Summer is coming. For many business owners large and small this means the season of interns and other temporary employees. Managing these new employees can be a challenge. Sometimes they are less experienced, and they definitely have a different motivation for being there than your regularly year round employees. As a manager of people, you know that it’s not a one size fits all situation, and that is especially true for how you work with your seasonal workers.
8 actionable ideas to manage your temporary employees successfully.
The front end investment may seem like a waste on a temporary or seasonal worker; it’s your busy season and spending extra time training temporary employees to do their job may not be what you think you need to spend your time doing. However, it’s your busy season; you hired extra help to make your business run as smooth as possible and to give your customers a better experience. No matter if it’s summer intern who’s a junior in college, with little work experience or an extra hand to manage the front of house in your beachside restaurant, these employees represent your business and no customer will know their employee status. Customers will know if they had a great experience with your business. The upfront training cost (of time and/or money) will be worth it to feel confident that your employees know what they need to do and your business will thrive because of it.
Make sure that your new team members know what is expected of them and what you both will gain by their time being there. Many temporary workers are there just to make some cash or gain some work experience, but if they know exactly what you will gain from them being there and what you expect from their work, you’ll both be able to accomplish your goals.
Seasonal employees and interns are not motivated by the same set of benchmarks and goals as your year-round employees. They don’t have the same about of skin in the game, not do they have all of the benefits you may provide your year-round employees. Depending on your business you can create extra financial incentive, you can create contests, or simply have their work recognized in front of the team. Finding the right way to motivate your temporary workers is just as important and motivating the rest of your employees, and can help your business growth in the busy season.
Your temporary employees are people too. They have lives, knowledge, and backgrounds you may not know about. To get to the top of your manager game; learn about your employees on a deeper level than their resume. This is more evident for year-round employees because your relationship doesn’t have an end-date built in and there is more time to develop a relationship. However, if you take the time to learn about your temporary employees as people, it can allow you to be a better manager and get the most of them.
Include them in team meetings:
There is nothing worse than feeling excluded (even for those who have long said goodbye to high school) or that you’re not contributing. This is an action that takes almost no effort on your part and can make a world of difference for your employee. This is especially important for an intern who is coming to work at your company to learn.
I had several jobs and internships while I was in college. The worst experience I had was at a really “cool” small business. Even though my manager (the business owner) gave me “real” work to do, he never included me in team meetings or group discussions. Feeling like an outsider transformed a job I was excited about and made it feel like torture coming to work every day for two months.
Let them shine:
If you take the time to get to know your temporary employees and include them in meetings, you’ll learn how they can best help your business get to the next level. You may find that it’s not in your best interest to limit their capabilities; use their best skills and delegate the right responsibilities to the right temporary employee.
Feedback is a two-way street:
No employee is a mind reader, and it’s even harder when you’re a temporary employee to get to know your manager. To get the most out of your seasonal worker take some time to give them feedback and encourage them to give you feedback as well. You don’t need to do this every day, but if you train them, set expectations, and include them in meetings, they should know exactly what you and the business needs from their work. Likewise, they’ll have an opinion of how you can do things better, not only as a manager but as a business.
Do I need to say any more about this? Showing appreciation for a job well done can be the best and easiest way to keep your temporary employees, seasonal workers, or summer interns happy. No matter how long someone is meant to work for your company, having people who want to be at work every day makes a huge difference to the internal culture of your business and affects your year-round employees as much as it affects the temporary employees.
Managing employees is not an easy task, especially employees that won’t stick around. It’s easy to brush them aside and focus on developing your year-round employees. But you’re business can only benefit from a well-trained, happy temporary employee and you may encourage the same seasonal workers to return to you during your busy season year after year.