Training Holiday Temp Staff

Posted: December 4, 2017
Category: Growth

The increased flow of traffic you experience over the holiday season is a good thing. But, it can be too much for your regular staff to handle, leaving you in the position of hiring temporary holiday staff. When you are only hiring for a short period of time it doesn’t make sense to go through your normal training routine. However, you also don’t want untrained temp workers roaming your store. Make sure you train your holiday staff on the following things:

Be on time

Prepare your staff for the holiday traffic. There are more people on the road the closer it gets to the holiday. That means driving to work can be complicated. It also means that finding parking will be difficult. Clearly communicate where they are to park. You want your customers being able to park as close to the door as possible, especially if you live in an area with cold winter weather. Let them know that showing up late is unacceptable.

Put your phone away

Make it clear that your employees are not to be on their phone during working hours. Their attention needs to be on helping the customers, which means they are not to be looking at their phones.

Use the buddy system

It feels horrible to be the new person somewhere when no one has time to show you where to find things. Take the time with your temporary staff to show them where to find anything that they will need. Then have a plan in place explaining who they should go to with questions during their working hours. Since you don’t have the time to show every temp worker the ropes try pairing them up with one of your regular employees. This will assure that there will be someone to answer their questions.

Customer services

There is a lot to cover when you train on customer service. Since you don’t have a lot of time you need to focus on the basics:

  • Smile and greet customers- start with the basics in your training. Smiling and greeting customers makes you seem nice and approachable. This is a very simple thing that makes a big difference.
  • Focus on the customer – one thing that shoppers hate is listening to two employees talk to each other while trying to purchase their items. Personal conversations should be saved for personal time, not working hours.
  • Help customers – Be ready to assist the customer with whatever they need. If your employee doesn’t know the answer they should let the customer know that they are going to find out the information for them, and then they need to follow through.

Keep the store clean

Part of the job of most seasonal employees is to help keep the store clean. Teach them to walk through their assigned area of the store and picking up anything they notice on the floor. Holiday shoppers are usually in a rush and tend to leave a mess. Let your employees know if they notice a wrapper on the floor it’s their job to pick it up. Or, if a product has been knocked off a shelf or fallen off the hanger they need to pick them up and straighten the area. Shoppers like seeing clean and neat stores, so straightening shelves and sweeping the floors is still making a big contribution to sales.

Tips on selling

Most temporary employees tend to stay away from this aspect of the job, but it’s something you want them to be aware of. When they are talking with shoppers they should keep in mind that the shopper may have a bigger budget than the employee does. People tend to sell to what they can afford to spend , instead they should determine what the buyer is looking for and focus on that. Its also worth giving them a simple training on upselling based on the needs of the customer.

Do not treat temporary workers differently

Most businesses treat their temporary workers differently than their regular employees. When you treat them like temporary workers they are going to act like that. You want all of your staff, even the temporary ones, to really invest into their jobs. That means you need to invest into them. Take the time to train them and don’t set different rules for your regular staff.

You never know if one of your temporary hires could end up being your best employee. You may find someone that you want to bring on full time when you have an opening. But, if you don’t treat them like a real employee they may not act like one. It might seem like a lot of work to train someone that will work for you for only a month or two, but the bigger investment you make into these employees the bigger payoff you will find.