Everyone starts out with a job at or near the “bottom rung” of the career ladder; initial positions are often low paying, low level of decision-making required, repetitive and/or part-time positions.
These first jobs are often “front line” jobs and require the following skills and abilities in order to do the job well:
Retail – Discipline and punctuality, attention to detail, active listening, power of persuasion, work under pressure, time-management, knowledge of products, knowledge of the corporate culture, problem solving, enthusiasm.
Restaurant, Food and Beverage – Discipline and punctuality, attention to detail, active listening, work under pressure, knowledge of products, knowledge of the corporate culture, communication skills, and enthusiasm.
Manufacturing, Assembly Line – Discipline and punctuality, consistency, attention to quality, communication skills.
Services – Discipline and punctuality, consistency, communication skills, power of persuasion, knowledge of products, knowledge of the corporate culture, problem solving abilities, enthusiasm.
It appears that the skills and abilities required for these positions are important and sought after for ANY position in the company no matter the title or salary level.
There is a massive difference in the quality of your experience when you interact with a superior retail employee, a motivated trained restaurant worker, or diligent member of a manufacturing company. We all know this, so why are there more bad or neutral experiences as compared to the good or great ones?
Why doesn’t your organization spend more time on training, motivating and compensating these critical “front line” employees? They are critical to the company’s image, sales and quality and eventual success or failure in the marketplace.
The argument used by many employers is that it doesn’t pay to train this level of employee. Upper management is content and satisfied with paying low salaries, avoiding training costs, and live with high employee turnover…. and by logical association are willing to accept mediocrity and sub-standard performance in their organizations.
Perhaps the problem is not with the employer, but lies with the educational system. Are we teaching and reinforcing the skills and abilities required for life and career success? What is the role of our schools, to “baby-sit” for 12 years or prepare the minds and develop the skills required for success in the future?
Is it all about money?
Are consumers and employers willing to accept mediocrity and poor service as a trade off for low costs?
Is this as good as we want it?