Tools for Tomorrow: Training For The Holidays
As we head into mid-September, we’re inching closer and closer to the holidays. By now, you’ve read our article on Holiday Hiring Tips (if not, give it a quick read now!) and are ready to tackle your busiest (and most successful) season head on!
But once you find the right folks for the (seasonal) job, how can you make sure they’ll seamlessly blend into your existing culture and work environment? You don’t want to inconvenience your customers (or miss an opportunity for a sale) because your employee misunderstands your expectations for success! Here are a few tips to make sure you and your new employees are on the same page:
…about your training procedures! It is often the case in small businesses that there isn’t a firm or formal training procedure in place for on-boarding new employees. And while this may work out just fine sometimes, seasonal employees need to be trained on all the daily/operational stuff PLUS whatever is new or different for the holidays (i.e. buy one get one promotion, special shopping event). So, we think it’s best to make training a priority. If you make time for it at the beginning of the season, you won’t have to worry about it later!
Bring Everyone Together
If possible, before the holiday season kicks into high gear, get your entire team (current and new) together so they can get to know each other. Organize some ice breakers, review holiday promotions and goals and what’s new so everyone is getting the same information at the same time. When employees have a connection outside of the job, they’ll be more likely to ask one another for help and support each other – helping you in the long run!
Remark On Good Behavior
For better or for worse, a new employee is likely to take on the habits (and possibly, work ethic) of the “regulars.” One of the best ways to take control of what behavior is being learned is to use everyday moments as teaching moments. If Paul (full-time employee) is refilling merchandise during downtime, make sure to point out to Sarah (seasonal, part-time employee) how much you appreciate this, and how much time it will save them all at the end of the day if everyone refills bit by bit. Don’t assume a new(er) employee will pick up on the unspoken expectations you have with your regulars – make it obvious what behaviors are appreciated and necessary.
How do you set yourself (and your seasonal employees) up for success during the holidays?