Summer is here, which means, for many small businesses, it’s time to hire part-time seasonal staff or interns. Managing temporary seasonal help can be tough without a game plan, so let’s look at some best practices for managing summer employees.
1. Be Ready
Make sure you’re ready for summer employees to work by setting up a functional work station, email address, and passwords before their first day. Prepare to introduce them around the office and explain your company’s mission and vision, a particularly powerful motivating force if you’ve hired Millennials.
2. Know The Legalese
While temporary employees may not be eligible for your company’s 401K or health insurance,you still need to make sure your temporary employees are covered by liability insurance and that you’re complying with worker’s compensation requirements.
3. Get Crystal Clear
With such a steep learning curve, summer employees need to be clear about expectations. Set deadlines with clear deliverables at the beginning of the summer; younger employees may need specific direction about behavior. Transparency will help empower summer employees to manage themselves and give you peace of mind.
4. Remember This Is Temporary
Summer employees are temporary, so understanding their intentions will help you better align incentives. Interns want valuable experience and a full-time job lined up, so they may be more open to working late to prove themselves. High school students, on the other hand, want money but probably not enough to work every Saturday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
5. Welcome Them To The Team
If you’ve ever been an intern or freelancer, you know that temporary employees can feel left out and separate from your permanent staff. This can lead to the negative symptoms associated with disengaged employees. So invite summer employees to company activities. Not only will they enjoy their time, but the relationships they develop with the rest of your staff could help them navigate problems and provide answers to their questions.
6. Keep Them Focused
This is one I see mismanaged all the time. While it’s important to include your summer employees in company activities, they don’t need to attend every internal meeting, stay for the full hour of a conference call, or jump onto another project. Summer ends too soon, so keep your temporary summer staff focused on what they need to get done before the fall.
7. Set Up Consistent Check-Ins
Set regular and consistent check-ins with your summer employees to gauge their progress and deliver feedback. This will help you identify potential roadblocks and get out in front of problems before they turn sour.
8. See Your World Through Their Eyes
Take advantage of fresh eyes by having summer employees tackle something on their own. Whether it’s a product display or a social media campaign, giving autonomy to your summer employee will help them be more committed to the job and you will have a new perspective of your business.
9. Encourage Them To Stay
Not every summer employee will make it until Labor Day, but help reduce turnover by offering end-of-season bonuses, grant hiring preference to past summer employees, and if appropriate, write glowing recommendations, in paper and on LinkedIn.
10. Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go
Don’t accept poor performance. You may think, “It’s just a few months and I don’t want to hire someone new,” but it’s better to cut off dead weight than allow it to drag you and your team down all season.
Summer employees can help reduce workload for your team, but only when managed well. Take the time to start right and finish strong for a great summer.