What Do Students Look for in a Job Environment?

By Francine Fluetsch on January 20, 2017

image via Entrepreneur

A work environment that helps students thrive and grow is essential for them to do their best and love what they do. It may sound silly, but just tweaking a few things about the environment you create at your work can majorly impact your employees, especially students who are about to graduate or have just graduated.

There is this notion going around that millennials are extremely picky and whiny about their work environments, but I think that is an unjust assumption. Yes, I too am a millennial, but I do find that there is a lot of good that can come out of a productive work environment catered towards employees.

Here are some important aspects students will be looking for in their work environments.

Motivational environment

Everyone likes to know when they are doing a great job at something or need to improve, so a motivating environment is a great way to keep your student employees happy and on track. If they are doing something wrong, give them constructive criticism instead of just yelling at them to get their act together, and if they are doing something right, point it out to them so they stay motivated and keep rising in skill level. This helps your company by producing employees that are great at their job and helps the students grow on an individual level, where they will learn skills that will last them a lifetime.

Yes, it is, of course, important that the students have self-motivational skills, but extra motivation never hurt anyone. It doesn’t take much to tell someone they are doing a good job, but the impact it will have on that person is greater than you can imagine.

Respectful environment

Students are nervous when they first start their jobs and might be prone to a mistake here and there. If they are in an environment where other employees and higher up’s disrespect them, make fun of them, lash out at them, or anything of that nature, they will have a much harder time finding their place in the company and putting forth their best effort, which usually comes from taking risks.

However, when all employees respect one another, no matter their status in the company, it makes it a much more welcoming environment for someone who is just starting out. We’ve all been the new person at one point, and we all know how it feels to be left out or to feel like you are lesser than someone else, so if you can help to maintain a respectful environment at your workplace, everyone will benefit from it.

At one of my current jobs, my center director and assistant center director help keep a respectful environment, and thanks to that, I feel comfortable going to them with questions I may have and enjoy telling them about how my students are doing and how the curriculum is holding up. If they didn’t respect me, I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to them like I can currently.

It seems like an obvious quality to have in a job environment, but you’d be surprised by how many students are stuck in environments where respect is a rare quality.

Productive environment

Most students have had a job where the environment isn’t all that productive. People laze around, do the bare minimum, and nothing gets done like it should. Being in this sort of environment is frustrating for students because they want a job that they can care about, and be around people who care as well. If you can push a productive environment with some friendly competition or praise for a job well done, all your employees will be happier and more motivated when doing their work because they know everyone is putting in a lot of effort.

At one of my jobs in high school, my assistant manager would just sit in the back room and read while I cleaned up everything by myself and dealt with customers, and it really made me mad. It made me not want to put in my full effort because I knew she wasn’t doing anything.

Students like to be pushed and like having work to do that they find productive and worthwhile. Sticking them with just busy work, or putting them in an environment where not everyone is giving their 100 percent is not going to go over well.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when thinking about how to spruce up your work environment. A good work environment helps not only student employees but also everyone else working there — even the higher-ups — because everyone will be working hard and striving towards personal and company goals.

By Francine Fluetsch

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
Hi! I'm Francine and I'm a fourth year Creative Writing major at UC Santa Cruz. I am one of the Campus life columnists on Uloop's National Team and also the campus editor for UCSC. I enjoy reading, writing, and taking selfies with my cat.

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