As we’re now in the midst of November you may be finding yourself scrambling to hire seasonal and temporary employees to help with the holiday hustle and bustle. Once you’ve hired them, the question then becomes how to train them.
Often the training of seasonal employees can be put on the back burner or neglected altogether but that’s a mistake – after all, these are the people likely to be the face of your company during one of your busiest times of the year.
With that being said, there are limitations to training these seasonal workers because of time constraints so here are seven ways you can make seasonal training realistically work:
- Be specific with your training. Your seasonal employees are probably hired to do something very specific in your organization – for example, customer service. Train them in the most specific and concise way possible because they probably aren’t going to need to be cross-trained on your entire organization. By training them specifically, you’ll save time and they’ll be more thoroughly prepared to take on the actual duties of their job.
- Work on seasonal training materials throughout the year. By using eLearning or multimedia learning tools you can actually easily change and alter your seasonal training so that you can perfect it throughout the year and then employees will be better prepared when they’re hired. Don’t wait until the last minute to try and scramble to come up with training or have your other employees take time away from their duties for the training of seasonal hires.
- Focus on byte-sized learning modules. We often talk about shorter segments of training being the best concept for optimal learning, and this particularly applies to seasonal hires. You want to make things manageable for them, especially since they may feel overloaded in a short amount of time as they’re thrown into the holiday rush.
- Have your seasonal employees complete their training before they ever start work. Provide accessible on-demand multimedia or mobile learning and let them know that you expect them to complete training before their first day of work so that valuable time isn’t wasted on the process.
- Include realistic scenarios in seasonal training. Scenarios will help your temporary employees gain invaluable and real-world experience in a fail-safe environment so they’re better prepared to jump in, both feet first, as they actually begin their job duties.
- Rather than trying to teach a lot of hard skills to your seasonal hires, focus your training on soft skills. Many seasonal employees are simply expected to take on customer service duties and become a brand ambassador, so train them on these concepts and let your more experienced employees take on the hard skill positions and tasks during the busy holiday season.
- Training should focus on empowering employees. Again, since most temporary seasonal positions are based around interacting with customers and overall customer service, you want these employees to feel confident to make the decisions they feel are best when it comes to dealing with any variety of potential situations. Focus your training on giving them the background they need to make good decisions and don’t feel like your training should require them to stick to one particular protocol. If you’ve done an adequate job hiring seasonal employees, they should have the ability to make good decisions once they’re trained.
Do you hire seasonal employees? If so, what are your tips for training or even onboarding these employees so they’re a valuable asset to your organization during the holiday season and potentially even beyond?