With so much emphasis understandably placed on forging an impressive team of upper- and middle-management executives, it can be easy for organizations to overlook the significance of their entry-level employees.
One word of advice on this: Don’t! These workers, in their own way, are the foundation of your company and hopefully the future of it as well. Here are some key reasons why hiring and nurturing your entry-level staff is a must for smart businesses.
FACE OF YOUR COMPANY. Whether you’re fast-food restaurant chain or a software company promoting new products, there’s a good chance that your entry-level workers are the ones interacting with the public the most frequently. To many people, including plenty of clients and potential customers, they are the ones tasked with making an impression that represents your organization in a classy way.
So choose wisely with these employees, and look for strong communication skills, tactfulness and diplomacy. We’ve all had the experience of encountering rude or disengaged entry-level workers, and the main take-away is to avoid that business in the future whenever possible. On the flip side, a friendly staffer who goes the extra mile for a client can make an impression that lasts for years and reflects well on your entire organization.
FUTURE PLANS. A wise company builds from within, so why not think of your entry-level workers as seeds you’ve planted for a garden that you need to sustain your future growth? Like a garden, these workers need care and nurturing—and will reward you for the time you invest in their blossoming.
By filling key vacancies through promoting qualified current employees you build loyalty, dedication and longtime team members with a devotion to your vision. But it all starts with hiring and mentoring the best-possible entry-level staff. You don’t grow a rose garden from dandelion seeds after all. The proof is really in the pudding when you look at some of the truly successful organizations that have taken this approach; Disney, for example, has countless high-level executives who began their tenures with the company as ticket-takers, ride operators and the like.
NETWORK GAINS. Statistics and research prove that Millennial individuals—also known as Generation Y—are active on social media and good networkers. So when these folks (who will make up a massive proportion of your newer workers) are tweeting, posting on Facebook, Instagram’ing and so on, they’ll be doing it often and connecting with large audiences.
By treating your entry-level employees well you greatly magnify the chances they’ll convey a positive image of your organization during their online communication with friends, family and colleagues in the industry, something that’s growing in significance every day. Likewise, by downplaying their contributions and not engaging and encouraging them, you run the risk of a negative company portrayal gaining traction online.
These days an impressive image cobbled from social media surfing is an invaluable asset to a company. And what your current and former employees post can be a substantial part of that perception.
MORALE VICTORY. The hierarchy of most organizations looks much like a pyramid, with a handful of C-Level execs overseeing a larger group of middle managers, who are themselves supervising an even more extensive amount of lower- and entry-level employees. So if your company follows that general makeup, it obviously means that entry-level professionals make up a solid percentage of your staff.
With that in mind, a healthy amount of your company’s morale and workplace atmosphere will rely on appreciating the importance of these employees. A contented staff is a more-productive workforce, and by caring about the job satisfaction of your ground-level tier of workers you set a tone that carries over to everyone in your workplace. So do what you can, within reason, to let these employees know you value them—whether it’s through creating an inviting office setting, providing bonuses tied to monthly goals, offering flexibility with dress codes or working hours, or all of the above.
The bottom line is that your entry-level staff is a crucial segment of your organization, regardless of the type of company you run or industry you’re based in. By recognizing their significance and acting accordingly, you can only help your business’s future success.