Business Communication 101: 6 Ways to Motivate Student Employees

Student group at work

A great number of students combine education with work nowadays. They are actively employed on their often first jobs that are an important milestone. While one might think that the paycheck is the best motivator for student employees, it is usually not the case. It is not enough to keep them engaged with the company’s values and care about their career.

Students choose to work also because they want to boost their resume, get real-life experience, and learn something new. And it is necessary to motivate them to create a productive work atmosphere. Here are several ways you can do that.

Explain Your Company’s Values

One of the best ways to motivate any staff member is to give them value. Show how the work they are doing is meaningful and how it helps a company or other people. Whether you run a restaurant, printing business, essay service, or a bookshop – explain to student employees the core values and how their position corresponds to that.

Even if it is an entry-level job, students need to know that the work they do is important for the business. Set specific goals – what do you expect of them? And make sure you explain what success in their position looks like. Students need to be aware of their contribution to the business.

Be Flexible

Although students are the same as other employees and should be treated similarly, they need some flexibility when it comes to shifts and working hours. After all, they navigate two essential things – education and work. Of course, sometimes they can obtain help with an essay at ca.essaywritingservice to get more time for their employment. But keep in mind that if a student asks for a flexible schedule during finals week, it is not to party but to study.

Be open and make concessions, and they will appreciate your effort and be more loyal to the company.

Set Transparent Duties

For many students, it is their first job. It means that they are still learning and are eager to do more. At the same time, they are quite loaded with all the things in their life happening simultaneously. So, they do not always have time to figure out everything on their own.

Create a document or instruction that sets all of their duties and responsibilities. Make sure that everything is explained there. It will save you and them a lot of time. And it will motivate them to get to work rather than wonder what is expected from them.

When people do not have clear responsibilities and to-do lists, they tend to feel more apathetic and unmotivated. Also, make sure they know who their direct supervisor is and who they can go to in case of any questions.

Put in the work message on phone

Choose Direct Communication

When it comes to Gen Z, direct communication is much more effective than email or phone calls. Giving honest feedback is a great tool to motivate a student. First of all, by giving feedback you show that their work is seen, valued, and important. Secondly, you help them learn and get better. Thirdly, you establish healthy work relationships between employees and management.

The essential part of direct communication is to be sincere and specific. Give praise where it is due, but also talk about some things that need to be done better. Instead of using general phrases like “good presentation,” highlight why exactly it is good, for example, “your presentation shows how we can improve our customer relationship; this is an important vision, thank you”.

Another thing to remember is the golden ratio of feedback – 5:1. It means giving 5 positive things and one criticism. This way an employee won’t feel harshly criticized and will be more inspired to get better.

Highlight Career Prospects

For any employee, it is crucial to see how they can grow and achieve more. If there are no career prospects at all, people will treat this position as an unimportant side hustle while they are waiting for the real deal. And there is always room to grow.

What you need to do is explain how this position can be a starting point to a future career in the industry. Otherwise, show how the skills they learn here can be used in any other sphere.

Also, students are willing to learn more, so give them this opportunity. For example, if there is training or a seminar for employees, encourage them to go. Invest in their work-related education. Assign a mentor who can help them with tasks or teach something in-depth.

Do not assume that student employees are temporary and will leave the company behind. Although it might be true for some of them, many might stay and work for a long time. It all depends on their motivation.

Celebrate Milestones

Of course, there are always big things, like sealing a huge deal or meeting quarterly goals. But they are often rare. Celebrating them is great, but it is also essential to recognize small successes and milestones. It helps employees feel more inspired in their day-to-day routine.

Here is a valid idea – set goals for a month. Not every one of them should be about KPI, but all of them should be work-related. When the goal is met, celebrate it, give praise to an employee, and inspire them to achieve more. If the objective isn’t met, discuss what is holding them back and create a plan to combat it together.

In Summary

Student employees can become excellent additions to your team. They are young, active, and eager to succeed. All they need is proper motivation to be more engaged with their everyday duties.

Make sure you explain the company’s values and vision, as well as the importance of their contribution. Invest in additional training or education, give honest feedback, and be a little more flexible with a schedule. All of that will result in a more productive environment and inspired employees.

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