How to Manage Seasonal Employees
No one ever said managing people was easy (and, if they said it, they’ve probably never been a manager). It’s difficult regardless of industry. However, managing seasonal employees at popular tourist spots ups the ante. You don’t have an entire year to make your money; you only have a few months. This requires employees who can be at their best when you need them the most.
There’s no way to guarantee greatness in others, but there are ways to cultivate it. You can help assure a successful season by implementing some of the following:
Employees working in a tourist town are exposed to the same amenities that made the area a tourist town in the first place. In short, there are distractions…fun, exciting distractions. You can’t eliminate these entirely, but you can help minimize them. If there’s a hiking trail your staff keeps talking about, lace up your boots and plan a company outing.
Communicate Your Needs
Employees often get their cues from their manager; a boss who expects little from their workers will get little in return. Therefore, expect greatness. Reinforce that your company is seasonally-based and tell your employees that you need them to give their all for the next three months.
Fire When Needed
Unlike a traditional employee, a seasonal employee isn’t someone you can invest in; simply, you don’t have the time. If your company flourishes in the summer, a worker who doesn’t take their job seriously until mid-August will do you very few favors. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give people a chance, but make sure that chance isn’t a fifth or sixth one.
Address Issues Before They Become Problems
Of course, less-than-stellar employees don’t always stay that way; some need a push and then they excel. If you have a worker giving half an effort, address the issue head on. Bringing things up early and often allows remediation. In the middle of even the warmest of summer, things will snowball if you ignore them.
Encourage Shift Taking
When your business is tourist-based, it’s imperative that your employees are available during high traffic times. An attendance policy that advocates for shift-trading works for you; it shows your employees that they can miss work as long as they do the responsible thing. Encourage each employee to get someone else to take their shift whenever they can’t – or don’t want to – make it in.
A seasonal business is a challenge for managers; opportunity is limited and the pressure is on. The above tips enable you to manage as effectively as possible and get the most out of your staff for the short time you have them.
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