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5 New Staff Training Tips Ahead of Expected 3.6 Percent Holiday Sales Increase

Los Silva
|
December 29, 2016
staff training, los silva, capitalism

The holiday season is part of the way over. But, there’s still a couple of weeks of shopping and experts are predicting that this will be a good year.

In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) announced their prediction last October for a solid 3.6 percent increase in retail sales. This is a large jump from the 2.5 percent 10-year average.

So, in anticipation of this shopping spree, a lot of businesses have started their temporary hiring.

staff trainingA large portion of seasonal hiring goes to the retail sector. But, you will the largest need in the fulfillment and shipping centers and not the storefronts. This means more jobs in transportation and warehouses.

Though, whether hiring for office work, retail, warehouse, or manufacturing, hiring new staff comes with its own complications.

These new employees don’t generally come into work on their first day fully aware of all their job duties and responsibilities. It takes a while to get them up to speed. This can have an adverse effect on the speed of seasoned employees.

There’s a balance that needs to be achieved through staff training.

Otherwise, new hires don’t do a lot of good toward helping deal with a busy holiday season.

Any business that’s recently taken on new staff should realize the importance of proper training for seasonal employees. You want to get your new hires acclimated to your business operations quickly to maximize the help that they provide.

So, with that in mind, here are 5 training tips for getting seasonal employees up to speed.

#1 – Don’t Skip the Safety Training
If there are any hazards in a work environment, safety training must come first. This includes jobs in manufacturing or any setting where there’s a potential for injury.

Managers should never assume that a new hire has adequate experience. They may not be familiar with the equipment. They also need to be aware of your basic operations and safety procedures.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 2.9 million workplace injuries in the private sector in 2015. Injuries result in a loss of labor and the potential for medical costs.

By spending a little extra time on the safety training, the chances of new employees getting hurt on the job drops. So, safety should always be at the forefront of seasonal training.

#2 – Use Group Training for Seasonal Staff
Group training is an efficient solution for the holiday season. This further cuts down on the use of resources to train a large group of seasonal employees. It requires less time, cost, and strain on managers or supervisors.

The one drawback to group staff training is the lack of one-on-one attention that each trainee receives. There is a greater chance of a new hire not understanding one or two of their responsibilities.

Hiring a few additional employees to train the group could help with this. In 2015, 56 percent of businesses added training staff.

While this may seem counterproductive, the idea is that managers and existing staff will not have to adjust their standard operating procedures to accommodate the new hires. The added staff trains the seasonal staff.

#3 – Work with a Talent Management Service
In certain industries, there’s a need to take on hundreds of new hires. Management shouldn’t have to spend valuable time screening all these potential hires.

An easier solution is to work with a talent management service. There are talent firms dedicated to nearly any industry. Do you need more workers in your warehouse? Do you need dozens of new cashiers?

These firms work with pre-screened temp workers to fill demand quickly. There is also the added benefit of being able to find employees with the right job experience. This also puts less of a strain on human resource departments.

A lot of the workers’ rights, including the 2,200 different labor laws regarding paid sick leave, insurance, worker’s compensation, and other entitlements are handled through the agency – not the temporary employer.

Businesses can cut down on time spent training the new employees if they can find the right talent pool. This is where a staffing agency becomes invaluable.

#4 – Utilize Job Shadowing on Day One
As soon as a tour of the workplace is complete and all safety training is finished, new employees could benefit from job shadowing. Though, this depends on the industry.

Studies have shown job shadowing to be an effective way to train employees. Though, only about 31 percent of organizations surveyed use job shadowing.

In retail and service industries, job shadowing allows for hands-on training with direct supervision. The new employee gets to learn as they go, instead of reading their job duties and then trying to utilize this new information later.

#5 – Scout Quality Talent from the Seasonal Workers
A lot of seasonal workers seek employment in the hopes of becoming a permanent employee. Businesses shouldn’t automatically let go of their seasonal employees after things slow down.

Obviously, most businesses can’t keep their entire seasonal workforce. But, there’s a good chance that a couple of quality workers can be found.

There is a greater return on investment in keeping a good worker. It would be a shame to allow the time and energy spent training them to go to waste. It’s that simple.

As seasonal employees go into their new position under the assumption that the job could end within several months, it’s a great opportunity to mine new talent.

Managers and supervisors should be keeping notes and tracking the progress of seasonal employees

The holiday season always brings an increase in hiring. It trickles across nearly every industry. There’s a boost to consumer spending, which impacts just about everyone.

So, to meet the needs of consumers, businesses hire new employees. This can range from a couple of new workers in an office to thousands of new employees for a warehouse.

Regardless of the size of the new workforce, many of the complications are the same. New employees just don’t have the same experience as seasoned staff. Businesses should consider group training, the benefits of staffing agencies – along with the rest of the training tips.

Basically, businesses need to address their training process for a smooth transition.

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