Many companies rely on seasonal workers to reinforce their staff during busy times. In the manufacturing, distribution and retail industries, for example, additional workers will be hired during peak times of the year, to cope with increased demand.
While these workers should receive the same standard of training and development as regular employees, often this isn’t the case. Unfortunately, some employers choose not to invest in onboarding or training for temporary staff, in an effort to save time and money. But if you’re an employer or manager, you have a responsibility to ensure each team member is fully trained for the work they’ll be doing – regardless of how long their contract is.
Here are some things you need to know about providing seasonal workers with the right onboarding and training methods.
Each individual who enters your organization has an impact on your company culture – even temporary staff who are only employed for a short period of time.
For seasonal workers, the way you bring people on board is just as important as it is for any other employee. Paying attention to onboarding helps them feel welcomed into their new workplace, and says a lot about your professionalism as an employer.
There’s no reason why all new hires shouldn’t be provided with a short orientation that covers workplace safety, company policies and procedures, and details of human resources contacts. Throughout the onboarding process, employers can also set guidelines for what’s expected from employees in their role, which will be appreciated by most workers.
Proper training methods are also often bypassed when it comes to seasonal workers. Many employers leave these new hires to fend for themselves and learn “on the job.” But starting a new job without knowing exactly what’s expected of you, or where to get the tools or resources you need for your job, is very frustrating.
While you may think that you’re saving time and money in skipping training, this can soon lead to increased errors and safety risks, unskilled employees and a poor work culture. Is it worth the risk? It’s far smarter to invest in proper training for seasonal workers, to make sure all team members can perform their work duties safely and efficiently.
Having an effective training system also helps build your engagement with new hires. Staff will know that you’re invested in (and investing in) their professional development, which is important for developing a culture of high-performing, satisfied employees.
Kevin Kruse, bestselling author of Employee Engagement 2.0, says the engagement of seasonal workers is critical: “Engaged workers—those who are emotionally committed to their employers—are more productive, provide better customer service, have few accidents and will be more likely to return the following year.”
When companies do deliver training to seasonal workers, it’s often in one upfront block of training, such as a two-hour workshop or half-day orientation. Matt Heller, an employee performance consultant, believes this is the wrong approach for seasonal workers. “Rarely do employees truly learn and absorb all of the material covered in a few days or hours of orientation,” he says, recommending employers provide training in “small nuggets – this way the material sticks better, and they have a chance to actually put it into practice.”
Online courses provide employers with the best way to deliver this kind of training for seasonal workers. Using this method, employees can log in and complete short modules at a time and place that’s convenient to them. There’s no need for employers to book large conference rooms, instructors or faciliators – eLearning courses provide everything you need to onboard and train staff, online.
You can keep your employee training courses short and concise, tailored to the exact needs of your seasonal workers, who may only need to know certain skills or a selection of company policies. Delivering training in this way also allows managers to monitor and gauge employee performance, with the results of training easily available to them online. Look through the Go1 marketplace, to find online courses that are relevant to the needs of your teams.