July 2016: Employee Retention
Beat the Mid-Summer Employee Slump
Keep Seasonal Employees Morale Up and Motivated
It’s the middle of summer and some of your seasonal hires might be hitting a drop in energy. Their work effort is lackluster and they don’t seem as enthused as they did at the start of the season.
Let’s find out how you can generate employee engagement and bring their spirits back up. Here are 10 tips that will improve workplace enthusiasm and decrease summer job burnout.
1. Invest in your employees’ skills - Investing can be time-consuming and expensive, but training seasonal employees means that you’re creating a better future for a highly skilled workforce. Training leads to community growth, learning opportunities, and can provide focus with a desire to learn within young or temporary employees. It also doesn’t have to be expensive. NSPF offers plenty of online training that your employee can accomplish in a convenient and timely fashion.
2. Provide perks - It can be pretty easy to treat your long-term and seasonal workers differently; it happens. But whenever possible, treat both sides of the team similarly. Treating the summer time employees the same as your long-term employees can improve morale. Providing staff with discounts and incentive programs can keep their passion for work burning the whole summer long. If you haven’t created an incentive program, check out what forbes.com suggests and start implementing one that works best for your establishment and workers!
3. Recognize hard work - This tip is an extension of point two. Although they won’t be around long; seasonal employees still contribute to your team, work hard, and deserve praise. Taking the time to acknowledge their accomplishments and efforts can go a long way. However, be sure not to talk down to them while praising them. You will need to create a personalized approach for each individual and avoid sounding like a broken record (i.e. don’t use the same phrase every time you recognize their effort). This blog has some excellent tips and new ideas!
4. Ask about their goals - Sometimes a summer job is just a summer job, and that’s okay. Go into the conversation knowing that. When you ask about their goals and what they hope to accomplish (other than just a paycheck) this summer, find a way to support them so they can reach their goals. Although you both know it’s just a summer job, being aware of one another can create a genuine relationship and the employee may be more inclined to come back for the next season. And guess what! A returning seasonal employee doesn’t need as much training - that’s a long-term win.
5. Don’t over-schedule - Summer jobs can be...intense. At smaller organizations, people are often required to work longer shifts to help handle the increase in business. Providing time to recharge their batteries is needed to keep peace of mind and keep the summer slump at bay. If possible, do not schedule your employees what is known as a “CL-OPEN” or a closing shift and then opening shift the next morning. This tells the employee that you’re not caring about their well-being or their exhaustion. It also promotes a negative “cog in the machine” mentality. Don’t think of these workers as just that, because the commitment will decrease, dedication will drain, wear out faster, and your worker will not care about “recharging” the battery for work at all.
6. Frequent rotations - Lifeguarding is a vigilant task, the stimulus that triggers a lifeguard to spring into action rarely happens. This is a good and bad thing. This point is an addition to five but important to point out. If your lifeguards are in the chair for too long, their attention starts to fade and quick responses may turn into not noticing at all. Providing frequent guard rotations helps alleviate a problem facilities run into too often.
7. Make time for fun - Letting ALL of your employees burn off some steam while at work is something nearly every company could do more often and that every individual can relate too. Things get crazy, customers can be unruly, and sometimes there’s a disconnect between the seasonal hires and long-term employees. To avoid these negative aspects about the busy season, provide time and games that all your employees can participate in. Some are great for the beginning of the season, some for the middle; check out this list to find something that you think will be fun for your workplace.
8. In-Service training can be fun too - An extension of point seven, in-service training is an important part of making sure lifeguards are prepared to handle emergencies. In-service training can be made into fun/competitive experiences. Your staff can have a good time while at the keeping their skills tuned. A few examples could be timed races, “mystery swimmers,” and fastest rescues are great ways to turn normal training into a friendly competition.
9. Celebrate accomplishments for the WHOLE team - Did your team just kick butt during a super busy, non-stop day? Treat them to lunch! It can be as simple as surprising them all with a variety of pizza after the pool closes. Did every individual work a crazy hectic holiday weekend? What if you closed the facility for a day or afternoon and took the crew to mini-golf or an arcade? Don’t forget to reward everyone as a team. Again, this is replacing the “cog in the machine” mentality with a unified, team mentality. When everyone works together to burn through the holiday rush, closing the pool early for a staff party can keep integrity and pride up among peers.
10. Keep it open - When the busy summer ends and the seasonal hires are wrapping up their last few days, be sure to appreciate them and provide an open commitment. Let them know that they can return next summer and that they have earned more responsibilities and a higher pay rate. Eventually, a returning seasonal employee could become a full-time employee that comes pre-loaded with some or most of the necessary training. If the employee is no longer in the market for a seasonal position, maybe they will suggest your organization to a younger sibling or friend.
If your customers can’t tell who is a full-time hire and who was the summer help based on regular interactions, congratulations! You’ve beaten the summer slump. Keep these tips in mind to help create a fun and strong workplace where part-timers will want to be hired on as full-time employees.