5 Ways to Welcome People Back to the Workforce

Friday night, my husband and I headed to one of our favorite hamburger joints for supper on their outdoor patio. Something was different there. The food was still good. The atmosphere as well. It was the waitstaff. I saw a lot of new faces everywhere, at the hostess podium, with the waitstaff, and in the kitchen.

Later that night when I headed to my local Starbucks around the corner from my house to write, I noticed the same thing. Lots of new faces.

People are reentering the workforce.

It made me think back to those times when I began new public-facing jobs in my high school and college days.

As lots of new workers are learning a job, how can we as customers encourage them?

Welcome Them

When I headed to my Starbucks, I didn’t recognize the barista behind the counter. I asked her if it was her first day on the job. She said it was.

“Welcome,” I told her. “You’ll probably see me a lot because I come here about once a week.”

Regardless of where they work, new employees want to be recognized as people, not just someone who delivers a service. Welcoming them can be the little bit of encouragement for them to stay longer than just a few months.

Be Patient

When new to a job, it takes time to learn a task and a lot of patience from both the supervisor and the customer. I recognized this at the burger joint.

Yes, I was hungry and a little bit impatient. Our waitress was new, and I could tell that she was a little overwhelmed since it was so busy. I also knew there were many who were new in the kitchen. When my salad came out not quite right, I didn’t blow up or get upset. I just asked for the additional ingredient I’d ordered.

And kudos to our waitress. She may have been new, but she did a super job.

Compliment Them

As a new employee myself in years past, I remember how nervous I was when working with the public for the first time. I wanted to get things right.

I saw that too at the Starbucks Friday night. Under the guidance of her trainer, my barista was fixing probably what was her first Earl Gray tea. She nailed my specific requests perfectly, and I told her so.

Compliments can go a long way toward someone learning their job.

Tip Them

Waiters and waitresses across the country usually get paid an hourly wage less than the standard hourly wage and rely on tips to fill that income gap.

It always disturbs me when someone provides good service, then gets shafted by a customer who leaves little or no tip for them. Remember to provide a good tip for good service, somewhere in the fifteen- to twenty-percent range.

Get to Know Them

In my everyday life, I tend to frequent the same places in terms of restaurants and coffeeshops. When I do that, it’s easy to form what I call micro-relationships.

Get to know those who serve you. Now, I’m not talking about a heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul friendship. More in learning their names. It’s a two-way street, and they’ll remember you and your preferences as well.

I’m glad to see people reentering the workforce. It may seem awkward as people learn their jobs.

Let’s all take a deep breath, remember that we were the new employee at one time or another, and work to make their jobs easier by welcoming them, complimenting them, and encouraging them.

As people reenter the #workforce, let’s all take a deep breath and remember that at one time or another, we were that new employee learning a new job. #authenticity #encouragement Share on X

Question: What was a new job where a customer encouraged you when you were learning your job?

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