For many teens, seasonal summer jobs are a rite of passage. Somewhat rarer are teen job seekers who pursue jobs after school, either out of financial need, personal drive, or a desire to excel for college applications. While teenagers have a more limited schedule than the average professional, they are often extraordinarily motivated and highly trainable. Here, your guide to helping high school age employees succeed — and how to get the most out of their work for your business.
Use Easy Time Tracking
There are often different laws regulating how often teens must take breaks, what hours they can work, etc. For this reason, accurate time tracking is especially important. A card swipe system is simple, secure, and foolproof — plus versions like those offered by Fingertec are very reasonably priced.
Pay Attention to Scheduling
Since teens have student schedules that need to be accommodated, it makes sense to assign an employee to be on top of the school year and holiday schedule. Delegating a point person to oversee student scheduling ensures that no employee is scheduled for a shift during school hours. The same goes for juggling holiday seasons, as many teens may have family obligations they can’t get out of.
Communicate Company Policy
Have a clear guide outlining expectations for employee behavior, appearance, time off requests, emergency contingency plans, etc. This should be in print for employees to reference, and for HR to reference should any issues arise. If possible, it should also be presented in audio or video format, accompanied by a presentation by a supervisor.
Implement a Mentor System
Matching new employees with a mentor is a great way to offer insight into workplace culture and provide more personalized training. Mentors help clarify some of those “unsaid” rules or areas of ambiguity that new hires initially grapple with. In return for their assistance in orienting new employees, mentors should be rewarded for their time, and ideally, mentor status should be presented as something to aspire to.
Create a Recruiting Powerhouse
One issue with high school age workers is that they tend to move on after graduation. Encourage your star employees to refer friends or siblings to apply to position openings — perhaps with small bonuses for employees who are hired and stay on for a given number of weeks. Stay in touch with college-bound employees — they can be a great asset come summer, or may even be a fit for more growth oriented positions post-college. There’s a special kind of loyalty that comes with growing up in an organization–use it to your advantage!