Summer is upon us, which means ‘tis the season for seasonal employees. Filling these slots on the roster is key to keeping up with summer business levels. Bottom line: you need seasonal workers. But the “seasonal” aspect to these positions, the fact that they are temporary rather than long-term positions, may initiate a ho-hum, less-than-motivated approach to the job. And that’s the last thing you need.
It’s of uber importance that engaged guys and gals occupy these crucial spots, employees genuinely invested in the job and motivated to be a valued member of the team. But how do you get there? How do you encourage motivation and engagement in your seasonal employees?
1. Train them right!
Sure, it’s time-consuming and costly to hire, onboard, and train, but the alternative can be just as costly, if not more so. So while the mindset that insists “seasonal staff will only be here a couple of months” may goad you to skimp on training, covering only the highlights in a scaled-down onboarding process would be a mistake.
Proper training invariably results in a better overall outcome as it dramatically improves customer service, which impacts customer satisfaction and reduces workplace accidents. And drum roll, please. Well-trained employees are more engaged, perform their duties more professionally, and are less likely to quit after two weeks, leaving you back at square one.
Training tips: Don’t overload your seasonal staff with information on the first day. Execute training in smaller doses, allowing them to observe and assist veteran staff who thoroughly know the ropes.
2. Treat them right!
A short-term position on the payroll should not translate into a “less than” scenario, where seasonal employees are made to feel their contribution is of little importance. Model behavior that demonstrates the same level of respect for everyone and expects the regular staff to do the same. Insist that the attitude toward the “summer help” matches the attitude toward anyone else on the team. Discourage that label altogether and instead, make an all-out effort to . . .
3. Make them part of the team
Seasonal workers often feel like outsiders who don’t belong—a scenario spurring disengagement or lack of motivation. So, be sure to offer the same perks and incentives that full-time employees enjoy. Include them in after-hours hangouts, potluck lunches, and the company softball team. And keep them in the loop! Too often, communication channels bypass seasonal workers, creating a distinct disadvantage.
4. Consider and voice the long-term possibilities
While we expect employees to step up to their assigned responsibilities, a word about future opportunities can boost the performance of short-termers. If the potential exists for a summer stint to be repeated or to transition into a permanent position, let the employee know. As the season draws to a close, strike up conversations that explore the plans of your seasonal staff. Note those from the summer crew who do an excellent job, placing them at the top of next year’s list.
Let our team of specialists assist you in maintaining adequate staffing levels via A.R. Mazzotta’s pool of talented candidates, ready, willing, and able to fill various positions across the gamut of hiring scenarios. Give us a call, send us a message, or stop by our offices in Middletown, Wallingford, Watertown, and Westbrook.