Make Sure Your Seasonal Employees Are a Holiday Bright Spot

The holiday rush is no reason to stop innovating. Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell, strategy experts and the authors of “Woo, Wow and Win: Service Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight” (HarperBusiness, 2016), have designed a five-step program to help you make the most of your seasonal employees, allowing them to contribute to improvements that will help your business all year round.

Temporary employees present an opportunity for you to try new reporting structures, practices, and processes. According to Stewart and O’Connell, “Intuit’s TurboTax team runs hundreds of weekly live experiments every tax season, with each week’s results feeding into the next week’s experiments. Retailers can do the same, online and in-store – learning and changing as the season progresses, and emerging smarter.” Of course, as temporary staff contributes to the customers’ experience you’ll want it to be consistent with your brand, but don’t skip the opportunity to “emerge smarter”!

Stewart and O’Connell’s recent article, “Black Friday: Making Sure Temporary Employees Are a Bright Spot This Holiday Season,” goes into full detail, but it can be summarized in five steps:

  • Make sure seasonal employees are sprinkled in among more experienced ones at the same level, and give them all chances to know each other.
  • Let holiday workers know not just the rules, but also where the “give” is.
  • Give “battlefield promotions” to your full-time staff.
  • Put folks from headquarters and other departments into the trenches.
  • Don’t punish failure; study it.

If you’d like to learn more from Stewart and O’Connell, contact us to book them for your next event.

Danny Stern: