Erwin Van Der Vlist, Founder and CEO, Speakap
As the summer months near, on-boarding and training are major obligations for managers building a temporary summer workforce. It’s not easy to get a new team trained and focused in the summer weather. And managers are faced with a greater task — keeping young workers engaged and motivated when they know their roles will be short-lived.
Although this segment of the workforce isn’t expected to be with the company long-term, they make up a crucial part of the team. These employees keep your business running at a peak time of year, and are often on the front lines, personally engaging with your customers. Consider the following ways to motivate these members of your team so they will help your business have its most successful summer yet.
1) Early Engagement
Rather than waiting for day one, you can create situations for engagement the moment an employee is hired. Pre-onboarding is particularly important for industries in which employees are scattered in different places in various deskless roles, such as retail, food service, and hospitality.
Being clear with directions, and including simple things like what the breakdown of their days will be, can make them feel more comfortable. It’s also helpful to share training documents and product information in advance to give this team the time they need to be prepared.
2) On-board Teams with Technology
Millennials and Gen Zers have grown up with technology in their hands. Communication with the younger generation must be mobile-first, tapping into the 15–17 hours each week these employees already spend on their mobile devices or computers.
Digital communication provides the quick feedback millennial and Gen Z employees expect. Just as they look for answers within the hour from their favorite brands, they look for the same response from their employers. Real-time feedback creates a positive work experience just as it does with social media.
The more interaction new hires can have with their new colleagues, the more prepared for their role and more engaged they will feel. This isn’t just nice to have, it’s critical to meeting expectations and the satisfaction of today’s young employees with their new jobs.
3) Create a Unified Team
Seasonal workers can often feel like outsiders among more permanent team members. As summer employees join your team, take a moment to show them around and introduce them to colleagues they’ll be working with.
Take it one step further, and offer the same perks and communication channels that full-time employees have access to. Even the gesture of inviting these staff members to social events might make a huge difference in their morale.
4) Show Your Appreciation
Recognition motivates people and it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment in their work. This is especially true for temporary employees.
The benefits of enhancing the experience for summer staff members run deeper than simply retaining good workers. The better you treat your staff, the more empowered and satisfied they will feel at work each day — which will be reflected in their service to your customers.
About the Author: Erwin Van Der Vlist is the founder and CEO of Speakap, which provides branded internal communication platforms that enable companies to have structured dialogue with their frontline, to support and inform their deskless workers from anywhere at any time. Speakap is currently conducting a study to measure how varying internal communication methods impact seasonal employee engagement, retention, and customer experience. Since 2011, Speakap has partnered with more than 400 organizations, internationally, and has locations in New York, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cologne and Brussels.