Tips for managing seasonal workers

During the Christmas holiday season, businesses of many types employ seasonal or casual workers to meet extra demands. Often these workers are hard-working young people who have travelled from overseas, bringing with them their own language and culture. This international melting-pot makes for a fun and productive work environment, although it can also present challenges.

Here are some tips to assist you during this busy time, and to make sure it results in a positive experience for you and your new staff.

Nurture a team environment

It’s important that your casual staff feel as much a part of the team as your full-time workers do. Be sure to include casual staff in all team meetings and work functions, and invite them to join any outside work activities you think they may be interested in.

‘Sweet as bro’

Every country has its own way of doing things, and these can often be confusing for travellers. Take the time to explain some of the more well-known kiwi-isms – what ‘sweet as’ means; that a ‘thong’ isn’t footwear in New Zealand; and that tipping is much less common here for example. You’ll probably learn some things too!

Find the best way to communicate

Find a way to communicate that works best for each staff member. This will help mitigate any misunderstandings around job descriptions, hours of work, and any emergencies that occur. Some may prefer Facebook messenger or Whatsapp, while SMS or email may suit others.

Rotate shifts and roles

 Create a flexible workplace for your casual staff by changing shift times, roles and, where possible, location. Part of the attraction for seasonal workers is the ability to experience our beautiful country before heading off on their next big adventure, so a strict schedule is a real turn-off.

With some forward planning, and openness to out-of-the-box thinking, you and your team can enjoy the classic Kiwi summer together.

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