However, this is no easy task. Staffing issues are already increasingly difficult with the rise of the gig-economy, and the combination of the holiday period makes it even more competitive with a smaller pool of potential candidates available. Restaurants must then compete with higher wages and flexible hours to attract seasonal workers during this time. Yet despite all the effort that goes into this, these employees are expected to stay a mere couple of weeks in their role.
With this set up, it’s common for restaurants to neglect the need to properly onboard or engage with their temporary staff. On top of that, there’s often a divide between permanent and temporary employees that rises within the workplace, causing seasonal hires to feel isolated or unvalued. These factors are no help to the long-term workforce shortage and high turnover rate that the industry is already struggling with as a whole.
In truth, restaurants actually have a great opportunity to screen and train these seasonal workers into permanent staff with the right strategy in place. In doing so, they’ll be equipped with a much more cost-effective and time-effective recruitment process. After all, who better to hire than those who have already spent time in the role? Here are some of the ways to achieve that.
Invest in proper training and onboarding
With seasonal staff not expected to stay long, many restaurants don’t bother investing the time and effort to properly train them. This results in staff who are only equipped to do the bare minimum of their roles, unaware of the full scope of workplace policies and untrained to meet customer requests effectively. In reality, training doesn’t have to be a logistical, time-consuming nightmare. Use digital workplace tools to provide effective e-Learning that can be done independently, online polls or quizzes to test knowledge, and collect all training documents and workplace policies in one centralised online platform to make them accessible on-demand. With these tools in play, you’ll provide long-term knowledge without taking too much time before they can hit the ground running.
Foster an inviting culture that engages with them
It’s important the seasonal hires also feel like part of the team. By creating an environment that gives them a sense of belonging, helps them to form close friendships and boosts their motivation to work with their colleagues, restaurants will unlock many benefits. They’ll not only be more engaged to perform in the short term, but they’ll also be encouraged to remain in such a positive work environment beyond the seasonal shift. Bridge communication gaps between permanent and temporary hires by using a mobile-tool that can help them connect, collaborate and share feedback as a team, in turn helping them to develop both personal and professional relationships.
Reward and recognise their hard work
Seasonal workers often get overlooked when it comes to recognition, despite how crucial they are to maintaining smooth operations during the holiday season. Make sure hard work doesn’t go unrecognised by using digital commendations to allow for individual praise to be shared instantly and publicly to the entire team. Better yet, turn these into tangible rewards like longer breaks or a gift card. Adding this personal touch makes the job more rewarding and avoids making temporary hires feel expendable or unvalued in their roles.
Set clear expectations
Last but not least, make sure your seasonal hires know that there is a chance to turn this temporary gig to a permanent position, and what exactly is required from them to achieve this opportunity. Think of it as a test – without a clear indication of the success matrix, individuals are less likely to be able to pass. An employee platform with task management and delegation features can help with this by defining their responsibilities, shifts and performance progress in a way that is transparent to everyone and easily accessible at all times.