During the holidays many businesses need to hire temporary staff. They are often hired through temp agencies rather than directly through the organization. Agencies cover the costs of screening, hiring, training and payroll, but it is up to the business to get the workers oriented with its procedures. They need to learn your software and hardware systems, customer care specifics and the basics of your organizational structure.
Here are five tips, from Business 2 Community, for fast track training your holiday employees:
1. Provide a mentor. Pair your temporary employees with experienced staff members. This provides your temp with a go-to person for all questions and arising issues. The mentor will be responsible for showing the temp around; explaining company procedures and requirements; and giving information on the function of equipment they need to use. This saves you from having to train each temp and provide print material like company handbooks. It also gives your temp one-on-one attention.
2. Make your temp feel welcome. This will motivate your temp and make him/her feel more comfortable asking questions. This means your temp will double-check before making decisions that aren’t clear cut – this can prevent serious consequences for your permanent staff and the business. Be sure to let your employees know that they are expected to be helpful and respectful of temp workers.
3. Build a relationship with the temp agency. This gives you the opportunity to request the same temp workers. This would result in less training for you and your staff to do when the need arises for a temp worker. It also allows the agency to become more in-tune with your needs so they are better able to select appropriately qualified temps for your business.
4. Start early. Anticipate the busy seasons. If your budget allows, hire temp staff a few weeks ahead of time. This will give you more time to properly train the temp. It also makes it possible for you to coordinate time off for permanent staff.
5. Cross-train. It’s easier to fill in gaps when your employees are trained for more than one department. You can often function with temps when you know which departments need fewer hands on deck. You can then shuffle employees quite easily, provided that they are appropriately trained. This is a cost-effective way of dealing with the staffing issues the holiday season brings if some departments need more staff than others.
It is important to know how to prepare for the holiday season. Give yourself time to provide adequate training so your additional staffing doesn’t do more harm than good, develop a strong relationship with your temp agency and prepare your staff to assist in training.