7 tips for effectively managing summer temp employees

Summer is in full swing, and for many business owners, this means managing interns and other temporary employees. These workers can present unique challenges due to their limited experience and different motivations compared to year-round staff. As a manager, you know a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, especially with seasonal workers. So, here are seven actionable tips to manage your temporary employees successfully this season.

Train them

Investing time in training temporary employees may seem like a challenge during your busiest season, but it’s essential for maintaining quality service and customer satisfaction. For example, if you manage a restaurant, thorough training of new summer hires on customer service standards is crucial for handling peak hours smoothly and ensuring your guests have a positive dining experience.

Similarly, if you own a specialty boutique, equipping your seasonal staff with in-depth product knowledge and effective sales techniques enhances their ability to engage customers and drive sales. This preparation not only ensures your temporary employees represent your brand effectively but also contributes to your business’s overall success.

Set expectations

Clearly communicate your expectations to temporary workers and outline what they can gain from their experience with your business. For instance, if you manage a clothing store, ensure your summer employees understand they’ll be expected to assist with inventory management and create captivating visual displays. In return, they’ll acquire valuable retail experience and develop essential merchandising skills that can benefit their future careers.

Temporary workers often join for the cash or the experience, but aligning their goals with yours through clear communication enhances their performance and engagement. By setting expectations early and emphasizing the mutual benefits of their role, you empower temporary employees to contribute effectively to your business operations while gaining valuable skills and experiences themselves.

Create motivation

Seasonal employees and interns aren’t driven by the same incentives as year-round staff. So, if you want to motivate them, you may need to try something different. For instance, at a retail store, you could offer a weekly bonus for the highest sales to inspire temp workers to take their customer service skills to the next level.

Alternatively, in a restaurant or coffee shop setting, you can implement a contest based on customer feedback. Recognizing employees with the best customer reviews each week with a reward encourages temporary staff to prioritize customer satisfaction and uphold service standards.

Ask questions

Get to know your temporary employees beyond their resumes. Let’s say you own a landscaping business. You may discover that a summer hire has a passion for garden design, which you can leverage to create beautiful and unique layouts for your clients.

Understanding the backgrounds and interests of your seasonal workers goes beyond just assigning tasks; it allows you to tailor their roles to align with their strengths and aspirations. By tapping into their passions, you not only boost their motivation but can also help improve their job satisfaction and performance.

Include them in team meetings

Ensuring your summer employees feel included in team meetings is crucial for fostering a sense of belonging and importance. For example, if you own a specialty food store, inviting your summer staff to participate in discussions about sales strategies and customer engagement can greatly enhance their sense of value and motivation.

By involving temp employees in these meetings, you not only demonstrate that their input is valued but also provide them with insights into the business’s operations and goals. This inclusion can significantly improve their experience with your company, encouraging them to actively contribute and perform at a higher level.

Let them shine

By getting to know your temporary employees and including them in meetings, you can identify their strengths and best utilize their skills. For example, if you manage an auto shop and discover that a summer hire has a talent for social media, consider assigning them to manage your Instagram account. This not only capitalizes on their abilities but also can help enhance your shop’s online presence and customer engagement.

Avoid limiting their capabilities and delegate responsibilities that match their talents to truly get the best out of them and help your business thrive.

Show appreciation

Showing appreciation for a job well done is key to keeping temporary employees happy. Whether it’s a simple thank you note, a shout-out during a staff meeting, or a small token of appreciation, recognition goes a long way.

For example, praising a summer hire for their exceptional customer service can boost their confidence and satisfaction. You could highlight their efforts in a team meeting or feature them in an employee spotlight on social media. Fostering a positive work environment benefits both temporary and year-round staff, creating a culture where everyone feels valued and motivated..

The bottom line

Managing temporary employees isn’t easy, but it’s essential for your business’s success. Well-trained, motivated seasonal workers can significantly impact your operations and may even return for future busy seasons. Invest in your temporary employees, and your business can reap the rewards.