Making The Most Out Of Your Seasonal Employees

27 November, 2018
By G-Team in Human Resource
Gpayroll payroll software blog - season
As the end of the year draws near, most companies are stepping up their game to ramp up their workforce and close the year on a high by hiring seasonal employees.

While there is no formal definition of a seasonal employee from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), a seasonal employee is broadly defined as someone who is hired on a temporary basis during a time of a year when extra work is available. For instance, during the Chinese New Year or Christmas season.

However, seasonal employees are not to be confused with temporary employees. A temporary employee is usually hired on the basis of covering the absence of a permanent employee, which may be due to maternity or perhaps on sabbatical leave. Moreover, a temporary employee may work full-time or part-time depending on their contract terms with the hiring company. Seasonal employees, on the other hand, often work at different times of the day when the full-time employees may not be working.

Hiring seasonal employees is a great way to help with the additional year end workload. However, in any business, there will bound to be challenges faced when hiring seasonal employees.

The first challenge is to figure out how much time and effort to invest and train your seasonal employees without compromising on your daily work processes. The next challenge is to know how to motivate your seasonal employees on short-term goals and finally, to use these opportunities to further your and their long-term needs and goals.

Here are some strategies to help get your seasonal employees on board and up to speed quickly.

1. What is your reason for hiring this season?

More often than not, employers tend to invest a lot of time and effort in building their team of seasonal employees without understanding the specific reasons for hiring. A quick way to avoid failure is to identify the specific needs you have to cover during this heightened business period. That way, it will provide your seasonal employees with a clear purpose for their hire.

2. What are your top 3 training priorities?

Knowing what your greatest demands might be during the specific seasonal period will allow you to plan a more relevant training program for your seasonal employees. Expecting someone who is able to absorb all knowledge about your business but without much turnaround time is a complete waste of your time. Instead, create "specialist" seasonal employees by identifying the top 3 training priorities. For example, it could be customer service skills or excel skills. That way, it allows your seasonal employees to focus more deeply on a particular instead of being a jack of all trades but master of none.

3. How will you motivate your seasonal employees to keep them in shape?

Seasonal employees can be easily overlooked as they are, in a way, short-term employees. At the same time, they can be easily bored if they are doing the same work during their entire term. Instead, consider adding something extra to be them feel included such as inviting them to the company's holiday get-together or having an appreciation lunch. Also, a simple "thank you" can also go a long way in making them feel appreciated.

Seasonal employees may simply be meant for the short-term. However, that does not mean that you should compromise on letting them know that they are recognised and appreciated. Additionally, taking the time to define your short-term business needs and ensure proper onboarding for your seasonal employees will ultimately help shape your business in the long run.

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