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Holiday time is here and the year-end is quickly approaching. Many businesses turn to seasonal employees to ramp up their workforce for that finally holiday push. There are typically three key challenges that exist for any business facing the need of extra holiday help: (1) figuring out how much time and energy to invest into seasonal employees without sacrificing customer service and ongoing regular business undertakings, (2) garnering motivation from seasonal employees to reach short-term goals and represent your business accordingly, and (3) developing these opportunities to further your long-term goals and their employment needs.
Now that you’re familiar with the struggle, let’s make this an easier process. In this series we will discuss five ways to ease the stress and make sure your bases are covered. Even if you’ve already hired your seasonal employees, these tips can help you prepare for a successful holiday season as well as future times when additional employees are needed. Each tip will have a focus word for you to use.
Begin with answering a few questions. What is your reason for hiring this season? What specific needs do you have to have covered during this busy period? For instance, if your business is retail, what anticipated product or service demand would require a certain expertise?
A quick way to ensure failed temporary workforce is lack of clear purpose. If your seasonal additions don’t have exact function then they just sit on your payroll, wasting time and money.
To Do: Build a list of 3 to 5 items of expected need for your business. These will become your Action Points, specifically behaviors which your seasonal employees will take over responsibility. Define these expectations and clearly communicate them to your staff, use them as the basis for employee training during this eventful time.
Your communication should involve both regular and temporary employees. Everyone needs to function on the same page and by taking the focus head on you’ll suffice to squash rumor mills and appease any regular employees who would second-guess loyalties. It is important to ensure each employee knows every person’s roles and the action points for your business as well as how it is expected for them to cross-support each other.
TL:DR/Take Away: Designate 3-5 Action Points of your operations in which extra help will be needed in order to effectively operate for the holiday season. This may be as simple as “Merchandising” or “Inventory.” Just remember, for a smooth transition you may need to designate some regular employees to cover these areas too. The new seasonal help will be there to assist with covering hours and additional duties that arise with the busier time of year.