From Seasonal To Sensational

Your department can benefit from giving seasonal employees more responsibility. Photo Courtesy © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Bambulla

For example, once maintenance-staff members understand the standards and have the skills to do the job, they can decide the best way to manage the workflow, to delegate tasks, and to develop operating procedures. This approach also may result in more innovative and effective ways of getting the job done.

Recognize Effort

Providing regular and authentic recognition of an employee’s efforts is critical to building commitment; conversely, a lack of recognition may chip away at whatever commitment does exist.

A manager should take the time to learn something about each employee, as this can go a long way in effectively recognizing someone. Knowing what is perceived as important or meaningful helps get the most from each person.

Give Respect

The final piece of the puzzle is creating an environment of respect–for the job, customers, and employees. It is important to show seasonal employees that all roles are critical to delivering quality service.

Creating an environment where there are two classes of employees–year-long and seasonal–should be avoided. When possible, seasonal employees can be invited to events, receive information, and in general treated as important contributors to the organization.

Managers need to also be aware of how their words and actions can impact an environment of respect. It is impossible to expect commitment from employees who hear “off-the-cuff” negative comments from a manager about his or her own job, the organization, or customers. Managers must walk the talk!

While these directives may seem like common sense, they are not often common practices. Implementation is important to successfully build commitment.

A manager should provide extensive orientations for new employees. This time can be used to help establish expectations, to explore the new employee’s expectations and interests, and to link those interests to the job.

With a little planning and some work, more engaged and committed employees can be created each year.

John Meldrum, Ph.D., M.B.A., is a faculty member in the School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education at the University of Victoria (Canada), and regularly speaks and consults with groups and organizations on leisure and management issues. He can be contacted at jmeldrum@uvic.ca.

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