The holiday season is just around the corner. Many businesses around the world need extra help when it comes to the expected influx of customers during this time of the year. Businesses, especially those in the retail sector, need to hire seasonal employees to accommodate higher customer demands.
To be productive though, seasonal staff also need to be on-boarded and trained well – just like your regular employees. The biggest challenge is that the timetable is short and deployment needs to be immediate. You, therefore, need to have a new hire onboarding program that’s more adapted to a shorter agenda with a faster speed-to-competency. You need to get your temps ready to adapt to the demands of the holiday season as soon as possible.
It’s definitely understandable that this might cause quite a stir because sourcing for seasonal hiring is already a challenge in itself. Now, just imagine the demands of training and onboarding temporary staff within such a short amount of time! Don’t fret. We’ve got you covered.
Here are five tips that you can implement to ensure that your seasonal employee training is more effective.
1. Make your training content more compelling through the use of branding
Given the shorter period of time that seasonal employees need to be trained and on-boarded, you need online training content that’s more effective. Most of your temporary staff may already possess the required skills to do the job (especially those that come from agencies). However, they still need to be trained on processes, knowledge, and skills that are specific to that of your business. They still need to undergo your company-specific new hire training.
The best way to make sure that your brand and your business makes an impact is to create engaging training content. And through this content, you get to convey your company’s brand creatively and effectively. Remember to use videos, images, and interactive content to train your seasonal employees on your products and services.
Exceptional training means well-trained employees – both seasonal and regular. Not only does this equate to outstanding performance, it promotes better brand awareness too. And even though it’s not that apparent, these also rub off on the customers, resulting in more sales and more opportunities for revenue.
2. Adopt a BYOD policy for new hire training
BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is a policy that can be used to quickly onboard your seasonal employees. Having a BYOD policy in place makes sure that the temps don’t have to wait for the company to issue them devices in order to start training.
This makes seasonal training somewhat ‘plug-and-play’. With BYOD, your temps just need to connect to the network using their own device. They can then access the operations-critical courses and start their new hire training right away. Employing a BYOD policy is one way to ensure that your seasonal workforce can hit the ground running.
Do take note though that you still need to equip your temporary staff with whatever resources and equipment they need for work. Using the BYOD policy this way is just a way to speed up the onboarding process by providing a means for seasonal hires to access training courses right away. It is not meant to substitute company-issued devices or equipment.
3. Implement a buddy system
Mentoring, shadowing, and observing are still some of the best ways to learn work-related skills quicker and more effectively. Nothing beats seeing, experiencing, and applying the skills in a real work scenario. To do this, you can pair up seasonal employees with your more experienced, regular staff – establishing a buddy system.
The pair can work together during the onboarding process as mentee and mentor, respectively. They can take turns in serving customers. The temp can observe and shadow the veteran employee go about their work. In turn, the vet can supervise the temp and can give valuable feedback and coaching. In addition, this activity also fosters camaraderie between employees and allows the sharing of best practices.
4. Incentivize learning
Seasonal employees expect to be maximized during their stint in your company. And having this notion of work as the top (and sometimes, only) priority, training and development usually take a backseat. There are even times that learning might even be shunned completely.
Incentivizing learning can be a great way to motivate your seasonal staff to take the required courses on time. Give rewards for those who religiously complete their required training. Provide incentives for completing courses, acing assessments, and/or attaining learning milestones.
These incentives also don’t have to be monetary rewards. Exclusive discounts, gift vouchers, free items, and certificates of completion are also great incentives. One of the most important aspects of effective learning is motivation – and incentivizing learning would be quite helpful not only to your temporary staff but to the entire company too.
5. Include, support, and reward
Like your regular employees, seasonal employees should also be considered as an integral part of your company. They should feel that they belong and their contributions acknowledged, just like your regular employees.
Your seasonal staff might be temporary, but it is still your responsibility to train, develop, and motivate them while they are under your company’s direction. While it’s easy to pass that responsibility onto their respective agencies, you still need to remember that the one that suffers most from demotivation, skill gaps, and lack of training/development is your business.
Just for that reason alone, giving your seasonal workers all the support that they need in order to do their job well should be your priority. And just like any employee, temp or otherwise, they need to be trained and managed well. They also need to be motivated and their voices/opinions heard. It is also most helpful if the hard work of your seasonal employees also gets recognized and rewarded.
With everyone in your company expecting to do a lot of heavy lifting during the holidays, it can be easy to overlook the training and development needs of temporary staff. Training seasonal workers does not need to be a chore for your company. Your temps also have to be prioritized and given a positive start through proper training and onboarding.
For the company, seasonal employment doesn’t have to mean just filling in temporary vacancies to accommodate more customers. For the temp, on the other hand, the work also doesn’t have to mean that ‘it’s just a meanwhile job.’
And just like your regular staff, you need to show them that your company cares and that they also matter. Not only will doing so positively affect your team’s overall performance, but your business will get to reap the benefits too. Happier and motivated employees – temporary or otherwise – equate to happier customers. And in today’s customer-driven business environment, that’s the thing that matters most.