Since organizations that hire on a seasonal basis generally experience high employee turnover rates, some managers do not seek out engagement strategies for their short-term workers. Yet, there are specific engagement tips designed for seasonal workers. Here are three ways managers of seasonal organizations can help create more productive teams and encourage top performers to return to the job.
1. Don’t Skip Orientation
Managers hiring in a seasonal industry may feel that orientation is unnecessary if an employee is only staying on for a short time period. Yet, skipping this step can make an employee to feel undervalued and this can cause them to underperform in their position. As this article points out, engaging through orientation programs is crucial for seasonal organizations because the influx of part-time employees is usually a response to increased business. For example, a retail store hiring holiday workers should take the time to train and welcome part-timers to capitalize on the increased spending during this time. It is important to remember, however, that pushing a seasonal employee though orientation is not enough. This Forbes article suggests doing orientation in chunks, rather than all in one session so that employees have time to digest the information and ask questions.
2. Give the Position Value
While it is true that many seasonal jobs do not require long-term experience, no employee wants to feel like they’re replaceable. To ensure higher levels of engagement, managers in seasonal industries should invest time into making sure employees understand the value of their position. Consider the specific value of the seasonal position and reinforce that message throughout orientation and into employment. Still, as employee engagement expert Matt Heller said, it is unrealistic to expect a brand new employee to be as excited about the company’s mission as are the full time employees. If that is the case, managers should try to demonstrate value in other ways. In the case of the landscaping employees, managers could explain how this experience will help the employee learn valuable team building skills, which are attractive in the variety of industries that employee may be interested in for the future.
3. Craft a Referral Program
Another way to encourage engaged and meaningful work from seasonal employees is through a referral program. Hard working, dedicated employees are likely to have connections with like-minded people. This type of program is a creative way to attract great talent and keep current employees working hard. For example, a manager of a seasonal team could give a gift card to any employee who refers a new hire. One way to strengthen this strategy is by holding on to the reward, so that it is only given out if the new hire, for example, does not miss work his first two weeks. That way, the organization gets the new hire that they need, and the referrer has an incentive to make sure the new hire shows up and does a great job.
To learn more about employee turnover in seasonal industries and strategies for engaging this unique workforce, read our Best Practice Guide below.
Erin P. Friar
Erin Friar is a Content Marketing Journalist Intern at Repsly, Inc. and is completing a Journalism degree at Suffolk University. She is a master of grammar and is passionate about creating fresh content to help foster efficiency and overall success in small businesses.