.
Long and poorly timed shifts that change every week, no sick time or paid vacation days, little to no training, and little to no incentives for employees to perform well or move up within the company doesn’t exactly scream “We care about you and recognize you’re the glue that holds this company together!”.
I know what you’re thinking “oh no, another post advocating for $15 minimum wage or something like that”.
No, that’s not what this post is for, I understand why part timers get paid the wages they do. This post is meant to show that the backbone of these big companies like Walmart, Stop and Shop, and even Olive Garden (just using random examples here people) are the part time and full time employees working on the front lines. These employees need to be appreciated because they are the companies’ biggest assets.
Appreciation for employees doesn’t need to be in the form of a $.50 per hour raise- I think that’s the biggest thing people need to realize.
I’m speaking for myself and I’m sure countless others when I say employee appreciation can be shown in the following ways that don’t even include money!! WOW! (Wild huh?!)
- Better employee training!
- It actually stinks for both you as executives and us as part timers when we don’t know what we’re doing!
- I hate when I’m not fully confident in how to do something at work and it makes me wish the management cared more about my job skills and even the store in general
- Make your faces known and get to know your employees at the bottom of the totem pole!
- Take Market Basket for example, Artie T made his face known to even his part time employees. He went to their funerals, talked to them about their concerns, and even knows long time part time employees by name.
- These are the types of management that employees love and rally around (aka the market basket fiasco)
- When they see your face- it lets them know that you care about the store and their performance. When they see you, they’ll be motivated to work harder for you!
- Give them a place where they can give suggestions to management
- Encourage employees to grow their skills through education
- Once again- incentives people!! ^
- The turnover of management and part time employees in this industry is insanely high. People move on to bigger and better things, because for most- it’s a dead end job.
- Give these employees incentives to stay. If people can make a living and support themselves and their families comfortably through this job why would they leave?
- Lowering this turnover is essential not only for store operation, but for the other employees. I’ve worked with people at one of my jobs who have outlasted over 4 bosses in 3 years!!!! Not good! How can things run smoothly when management is constantly leaving.
It’s scary to think that as a 19 year old I could probably manage these stores better than the executives would if they were to be placed on the front lines.
Executives need to get back to the basics and the foundation of their businesses if they want them to be successful for years to come. Appreciate your employees, learn from them, and work with them to make your company better than it is now! There’s always room for improvement.
Thank you all for reading the first post in my business series. Over the summer I plan to write more posts involving aspects of business, stay tuned!!