3 Tips for Managing Seasonal Workers

stk316217rknWith the holidays just around the corner, seasonal hiring is already in full swing. Overall, retailers are expected to hire nearly 500,000 seasonal workers this year according to the National Retail Federations. In fact, USA Today recently reported retailers added 17,800 jobs in October.

Though most companies like Macy’s and Kohl’s gear up staff by 5% during the holidays, some add up to 50% more workers. Tele Tech, for example, plans to hire 4,400 seasonal workers this year, up 60% compared to last year. But retailers aren’t the only businesses ramping up staff to help meet demand. Customer Service, hospitality, clerical, manufacturing, shipping, and e-commerce typically hire seasonal workers as well.

Whether you’re significantly increasing your workforce in size or just adding a few key hires, it’s important to manage seasonal workers well, to get the best value for your company.

Here are three simple ways to get more from your seasonal hires.

1. Plan Ahead
The key to a successful holiday season with temporary workers is planning. From their first day on the job to the end of the assignment – and everything in between – be sure you have a plan in place to help things run smoothly.

2. Utilize Current Staff Members to Help Train New Hires
Be sure to use the expertise of your existing staff by making them a key part of your training team. Try implementing a “buddy” training system where temporary workers are assigned a permanent staff member to shadow or to go to with questions. You’ll not only help your seasonal hires get up to speed quickly, you’ll also be giving your permanent employees an opportunity to grow and develop their leadership abilities. Your training process should offer enough support to ensure each new hire is equipped to do their job well. And don’t forget to educate them on your workplace policies, procedures, and safety requirements.

3. Reward Performance and Attitude
Even though seasonal workers may not become a part of your permanent team, it’s still important to find ways to motivate and encourage every employee to give their very best on the job. Since seasonal workers can be critical to your success, try finding fun ways to reward excellent performance, great customer service, and winning attitudes. Creating an award like “Year’s Best Holiday Worker” is an easy way to recognize excellent contributions. Or consider offering performance bonuses and perks to outstanding workers. Rewarding seasonal hires not only promotes great job performance, but can also help make you a preferred place to work during the holidays, which will help you attract the most qualified candidates next year.

The holidays are a busy time of year and things can get hectic at work. Have a holly-jolly holiday season from the start by managing your seasonal staff with these tips.

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