Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Teenagers Need Better Workplace Habits

A recent visit to a local supermarket demonstrated to me again that some teenagers need better workplace habits and office etiquette. Teenagers should be trained and observed by supervisors at work after being hired. The part-time teenage checker on my line spent more time chatting with the teenage bagger than paying attention to customers in line.

I assumed both were students at the same high school, since they talked about the same homeroom teacher who "sucked" and "for real" was too "old".

Typically, I would engage these teen workers on the job myself and use the opportunity to teach, but there were too many people around to be effective. I chose to speak to the manager of these teen workers instead. I suggested that more attention be paid to the new teen workers on the floor.

I wasn't surprised to learn that "training" of these teen workers involved about a 30-minute talk on customer service.

Many employers are failing on the job to train teenagers adequately at work. Many employers who may be short staffed are often so happy to get extra help, that they overlook this important step. Employers can definitely employ computer, self paced training to help get their teenage workers to another level.

Certainly at a minimum, no two new teenage workers should be working the same line. It might be a good idea to pair teenagers with more senior staff until they develop stronger job skills.

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