If you plan to boost your team with onboarding a little extra manpower around the holidays, you’re not alone. UPS plans to hire 95,000 seasonal employees this year, nearly doubling last year’s hires, according to 2014 Holiday Hiring Forecast report. Last year, companies hired 786,200 seasonal workers, and the report shows there’s a steady increase in seasonal hiring each year. Though it’s exciting to add new members to the team, the onboarding process can be a little cumbersome as new hires navigate their way through their new job. You want to ensure these new hires learn the ropes quickly so they can feel like a valuable part of your organization as soon as possible, especially if they’re only going to be with your company for a short time. Here are a few things you can do to help your new seasonal employees get up to speed with the rest of the company:
1. Assign a buddy. The best way to help seasonal employees learn the ropes fast and ensure smooth onboarding is to assign them training buddies. Identify current employees with specific skill sets and assign them to train each new hire who needs to learn the related skills. Use one-on-one training rather than group lectures so a dialogue can take place. A new hire will feel more comfortable asking questions when training is more like a personal conversation.
2. Demonstrate your company culture. This is crucial from the very beginning. If seasonal employees don’t understand your company culture, they will have trouble making difficult decisions and handling situations without a set of black and white rules. Clearly communicate your company’s values and social norms. Tell stories of both successes and failures in a way that demonstrates why your employees do things the way they do. Implement an instant messaging system so new employees can ask questions and receive quick answers in tough situations.
3. Help them get socially integrated. A new workplace can be disorienting to new hires at first, but the best way to make them feel like a part of the team is to help them become socially integrated. You can implement social learning strategies into training such as online communication, instant messaging and Q&A forums to facilitate communication between current employees and new ones.
4. Ensure resources are easy to access for reference later. Use a learning platform, such as ours, to store important training and onboarding documents so seasonal hires always have access to them when needed. A new hire can’t be expected to retain all training information the first time through, so having access to supplemental training documents and notes to reference will be essential to success.
5. Give them teamwide access. Instead of only having one or a couple of people employees can go to with questions, why not enable them to ask the whole team? Not only will this likely help return an answer faster, but also new hires can get opinions and advice from employees who are subject experts. Use an online Q&A forum that notifies everyone when questions are posed and resolved.
6. Use technology. Since we’re no longer in the stone age, we’ve got powerful tech tools that streamline communication and learning. All we need to do is use them in the workplace. Use tools like video chat and file sharing to help employees learn quickly. Give seasonal employees access to a library of content from previous training sessions they can learn from. Use a platform that allows employees to request training in specific areas, if current content doesn’t suffice. You’ll want to ensure your seasonal employees settle into your company quickly so you can see the best return on your investment. Have the right tools in place and harness the collective knowledge of your existing team, and your seasonal employees will reach full productivity in little time.
What are some methods you’ve used to get seasonal employees up to speed and streamline onboarding? Share with us in the comments below!