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Seasonal Staff Retention: Strategies and Tips for Hospitality Managers

Posted on June 5, 2024

Remember the headache of finding seasonal employees for your hospitality business? Naturally, you want to rely on them during peak periods year after year. To maximise your seasonal staff retention, you need to keep them engaged and motivated. Efficient onboarding is the start; continuous support is the follow-up, and a heartwarming offboarding is the end. In this article, we provide concrete tips to do this effectively.

Live Your Brand

It may sound unusual, but the foundation for retaining your seasonal employees is laid before they start working for your hospitality business. In this article and eBook, we’ve discussed the importance of creating a unique brand that stands out through great storytelling and a human approach that resonates perfectly with your target audience.

Once potential candidates have expressed interest and signed a contract, it’s crucial to meet their expectations. You need to demonstrate that the appealing brand they see publicly and on social media is the same brand they’ll experience behind the scenes.

Smart Pre-Onboarding

Even if seasonal employees are only briefly around, you want them to feel welcome. Think of onboarding as a welcome party for your new workers. Onboard seasonal employees the same way you would full-time workers. The sooner they understand their jobs, feel satisfied, and become part of the team, the better they will perform. And that’s good for everyone!

Be mindful: onboarding seasonal employees requires time and proper preparation. Don’t wait until their arrival to start getting ready. First impressions matter, especially when onboarding seasonal employees who may not be with you long. 

You don’t have to wait until their first day to start onboarding. Send them a welcome (video) message from the management and/or team lead, let them virtually meet their future colleagues, teach them about key tasks and procedures, and set clear goals beforehand. Platforms like MobieTrain can help you avoid overwhelming new hires using a microlearning approach. 

Staff Retention Hospitality

Streamlined Onboarding

After giving your seasonal employees a warm welcome, introduce them to your company’s mission, values, and culture. Provide a clear overview of your business, including key policies and procedures (or go in-depth if they‘ve already followed some training). Give them a tour, showing areas like where they’ll work and where they can take breaks … Ensure their first day is smooth and frictionless, providing all the info and gear they need to do their job correctly.

Introduce your seasonal employees to your colleagues and give them friendly faces to remember. Organize short meet-and-greets with some managers and experienced workers to get them a feel for the company’s culture and values. Pairing new employees with experienced staff who can offer guidance and support – often called mentors or buddies – can help new hires acclimate more quickly and feel more connected to the team.

Effective onboarding is critical for seasonal employees, who need to become productive quickly. A well-structured onboarding program helps new hires understand their roles, the company culture, and expectations. It also fosters a sense of belonging and engagement, improving performance and reducing turnover.

Ongoing Coaching and Support

Day one is done. You’ve satisfied your new employees with an inspiring and efficient welcome to start their seasonal employment period. You’ve assured them they aren’t being thrown into the deep end without the necessary knowledge, making them immediately deployable. Keep up this support to harness the full potential of your temporary staff

Support your seasonal workers daily, giving them tips and implementing personalised training programs to enhance their performance and productivity. Such an educational program offers an opportunity to provide your employees with targeted training on essential skills within the hospitality sector. Consider tips on customer service, communication, or technical skills.

Offering opportunities for further education or specific certifications demonstrates that you truly care about their career progression. If your hospitality business invests sufficiently in the training and development of your seasonal employees, you will undoubtedly deliver high-quality service and achieve remarkable results.

HR Tech integration

Continuous Feedback

While considering all these things, conducting regular check-ins is also essential. Don’t just set your seasonal workers loose; gauge how they’re doing. Provide personal feedback and promote open and honest communication. Make sure your seasonal workers have a way to offer feedback as well. Feedback is a two-way street.

Gathering feedback from your seasonal employees can help you prepare for future hiring process. Talk with them during their employment to discover what’s working well and what’s not. And as everyone loves recognition, include your temporary staff in your employee of the week/month announcements and other appreciation efforts.

Manage your seasonal workers as you would full-time staff. Undervalues seasonal workers may adopt an “it’s not my problem” mindset. They know they won’t be there long and might be tempted to cut corners. However, those who feel part of the team will strive to do their best daily. Offering continuous feedback and support helps build this sense of ownership over their work.

Heartwarming Offboarding

Knowing your seasonal employees will only be with you for a set period, it’s important to end their employment positively. Once the temporary period ends, thank them warmly and perhaps give a nice gift. Seasonal employees are a great asset; treat them as such, make them feel valued, encourage them to return next year and give them reasons to do so.

Ask for their feedback one last time by conducting an exit interview to gather feedback on their experience, identify areas for improvement, and gain useful insights about your company and culture. Whether they are seasonal or full-time employees, you want to turn your colleagues into brand ambassadors. You never know what the future holds; you may contact them again for seasonal or full-time roles.

Improving Your Seasonal Staff Retention?

Our MobieTrain platform is a perfect solution to integrate into the retention strategies mentioned above. With summer just around the corner, ask for a free demo to see how MobieTrain can make the difference for your hospitality business.