Many franchisees hire seasonal staff to help with increased demands during the year’s prime shopping time. Seasonal employees fill a crucial gap for both businesses and workers: Employers get help when they need it most, and staff get extra cash for the holidays. But there are also unique challenges that come along with the arrangement.
Up To Speed
Your seasonal staff knows they won’t be around for long, so they often feel less invested in your business’ success than your regular employees. You also have limited time to train them, and some companies barely bother. But that’s a big mistake. To your seasonal workers, everything is new, and they’re learning during the busiest time of the year. Further, while you know these employees won’t be around forever, your customers don’t. The service they receive will influence whether they return, no matter who provides it.
So, it’s best to set your seasonal workers up for success, starting with training. Getting temporary staff ready to hit the ground running is crucial, but too much information at once can cause everything you teach to go in one ear and out the other. Pace your training accordingly so you don’t overwhelm your new hires and inspire them to quit before they’ve barely started.
Pairing new folks with experienced staff is a time-honored tradition for a reason — it works. People often learn faster by watching others and practicing for themselves. Another tactic is to give your seasonal workers the so-called “easy” tasks. Assigning them to only prep work or gift-wrapping (depending on your industry) can streamline your processes and reduce training needs.
It’s also helpful to create incentives for your seasonal workers to do well. Can you provide small bonuses to your most productive staff during the season? Consider what additional perks you can offer. If possible, plans to hire some seasonal staff permanently can also help inspire those who want longer-term employment to put their best foot forward. Further, creating a good working environment for temporary employees can keep them returning yearly, reducing the annual need for training.
Remember that your franchise may also have resources that can help. They will often have valuable insight into best practices to ease the transition. While the season may be short, each day can be long, and the impression you make on customers might last for years.