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5 Tips for Building a Strong Holiday Team

Seasonal employees, because of the nature of the work, might not be inclined to feel loyal and committed. But here are expert tips for giving even a temporary team a feeling of strong morale and investment in the success of your operation.

1. Be clear about your needs and expectations

If you are hiring temporary employees, be clear about the seasonal nature of the gig to ensure it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Look for the kind of person who can jump right in for four or six weeks and keep a positive attitude throughout the season.

2. Work the staff’s needs into the schedule

Before you set the schedule in stone, get a good idea of each worker’s preferences for the holidays. Being accommodating comes with a lot of positives: It helps create a pleasant workplace, makes scheduling fair and gives you a good idea of who prefers to pick up extra shifts and who needs time off.

3. Treat current and seasonal staff equally

While some of your staff may be temporary, it’s important not to treat them as second-class citizens. Everyone should feel like an equal part of the team—because at the end of the day, everyone is working toward the same goal: a successful holiday season.

4. Plan for the holiday season early and thoroughly

Careful, deliberate advance planning helps keep your holiday team invested and motivated. Focus on these three areas:

Training: Based on the number of positions you need to fill and the level of experience of new hires, you can determine the exact amount of time you need for training new seasonal staff. 

Scheduling: Once you’ve built the schedule, send it out early. This helps the team plan their holiday schedule around it.

Planning: Prepare for the worst by planning for when an employee doesn’t show up on a busy day, so it has little detrimental effect if it actually happens. 

5. Show your appreciation

The holiday season comes with a lot of headaches, as anyone in foodservice knows. Show your team you appreciate their efforts by offering lots of positive feedback, giving small gifts, throwing a party (after the rush is over) or even giving them a day off.