Even though the leaves are just starting to turn here in the Midwest, our thoughts have already moved beyond pumpkin spice lattes and caramel apples to prepping the workforce for the holiday season. And for some, this includes seasonal training and hiring – where time is precious and quick, and effective training is at an even greater demand. Whether you fall into this category or not, during this whirlwind time of year we have some strategies that can help your training survive the holiday craze.
What They Need to Know vs. What You Think They Need to Know
It's so easy to get caught up in training every new employee like the employee before them, and the employee before them, and… well you get the idea. However, your seasonal employees need to be onboarded in a shorter time frame with less training hours, and usually in greater number than your typical hiring waves.
Not a problem, right?? But there are ways that you can adjust your training for these unique hiring situations, and still have your seasonal employees feeling ready and part of the family.
- Group Training Opportunities - what if you could train a large number of learners all at once, in a group setting, AND have it all tracked? Brilliant, right?! We call these learning events "Training Huddles." It's an opportunity for a learner to sign into the huddle (provided by a manager or instructor hosting the training huddle), take the content, and then provide completions for all of those learners that signed in. Creating quick learning opportunities AND training accountability – win-win! Look into if your current training platform can support this type of group training. If yes, work with your training team, managers, and instructors to identify what content is best for a group training environment.
- Bite-sized learning - your seasonal employees don't need to know everything your yearly employees do, or at least not in the same way. Providing exactly what the employee needs to know in an easy to digest, retainable, and quick-to-reference format will support getting your new seasonal employee up to speed faster. This could look like 'chunking' your current content into smaller segments or developing additional resources that provide the same content but in a more condensed, easy to access format. For some advice on creating microlearning, check out our blog on the subject!
- Ease of access – your current training tools and platforms may do the job for your learners on an average Wednesday in April but may not be enough to support the spike in training hours and number of learners leading up to the holidays. Whether it's providing additional training PCs, tablets, or allowing for a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, creating more opportunities for training to be accessed and completed can boost the onboarding and training process. This means your learners are gaining knowledge quicker and can get to the sales floor faster.
It's not too late!
Even with the holidays right around the corner, it's never too late to put these strategies into place! It can be as easy as taking a look at your current training curriculum and breaking it down into smaller pieces. Or possibly generating some additional resources such as Quick Reference Guides, infographs, or short how-to videos.
And if you're not working in the retail environment…
Let's be honest, it is the holidays and attentions are not always 100% on work - so it may be good to look at some of these suggestions and see how they can support your own general workforce through winter. Heck, they could even be applied year-round as a support when you have larger groups of talent being hired on, or as part of looking at cultivating a learning culture.
Need some help prepping your seasonal training? We're ready to brainstorm over some hot cocoa. Let us know what we can do to help!