Five top tips for engaging seasonal workers

Make your temps as productive and motivated as your regular staff
Whilst consumers complain about the Christmas holiday coming too
early to the media and high streets, in reality, many of them do shop and
plan well ahead. For businesses that serve festive needs, from retail and
delivery services to hospitality, it’s essential to be ready to make the
most of demand and deliver the quality service and customer
experiences that keep revenues and reputations strong.

At this time of year, temporary staff are an essential resource to meet
the surge in demand. But as every HR and team manager knows, it’s a
challenge for a new team member to get up to speed quickly and pull
their weight as effectively as regular staff, especially in a pressured and
hectic atmosphere as Christmas fever mounts. You need to on-board
them quickly and effectively, provide key information and training in a
short timeframe and integrate them to work as a team with the rest of
your staff.

Disengaged workers cost business: 70% of UK consumers won’t forgive
a poor customer service experience, according to the Institute of
Customer Service. Disengaged temps have just as damaging an effect
on your sales, profits and reviews as disengaged permanent staff. The
challenge is on to get your seasonal workers on board, on the ball and
motivated in a time- and cost-efficient way.

It’s not an easy task, but technology is on your side. With a policy of
‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) to access online company resources,
you can empower your seasonal team to connect with their colleagues,
engage with your culture and values and access vital information to help
them do their best job. Here are our five practical top tips to engage and
equip your seasonal workers to do a great job this holiday season.

1. Make vital documents and guides accessible on demand.

Temps need health and safety information and company rules as a bare
minimum. Even if you have hired people with skills and experience in the
role, they still need to know your organisation’s policies and operating
procedures, as well as specific task and process information. Temps
have to take in a lot of information quickly – giving them the opportunity
to access and check documents (or videos or interactive tools) on their
phone will help them assimilate core information and act on it with
confidence.

2. Support them in real-time on the job.

With shortened onboarding, your temporary staff members will need
support and guidance when they hit the ground. Realistically, your
concise induction can’t cover every situation and question – so where do
your seasonal temps get on-the-job answers? If you have an instant
messenger system, you can give them a means to find out the information
they need there and then. It’s a good idea to pair them up with a buddy
in the team too, for one-to-one help and encouragement, but giving them
the power to get answers without constantly interrupting a colleague in
person can help them build confidence and find solutions rapidly.

3. Make them feel part of the regular team

We’re all in it together, particularly in the frantic run-up to Christmas and
the sales. Everyone’s working hard – if you can make your temps feel as
vital and valued as the regular team, they’ll be more likely to pull out all
the stops. Give your temps access to the employee communication app
from the moment they join, so they can use the same bulletins,
resources and interactive features as their team colleagues. Two-way
communication matters too. Seek feedback and offer the chance to
make suggestions: short-term employees can make a valuable
contribution with their fresh perspectives if you make it easy for them to
share ideas.

4. Share seasonal promos and incentives

Give your seasonal workers the chance to support your retail or
hospitality targets by sharing information about what you’re promoting. If
your temporary team is signed up to online or app-based updates, they
can join in with everyone’s efforts to tell customers about Christmas
specials in a persuasive way. If you have an incentive scheme for
product sales, give seasonal workers an opportunity to compete and win
rewards, so they’re as motivated as year-round colleagues to engage
with customers. Use your mobile communications channel to keep
everyone informed about successes and incentive-winners and to tell
them about the next opportunity to be rewarded for great performance.

5. Stay in touch for next time

When it’s all over and your seasonal workers leave the building, stay in
touch. If you’ve provided a good employee experience, they may be
keen to return next time you need extra help, and you’ll want to actively
encourage strong performers to reapply. At the end of their contract, you
should remove them from internal communications systems, but keeping
them posted with relevant messages or emails can maintain their
goodwill, both as ambassadors for your brand and as high-quality
candidates for future recruitment campaigns.

If you can successfully engage and integrate your seasonal workers, it
could be a competitive differentiator. Immediate and genuine integration
and accessible knowledge is vital for short term employees. Bored and
badly trained temps can deter customers in your store or restaurant –
but well informed and enthusiastic workers can make a world of positive
difference to them at a busy and pressured time of year.
Christmas is a time both for giving and getting, so the song goes. If you
give generously with your support, information and appreciation, you
could stand to gain the gift of a highly effective and productive temporary
employee who delivers outstanding customer experience during their
season’s work.

The StaffConnect mobile app gives you a direct route to engage
contractors, temps, short term and permanent employees all around
your organization with information and communication that create an
effective, engaged and positive blended team.

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