8 Tips for Onboarding Seasonal Staff

Black Friday is more than a mere day, it represents the beginning of the season that can quite literally make or break a retailer’s sales for the year. Additionally, for warehouses tasked with filling retail shelves in advance of the holiday, gearing up your workforce to accommodate this increased demand is critical to making sure that you are up to the challenges of the holiday season. Critical to that success is ensuring that you have allotted the time and resources to make sure your new seasonal employees are fully on board with your mission.

Tips for seasonal staff training:

1. Adequate timing—the timing of the holidays are etched into the calendar, but if you wait that long to hire your season staff, you will be playing catch up until Boxing Day. As such, be sure to invest the time and money to train your temporary staff for the holiday crush. It is worth the extra payroll to ensure that your staff is up to snuff.

2. Finding employees—staffing your holiday schedule can be difficult, so finding the ideal staffing source is important. Drawing from the reservoir of local colleges, students on break are an excellence source for temporary hires. Additionally, staffing agencies that specialize in seasonal hires are an excellent source for holiday staffing needs.

3. Articulating expectations—whether you have chosen to hire directly from a student job board, or you have enlisted the services of a hiring agency, always articulate the culture that buttresses your business philosophy to ensure a good cultural fit. Even though your employees might only be with you for a month, their successful participation is critical to your success.

4. Define the job—take the time to define job goals and expectations clearly for your new employees. A detailed job descriptions means that your temporary hires will hit the ground running as soon as they enter your doors.

5. Training that works—when the seasonal hires leave for the year, you are left to conduct business for the remaining 11-months of the year, so you don’t want to risk your hard-won reputation to a poorly trained workforce. As such, designing a careful retail staff training regimen that fully teaches the new temporary employee into your routine and procedures quickly will have them ready for when the holiday customers start to pour into your shop and website, and orders start piling into your warehouse.

6. The wheel has already been invented—going into your busiest season of the years means that you already have a full plate on your hands, so there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Availing yourself of the technological advantages of training software means that nothing crucial is going to fall in between the cracks when it comes to training the troops.

7. Shadow training—with the advantages of hiring your temporary staff early, you have the time to initiate them into your corporate culture, and this allows them to meet the challenges ahead on firm footing. An excellent way to ensure that they understand the responsibilities of their position is found in shadow training. Pair each of your temporary hires to work with a fulltime staff member to teach them the in and outs that are only learned from working in the trenches.

8. Critical resource—a professional onboarding program recognizes the critical role that seasonal help plays in the important holiday season. Employees are trained and ready for any contingencies are great ambassadors for your company long after they have left your payroll. Showing them the respect that they deserve, throughout your corporate culture, will guarantee a motivated temporary workforce.

Learn how retailers are using Lessonly to onboard their teams here.

Image source: Giphy

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