Is your small business hiring customer service, call center or retail sales employees to help you handle the upcoming holiday rush? Motivating workers who are with your company for only a short time can be challenging, especially during such a busy and stressful time of year. Here are some tips to keep your holiday employees happy—so your customers will be happy, too.
- Make seasonal workers feel at home. No matter how busy you and your permanent employees are, it’s crucial to start temporary workers off right by making them feel like they belong in the business. Welcome them to the team and assign them a “buddy” or team leader who’ll be responsible for training them, getting them up to speed on company norms, and generally making sure they’re doing OK.
- Provide clear directions. Start seasonal employees off slowly by teaching one task at a time and then adding on. Provide easy-to-follow checklists, “cheat” sheets and operations manuals new employees can turn to if they need memory aids to fall back on while learning their jobs.
- Set goals. Setting measurable goals, such as how many calls customer service employees should handle per hour, lets temporary workers know how well they’re doing. Go beyond individual goals by holding contests such as departmental competitions or team challenges. This helps make stressful jobs fun, promotes bonding and motivates employees to continually improve.
- Reward results. Giving regular rewards such as gift cards, comp time off or a 15-minute free neck massage to the seasonal employee of the day helps temporary employees feel appreciated.
- Be flexible. Seasonal employees are often students, parents or others who need flexible hours to fit their schedules. Be open to their needs for flexibility (within reason) and you’ll do better at retaining them.
- Look ahead. Got a great seasonal worker? Keep the person’s contact information and stay in touch during the year. Offer perks or pay upgrades to lure the person back next year.