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Grooming a Teenage Worker into a Valuable Employee

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According to noted author Pamela Thompson, in most industries, if an employee quits suddenly, there's a 20 percent chance that their replacement will have to be what she terms a "workplace enigma": 

In other words, a teenager. 

Yes, while most shop operators would love to assemble as experienced of a staff as reasonably possible, inexperienced hires occasionally must be made. But that fact certainly doesn't have to bring a shop's productivity to a standstill, Thompson says. 

"To the surprise of body shop owners," Thompson says, "teens can be domesticated, educated, motivated, and assimilated into a successful business. ... The much-misunderstood teenage emloyee can actually become an asset to the manager." 

Thompson, a recruiter, career coach, and writer, based in Meridian, Idaho, shares how an owner or boss can make the most out of their teenage employees. 

  • Set clear expectations and attainable goals.
  • Take time to coach and train the employees.
  • Be a positive role model and communicate in a clear, caring and respectful way.
  • Listen to their concerns.
  • When an employee is doing well, remember to say, "You're doing a good job, and I want you to know that."


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