Minimum wage workers are often viewed as temporary hires who lack the necessary skills and experience to move up the corporate ladder. However, this mindset ignores the potential for growth and development that lies within this workforce. By providing effective training and development opportunities, companies can unlock the potential of their minimum wage workers and nurture them into future leaders.

Online training has become a popular way for companies to offer scalable and cost-effective training to their employees. With the rise of remote work and the need for flexible learning options, online training has emerged as a valuable tool for unlocking the potential of employees, including minimum wage workers. In this blog, we will explore how online training can help minimum wage workers transition from entry-level roles to positions of management and leadership within a company.


The Importance of Investing in Your Workforce

Investing in your workforce is essential for long-term success. Companies that prioritize the development of their employees tend to have higher employee engagement, productivity, and profitability. By investing in your workforce, you can foster a culture of learning and growth that can lead to a more skilled and competent workforce.

When it comes to minimum wage workers, providing training opportunities can have a significant impact on their job satisfaction and motivation. Many minimum wage workers lack access to higher education or professional development opportunities, which can make them feel stuck in their current roles. However, by providing online training, companies can empower these workers to acquire new skills and knowledge, and advance their careers within the company.

Additionally, turnover rates for minimum wage jobs, particularly in fast food and retail industries, are notoriously high. According to the data from tens of thousands of small business employers who work with Gusto across the U.S., employees earning the current federal minimum wage have a 70% chance of leaving within a year, more than double the average turnover rate of 32%. 


Providing online training can help improve retention rates by showing employees that the company is invested in their future and providing opportunities for career growth, such as management or corporate positions within the company. For example, Starbucks is notorious for investing in cashiers and baristas, supporting educational goals and hiring internally. In fact, Starbucks is known to be one of the QSR brands with a relatively low turnover rate. At only 65%, the popular coffeehouse definitely stands out from other brands that often have turnover rates of more than 100%. 

According to a study by LinkedIn, 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. By investing in your workforce, you can reduce turnover rates, save on recruitment costs, and retain experienced employees who can contribute to the company's success.


Identifying Potential Leaders:

Identifying potential leaders within your workforce is essential for the growth and success of your company. Unfortunately, many employers overlook minimum wage workers as potential leaders. However, it's important to remember that leadership qualities are not limited to job titles or experience.

To identify potential leaders within your workforce, consider the following:

  • Look for individuals who take initiative and show a willingness to learn and grow. These employees may take on additional responsibilities without being asked and actively seek out new challenges.
  • Observe how your employees interact with their peers and superiors. Leaders tend to be good communicators, active listeners, and able to resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Take note of employees who consistently meet or exceed expectations. These individuals may be self-motivated and goal-oriented, qualities that are essential in leadership roles.

While minimum wage workers are often overlooked as potential leaders, there are countless examples of successful leaders who started in these positions. For example, Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, started as a barista. Additionally, the current CEO of McDonald's, Chris Kempczinski, began his career as a crew member. Similarly, Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, started as a janitor before eventually becoming the CEO.

By investing in your minimum wage workers and providing them with training opportunities, you may uncover potential leaders within your workforce who can help drive your company's success - especially because they have real-world insight into your company's culture and the day-to-day pain points it faces on the ground floor. 

Providing Online Training Opportunities

Providing online training opportunities can be a game-changer for minimum wage workers looking to advance their careers. Not only is it more accessible and flexible than traditional training methods, but it also offers a personalized learning experience that can cater to individual employee needs and industry experience.

By offering online training programs, companies can provide their employees with the tools and resources they need to succeed in a cost-effective manner. This includes job-specific training, leadership development, and even soft skills training such as communication and problem-solving.


Tracking Progress and Providing Support

Support can come in different forms, such as mentoring, coaching, or access to resources. It's essential to create a culture that encourages continuous learning and provides employees with the tools they need to succeed.

It's essential to monitor progress through LMS data and analytics, identify strengths and weaknesses, and offer guidance and feedback to help employees achieve their goals. Tracking progress is also important to help employees see their growth and motivate them to continue learning. This can be done through regular evaluations, assessments, or certifications. By providing opportunities for growth and recognition, employees are more likely to stay with the company and feel valued.

Make sure your Learning Management System has top-tier reporting functions and is able to track employee progress well. To make sure your system has everything you need make sure to ask the top 6 questions you should be asking during an LMS demo


Promote Internally and Reward Loyalty

Promoting from within is a crucial aspect of unlocking the potential of your workforce, especially when it comes to minimum wage workers. By promoting from within, you create a culture of growth and loyalty within the company. Employees who see a clear path for advancement are more likely to stay with the company and invest in their own development. A 2021 Joblist study found the following statistics about the benefits of hiring internally: 

  • 71% of employees believed hiring from within is better for scaling a business.
  • Nearly two-thirds of employees believed promoting within beats hiring externally and were two times more likely to say they prefer being managed by someone promoted internally (66%) versus hired externally (34%).
  • 56% of employees believed promoting from within is better for morale.
  • Over 1 in 5 employees quit, or considered quitting, after being passed over for a promotion for a peer. Those passed over for a promotion by an outside hire were 15% more likely to quit or consider quitting than those passed over for an internal hire.
  • Managers promoted from within were 10% more likely than external hires to report having a highly productive team.
  • The average salary of managers promoted from within was slightly higher than outside hires.

Promoting from within also has several benefits for the company. It reduces recruitment and training costs, as existing employees already have the necessary skills and knowledge. It also helps to maintain continuity and stability within the organization, as promoted employees are already familiar with the company's culture, values, and processes.



Providing effective training and development opportunities to minimum wage workers can unlock their potential and nurture them into future leaders. Companies that prioritize the development of their employees tend to have higher employee engagement, productivity, and profitability. Providing online training programs can be a game-changer for minimum wage workers looking to advance their careers, especially as they offer a more accessible, flexible, and personalized learning experience. By investing in the workforce, companies can reduce turnover rates, save on recruitment costs, and retain experienced employees who can contribute to the company's success. It is essential to identify potential leaders within the workforce and promote from within to create a culture of growth and loyalty within the company.

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