Ongoing onboarding – your new staff do not have crystal balls!
We all know the score – busy times for your business hit, you employ seasonal staff, sail through the season with all the help you need, seasonal staff leave, and things quieten down a little.
Then, boom! The cycle starts again the following season or year, you can feel like you’re starting from scratch every time, and explaining the ropes to new staff (or ‘onboarding’) can seem repetitive and time-consuming.
But get a few systems in place and your ongoing onboarding can get easier and easier season on season.
They aren’t mind readers
Your staff may be temporary but they still need to know what they’re doing.
Life could be a lot easier if people were mind readers. (On the other hand, it could make things a lot more complicated too!)
But your new workers aren’t. If you run a café, and you insist on the cups being warmed before being filled for customers, your new seasonal staff don’t know that. You have to tell them!
If you run a hotel, and your double sheets are kept on one shelf, and the king size on the shelf below, enlighten your new staff.
If your regular weekly dedicated customer prefers their cake with cream on the side, or if they have their own glass behind the bar, make sure your staff are informed.
To cheat, use a sheet!
It could be as simple as writing a quick cheat sheet. Make a few notes and give it to each new member of staff.
It might only take them 10 minutes to read, but it’ll be worth it. It will save both you and them valuable time and, by default, increase their productivity.
With the very nature of seasonal staff, they will probably be learning on the job, and must be on their game quickly. It will be busy and you won’t have the opportunity to tell them everything in the first hour, and different queries will arise on different days.
If your business is a bit more complex, with more systems in place, compose a training manual or compile a short video for your ongoing onboarding. If there is a certain order in which tasks need to be completed, note it.
Keep it on a cloud or on an organisational app, and you can share it with all new staff members.
Put yourself in the new staff member’s shoes. Would you know what to do if put in this situation? It may seem obvious or even petty to note simple things down, but that new seasonal worker is walking in for the first time not knowing anything about the business that you know back to front.
Conversely, don’t just hand them the instructions and walk away! Still take your time to explain things, demonstrate and be open to all questions.
Ensure your temporary staff have the correct training and support, and they will do you and your business proud when you need them most!
You then have the information in place to repeat the process season on season with every new staff member, and make every ongoing onboarding exercise a success.
Just don’t forget to update the manual if your loyal customer suddenly decides he wants custard instead of cream on the side!
If you’re needing to recruit seasonal staff every year, read our guide on how to sell your job and make the job seekers want to apply for your vacancies.