Too Many Seasonal Employers Don’t Treat Summer Students Well – The Result – They Lose a Good Employee

  • My 16-year-old son had a full-time job this summer at a resort in Muskoka.
  • He was excited about the job because he thought he would meet lots of other student employees, work a bit and get some spending money
  • He was hired as a bell boy, maintenance and front desk worker
  • He asked to work 2 – 3 days/week

After the second day of the Job – the lawn maintenance staff all quit. So, he was the only person on yard maintenance

He did not complain and worked hard all summer – but – he worked 100 percent of his shifts all by himself and didn’t meet other students.

He was fortunate to get plenty of hours – but – his shifts were 7.5 hour shifts…he was working 5 – 6 days a week – with no longer than a 30 min break, and never logging more than 44 hrs/week so he didn’t get overtime.

So….this isn’t such a tragedy I know, and he was grateful for the experience and the wages.

However….he will not go back next year – he believes he has a job lined up as a swim instructor – for less hours, more pay and working alongside other young people.

The Resort Management stated to my son several times that they couldn’t keep student staff and hope he comes back next year..

If they understood that students (and probably all staff) perform better and stick around if they are having fun, being appreciated and also contributing they might have better staff retention.

I am sure if there was a “maintenance team” that worked on a part of the grounds together – then maybe moved on to other duties – or even had an afternoon off – my son would have enjoyed the shift and wanted to go back.

What about having a staff/student pizza party. It may sound hokey – but…a few of these would have worked to boost morale.

Bottom line – for students to have a summer job they want to come back to – often it is not about the money, and sometimes not even the job – it’s whether they enjoy who they are working with every day!!


Thanks for reading – I appreciate you comments! – Perry