Earlier this month, Amazon announced its new partnerships with Kaplan and Beyond 12 in an effort to expand its Career Choice program with academic and career coaching services. The seemingly uninspired collaboration with the educational companies geared toward Gen-Z and those without established careers isn't exactly groundbreaking. But at its core, it might just hold the key to giving people what they need to work happily in entry-level roles

The nationwide hiring shortage continues to leave thousands of businesses short-staffed and many to close their doors, reports the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. While small businesses have felt the damaging consequences of this most, they're not alone. The trillion-dollar e-commerce conglomerate that relies on thousands of lower-level staff is under pressure too. And its notorious reputation for being a poor employer only adds fuel to the fire. 

Though Amazon isn't too big to be insulated from the widespread effects of staff shortages, it is too big not to seek a viable solution. Amazon's recently expanded employee benefits program is designed to help set staff in lower-level positions up for success and remain happily employed along the way. It's not simply about offering more pay but about offering more than pay to keep staff happy. 

No gimmicks or costly perks required.  

What's great about Amazon's Career Choice program is that it's not the program itself that other businesses need to replicate. But it does offer three major underlying lessons that any business will want to replicate to keep staff happy--particularly those who are just starting their careers. 

1. Be realistic about what roles are to staff 

The reality is that not every job is a dream job. Yet people work because they have to. For this reason, it may not come as a surprise that a large majority of people feel trapped, and more than 40 percent of people feel as though they've lost control in their career, reports LinkedIn. One key aspect to Amazon's program is that it recognizes that employees may want a career beyond their current role--and even beyond what Amazon might have to offer. 

Psychologically, this recognition alone can help staff to not feel stuck. In return, this can help keep them happy within their role, leading to more time in it. 

2. Recognize that every role has a lifecycle

The process of hiring and training is expensive, entry-level roles included. When good help is hard to find, keeping it becomes the goal. But it may not also be the goal of your employees themselves. 

While businesses should always be working to be good employers, they should loosen the reins on trying to keep workers in a position they may not ultimately want to be in, according to Deloitte. Even if you aren't necessarily in a position to provide tuition assistance or career coaching like Amazon, you can come to grips with the fact that every role has a natural lifecycle. And when fighting it means holding staff back, no one benefits. 

3. Offer a stepping stone in the right direction

Every work experience offers something of value beyond a paycheck, from a set of skills to a broader network. There's a tremendous amount of value to be gained from just about any job or work experience. And many overlook the fact that every job is a step in the right direction.

It's a common misconception among those who are early in their careers to think that you have to be doing what you ultimately want to be doing to get to where you ultimately want to go. In reality, that job in the call center or waiting tables adds to the skills and experience that will help them down the line--regardless of what they really want to do.

While employers may not always be able to help staff understand the transferrable skills they're acquiring on the job, they can help employees be the best they can be. For example, rather than having adequate sales associates, train your staff to become the best possible sales associates. When people become the best they can be, they begin to understand their worth and the transferable value they have to offer. 

Ultimately, keeping entry-level staff happy comes down to treating them well and setting them up for something beyond the position they're in. In other words, the same as any other staff member of their experience level or job title. 

It's offering your staff more value than a paycheck and valuing them for more than just what they can do for your organization--valuing them as people. It won't necessarily help you retain staff for years, but it will help your business become the type of organization people seek to work for--even if just temporarily--for a long time to come.