By motivating your seasonal employees, you increase the chances of boosting summer sales as well as adding — and satisfying — new customers.
Summer is here, and many businesses need to hire seasonal employees to meet expanded customer demands. At the same time, these businesses risk alienating customers by hiring potentially unmotivated temporary workers who might provide poor service and could give their brands a bad name. Every company that relies on a seasonal spike in business should do everything possible to keep customers happy, so no one can afford to hire and maintain temporary workers who might behave poorly because they have no stake in the outcome.
Here are six tips to provide that special touch and help maximize seasonal employees’ productivity during these summer months:
1. Hire Carefully
Some business owners forget they’ll face a summer crunch and wait until the last minute to hire seasonal workers. This can lead to bad hires and under-performing employees. Instead, prepare the groundwork for summer hires by more closely scrutinizing applicants on the basis of their ability to learn new things, an understanding of your business and an interest in coming back again in the future.
2. Make Training a Top Priority
It’s simply unreasonable to dump a summer worker into his or her new job and hope they’ll figure things out on their own. Your time is much better spent by offering a basic training and an orientation period, so they can feel more at ease in the position and be willing to ask questions to further improve their performance. It’s also a great opportunity to teach them about your brand — what it means, how it’s different from competitors and why it’s a source of passion for you.
All of this groundwork can pay off with the employee’s enhanced sense of commitment to the job. Make it crystal-clear that providing quality customer service is the most important aspect of their job.
3. Clarify Your Expectations
“Forget the employee handbook,” advises Entrepreneur business writer Gwen Moran. “Come up with a one-page summary that succinctly tells employees what you expect and how to get ahead in your company.” Be sure they understand precisely what you’re looking for from them, “whether it’s tenacity, innovation, people skills, or simply arriving on time.”
4. Promote a Sense of Team
Naturally, a newly hired seasonal employee may feel out of place among your veteran, full-time staff. You can see a marked improvement in motivation if you make clear to your team that these temporary workers are, in fact, vitally important to the business during the summer months, and that they should make every effort to work together with them at all times.
Look for opportunities where a full-time employee can mentor a seasonal hire, thus accelerating their on-the-job abilities. Also, consider hosting a start-of-summer social event for all employees where full-time and temporary workers can get to know each other better.
5. Communicate Often With Encouragement and Praise
When a business owner takes time to single out a seasonal hire for his or her work, that individual feels even more committed to giving his or her all. Knowing you’re accessible may also encourage them to come to you with a question or problem, rather than fearing such actions might jeopardize their position.
Let’s assume, with this groundwork and active collaboration during the summer months, that your seasonal hires have worked out great. What’s next?
6. Set the Stage for Future Opportunities
If you’re pleased with the individual’s performance, let them know! Thank them for helping out during the busy time and make it clear that you’d be happy to welcome them back next year. Better yet, give them a heads-up regarding any open full-time positions for which they might be qualified. In addition to hiring someone whom you already know is capable and has a strong sense of your business, think of all the time saved by not having to go out and recruit a complete stranger for the job.
Business owners who consider seasonal workers as a valuable addition to the team can find their efforts rewarded with motivated employees who deliver the goods during their short on-the-job experience.