How to Use Automation to Ease the Stress of Working with Seasonal Employees
02/09/2019 |

How to Use Automation to Ease the Stress of Working with Seasonal Employees

Is it time to bring on seasonal employees?
Use automated processes to help keep work moving
quickly and ensure customer happiness.

clock on a grey wall

Businesses that depend on seasonal workers often struggle when trying to ensure high quality customer service. Often, new temporary staff members are challenged by internal processes, making it hard to provide quality support to your customers. This makes for a tough balance: you need the extra staff to operate, but you don’t want to frustrate customers by providing poor service.

One way to keep these conflicting needs in balance is to automate many of your business processes.

Onboard seasonal staff quickly

The first step is to get the temporary team through the recruitment and training phases as quickly as possible. Many of the tasks related to this are routine. They are repeated again and again each time a new person starts:

  • Collect required personnel data
  • Create accounts and passwords
  • Obtain equipment
  • Schedule training
Use a business process management system to map out the steps of each process and automatically move requests through them.

Instead of multiple work requests being manually entered for each person and paper copies being shuffled back and forth between departments, automate. Use a business process management sysemto map out the steps of each process and automatically move requests through them. This way, your HR team can simply enter the person’s information once. All requests are quickly distributed, approvals captured, and action steps documented. Once the new hires arrive, everything is ready to go.

Manage seasonal staff skills and workload

Now that the team is in place, automation can also be used to keep everyone on task and provide you with much needed oversight.

Route requests based on skills
Logically, when new team members first start to handle requests, they are really only prepared to handle first level issues. As you clarify and define their skills, these can be documented in your request management system. Requests can then be classified based on the skills required, and new team members will only receive tasks that they are equipped to handle. As their skills grow, it’s easy to assign them to new areas of responsibility.

Streamline recurring tasks
Does your new team have trouble remembering recurring tasks? Or, perhaps the issue is that they are simply too new and can’t remember what exactly needs to be done each time? Either way, when it comes to tasks that happen on a periodic schedule, like maintenance efforts or follow up calls, automation can be used to trigger reminders and provide direction about exactly what needs to be done.

Make resource planning easier
Shared calendars make it easy to keep an eye on the workload of each team. When there is an influx of new workers, it can become challenging to ensure that everyone updates the calendar as required. Automation can step in here too. As requests come in, they can easily be assigned dates and times. Then, the request can automatically trigger a calendar entry. This way, no details are lost and the entire team is documenting work in the same way. You get a clear overview of who is doing what and when without duplicating the information onto the calendar, which would risk mistakes being made and information being forgotten.

If you find that you're constantly answering the same "how do I…" questions, consider defining the steps that are necessary and automating these.

Remove administrative barriers

As seasonal staff become integrated into the team, they are going to be responsible for managing their own day-to-day needs. If you find that you’re constantly answering the same “how do I…” questions, consider defining the steps that are necessary and automating these. When you do, the questions taper off because people know to just open a new process ticket and follow the prompts.

Today, businesses automate all types of tasks, such as:

  • Reserving office space
  • Requesting travel
  • Ordering supplies or scheduling training
  • Billing
  • Applicant tracking
  • Processing broken equipment
  • Moving work products through a specified workflow
  • Many, many ITSM processes

Customize your own processes

Of course, these are simply some of the basic processes that most businesses face when bringing in new team members – seasonal or otherwise. The benefits of automation extend far beyond these few examples and are completely customizable.

What repeatable tasks are being done in your business? What if you could remove the confusion and duplicate effort around these? How would that free you and your team up to address more value-added activities?

Photos: Jorge Franco on Unsplash

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