Are you in the midst of hiring temporary and seasonal employees to scale up for the season? You might be asking yourself whether you need to update your usual employee onboarding training and employee development materials. If so, the answer is definitely yes, you should.
Chances are, your onboarding training could use a refresher. Even if it’s completely up to date, you can still add enhancements that will benefits both seasonal employees, as well as permanent new hires. The good news is that you can do this with simple, strategic changes and a new focus. Moreover, to help seasonal employees be ready to perform their best (in less time), there are methods to enhance your training — even without changing much of your usual onboarding content.
Consider these four best practices that will improve your seasonal onboarding training. Use one, a few, or all of these tips to make an instant impact.
4 Methods to Enhance Onboarding Training, Without Completely Changing Your Content
1. Use microlearning methods: Keep your training sessions short, interspersed with practice time using new skills before moving on. New employees have a lot to learn and a relatively short amount of time to get up to speed. Shorter training sessions not only fit better into their schedule but also help them to learn and more effectively retain new information. Shorter learning modules, such as quick videos, can also be reviewed and rewatched during breaks given as time for learning and refreshers.
2. Create engagement: Consider using gamification in your training, pairing up trainees with employees they can shadow, and encourage group learning when it makes sense to do so. New employees learn best in collaborative, distraction-free and relaxed environments. Give your learners opportunities to connect with each other and permanent employees to help them feel connected, help them know how their work impacts the entire process. You can’t always remove all pressure in busy environments, but you can make training friendly, fun and constructive.
3. Make it mobile friendly: Most of your seasonal workers are likely very used to using their phone to look up information they need. (Just think about how many times a day we use our phones to get directions; check prices, menus and reviews; search for news; ask questions of our friends or on social media; and even look up videos that help to figure out how to perform a task.) Make your eLearning and video available online for use on their phones so they can look things up, when needed. If your current training program isn’t available online, consider creating downloadable resources, such as PDFs, that employees can reference, and/or building a quick web page with reference materials like FAQs that are easy to find.
4. Use assessments effectively: Offer one-on-one coaching, lunch and learn sessions, and provide personal feedback on any tests taken or experience-based learning modules. In this case, your assessments are going to be used as opportunities to give feedback and recognition more than anything else. Interaction, connection, practice and positive reinforcement are the best learning methods to motivate your learners and get them excited to do well in their role.
Your seasonal employees will be more motivated, confident, and better equipped to perform their role when you make onboarding training engaging, flexible and time effective. Do this by shortening each training session, so that they can learn and then practice new skills. Create resources and mobile options for learning, so provide the resources they need to succeed.
Any opportunities you can provide to make their training collaborative, especially if you can have them work with permanent employees, will pay off in more effective learning. Your new employees want to feel like they are part of the team and that they are capable of performing well. You can increase the likelihood of success by including them and providing the right development opportunities.