The National Retail Federation expects retailers to hire between 585,000 and 650,000 temporary workers this holiday season, up from last year’s 582,500. And while many of these retailers are likely preoccupied with the actual hiring process, there is another aspect that is equally, if not more important: employee onboarding.
As seasonal or temporary workers are only employed for a brief period, they are typically not provided with the training year-round employees receive. This inevitably leads to poor performance which could be costly, or even a liability to some organizations.
Despite the temporary nature of these seasonal roles, businesses still need to implement effective onboarding to meet compliance obligations, achieve administrative standards, and ensure new employees are orientated and engaged.
Many organizations have found that interactive How-To video technology can facilitate the onboarding and training of seasonal workers in a much faster, more effective, and more cost-efficient way than using traditional methods.
Can you start yesterday?
One of the biggest challenges with seasonal workers is that they are often expected to contribute immediately — often the same day they’re hired. This ‘sink or swim’ approach sets most employees, and organizations up to fail.
Most employers however simply do not have the time or resources to devote to effective training. They end up skipping over what some view as trivial elements–like workplace tours, or first day lunches with new colleagues, or they assume new employees aren’t interested in cultural elements in the workplace. While these specific events may seem meaningless, the reality is that missing out can trigger employee disengagement from the beginning.
Also, since seasonal work can attract the same employees year after year, it’s critical that employees feel engaged and connected with their employers from their very first day, if not hours, on the job. This will help ensure they return the following year, thereby reducing the time needed to become productive.
Perhaps the largest consequence of poor training and onboarding is the inability for the employees to perform the very job they were hired for.
Consider a scenario where a new employee has just begun a cashier position at a global retailer. With no time for a standard training session, she is left on her own during her first week of employment while her manager steps out for an hour. She then unexpectedly encounters a problem with the cash register. As her manager is the only employee who understands how to troubleshoot the machine, the employee is left explaining to possibly dozens of customers that she is unable to ring up any of their purchases.
Or, perhaps a busy call center has hastily trained customer service reps during tax season, and they unexpectedly deal with dozens of problems they are not equipped to handle. As the rep is unable to assist the customer, they are forced to direct more calls to their manager, who is already flooded with various other complaints.
These scenarios are bad news for the customers, bad news for the employees, and really bad news for the organization.
As you can see, simply throwing employees into a role without proper training can have disastrous results. All of this headache could have been easily avoided with proper planning and the use of the correct onboarding technology.
Solution: Interactive How-To Video Presentations
Scenarios like the ones above are forcing many organizations to rethink how they approach seasonal employee training. Organizations that hire large numbers of temporary workers have begun to realize the importance of training and onboarding, and the speed and effectiveness with which it needs to be completed.
As we increasingly rely on more engaging mediums to communicate, first generation training tools like slides and pdfs are simply no longer effective for knowledge transfer. An interactive How-To video solution seamlessly merges video, documents, audio, webcam, screen captures, hyperlinks, and quizzes, and can potentially address unlimited on-the-job scenarios. Further, as a key component of the digital workplace, video presentation technology allows existing employees to easily create, view, and share brief video tutorials.
These training modules fuel collaboration across the organization and provide real-time information within the context of day to day work functions. The result is a quick and consistent onboarding process and an environment of continuous skill development.
Think you don’t have time to train employees? Think again.
When many employers think of training, they often envision it taking days, if not weeks – time that they do not have to waste or give. But with How-To video presentation technology, it’s a much quicker process. By incorporating short bursts of micro-training, sessions are shorter and more impactful. Micro-training video presentations are structured for maximum knowledge retention and much more engaging than a PowerPoint presentation.
And producing micro-training content couldn’t be simpler. Training managers or subject matter experts choose a skill they want to share, then record a brief tutorial on their desktop or mobile device. From there they can edit the presentation, annotate it, add voice and audio, and any subtitles for translations if necessary.
How-To video content can be viewed as soon as a new-hire clocks in for their first day and throughout their short tenures to get them working and productive faster. Full-time employees can share best practices. New employees can access both formal training on POS systems, standards for displays, etc. while on the sales floor.
Also, because the content is optimized for mobile, employees can access wherever they are, without the need to locate a training station.
While the holiday season is the time of year we typically associate with seasonal workers, there are actually many scenarios that require the hiring of short-term employees. Whether it’s helping tax filers submit returns, assisting landscapers with seasonal garden work, or employing extra event staff during an upcoming festival, businesses of all sizes rely on seasonal workers to increase capacity, meet customer expectations, and maximize revenues.
With the overwhelming amount of work most training managers have on their plate, it’s easy to overlook the basics of successfully onboarding temporary hires. But keep in mind that seasonal workers are just as vital as your regular employees.
By incorporating How-To video technology into your training and onboarding program, new hires can be up and running more quickly, taking the seasonal burden off of organizations. And the more successful your employees are, the more successful your organization.