Think back to your first job out of school. How long did you plan to be there when you started? How long did you keep it? What did you get out of it? Did you get career coaching or help to achieve your college degree? Why are we asking all these questions? To get employers and HR pros to think back and see that every position – no matter how small – has something to teach you.
The industry giant, which hasn’t had the best employer reputation – is trying to change that by expanding its Carrier Choice program. It’s offering frontline workers opportunities to pursue college degrees and coaching to advance themselves and their careers – and not necessarily with Amazon.
Help lower-level staff achieve their career goals
Keeping front-line staff isn’t easy. These jobs often include a good bit of grunt work that doesn’t get the glory that higher-up, more professional positions experience. So, by upping its Carrier Choice program, Amazon is attempting to make entry-level positions more palatable.
Aimed at Gen-Z (people born between 1996-2015), Amazon is trying to help these entry-level workers take the first steps in their careers.
“A typical Gen-Zer is a self-driver who deeply cares about others, strives for a diverse community, is highly collaborative and social, values flexibility, relevance, authenticity and non-hierarchical leadership, and, while dismayed about inherited issues like climate change, has a pragmatic attitude about the work that has to be done to address those issues,” according to Roberta Katz, a senior research scholar at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.
So, helping these pragmatic individuals see the value in working for Amazon, even if it’s not for the long haul, is the goal. Happy workers often stay at their jobs, and even if they don’t, they have good things to say about their previous employer, especially if they helped them get a leg up in their careers.
Inc. columnist Kelly Main said it perfectly when she wrote, “It’s not simply about offering more pay but about offering more than pay to keep staff happy.”
Caring and sharing
Here are two takeaways all employers can pull from Amazon’s playbook:
- Show you care about all your employees. Help employees see that every position is important and a part of the company’s success. Without frontline workers, things wouldn’t get done at the most basic level. Often people working on this level aren’t in love with their jobs and do it for the money – what little it pays. While some companies are upping this level of pay, for those that can’t, helping employees further their careers by helping them achieve college degrees and offering career coaching shows you care about their future … even if it’s not with you.
- Help workers see that there is something to learn/take away from every job. Whether it’s working at McDonald’s or stacking shelves in a warehouse, every job/position has a skill to learn. It could be working with people/customer service or organizational skills, but every job is a stepping stone in their careers. Help your employees see what your job offers them, and coach them on how to achieve their goals. Again, employees who know you care about them will sing your praises even after they leave. They may even recommend someone to take their place. And the best advertising, especially during the Great Resignation, is word of mouth!
Bottom line: Show employees your company offers more than just a paycheck, and they’ll reward you with the greatest gift of all – loyalty!