Everything You Need to Know to Prepare New Hires for the Holidays

Onboarding, or better still, first impressions are what forge lasting connections. Much has been said about greeting new hires and integrating them...

Onboarding, or better still, first impressions are what forge lasting connections. Much has been said about greeting new hires and integrating them into the team culture, but what about seasonal hiring?

With holidays being just around the corner, it’s only fair to say that the majority of companies are looking to hire seasonal employees. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden talents among them!

HR teams simply need to be on a constant lookout for talents and if they find them among seasonal hires, they should keep them.

Festive Onboarding

Typically, new hires are welcomed with personalized, holiday-themed swags and hectic onboarding training. When it comes to the holiday season, time waits for no one!

This holds especially true for frontline roles, which are typically shunned left and right.

Seasonal onboarding practices don’t differ much from regular ones. New hires should receive prompt training, be paired with a seasoned mentor, and integrate fast. Except, “fast” is much faster than in other contexts.

Integration and alignment are also of immense importance, so new hires should be introduced to company values, mission, and vision from day one.

Sample Onboarding Checklist

All onboarding programs have a couple of goals in common, regardless of the industry, company mission, and roles. These typically include:

  • Reduced turnover rates — holiday seasons are stressful
  • Increased productivity rates — productivity needs to kick off ASAP
  • Seamless cultural assimilation — communicating the organization’s values, norms, and expectations
  • Enhanced employee experience — employee well-being in focus
  • Employee safety—where applicable
  • Compliance and legal requirements — where applicable

Here’s a quick onboarding checklist:

Before Day 1: Preparation

  • Send a personalized welcome email (introduce the new hire to the team and provide info on their start date, time, and location)
  • Prepare the workspace (set up the necessary equipment, supplies, and any relevant documentation)
  • Assign a mentor

Day 1: Orientation and Paperwork

  • Welcome session (introduce the seasonal hires to the company’s mission, values, and culture)
  • Provide complete paperwork (tax forms, confidentiality agreements, and any other legal documents required)
  • Provide access (login credentials and similar)
  • Set up an office tour (for office workers)

Training and Development

  • Job training (focus on specific tasks and responsibilities)
  • Systems and tools training (software, tools, and equipment)
  • Safety training (emergency procedures and protocols)

Team Integration

  • Team introductions
  • Social activities (team-building and similar)

Midway Through Seasonal Employment

  • Check-in meeting (discuss progress, address concerns, and provide feedback)
  • Additional training (as needed)

End of Seasonal Employment

  • Exit interview (gather feedback on the onboarding process and employee experience)
  • Return company property (badges, equipment, uniforms, etc.)
  • Provide references

Ongoing Communication and Support

  • Periodic check-ins (address questions and provide support)
  • Periodic feedback sessions (address concerns)

Post-Season Evaluation

  • Performance evaluation (based on set goals)
  • Documentation (update records to include seasonal hires’ performance and achievements)

Sprucing Up Workspaces for the Season

Be creative during onboarding. The holiday season is the time when people unwind. New hires should feel relaxed even if the workload is pressing.

Create a sense of seasonal joy in the workplace. Apply a holiday makeover to the office. There are many ideas on how to make the office festive and here are some creative ideas:

  • Festive lighting (string lights, fairy lights, or LED decorations)
  • Door decorations (festive wreaths, garlands, or personalized decorations)
  • Holiday wall murals (winter scenes, snowflakes, etc.)
  • Company Christmas tree
  • Festive meeting rooms (holiday-themed tablecloths, centerpieces, etc.)
  • Window décor (snowflakes are a classic choice)
  • Festive breakrooms (holiday-themed tablecloths, banners, and seasonal snacks)

Finally, greet seasonal hires with holiday swags.

Swags come in many shapes and sizes and don’t necessarily have to be expensive. It’s the intention that counts, after all.

Here are some ideas, based on employee feedback:

  • Customized ornaments (personalized, with the company logo or employees’ names)
  • Embroidered apparel (scarves, beanies, winter socks, etc. with the company logo or a festive message)
  • Winter wellness kits (branded water bottles, hand sanitizers, etc.)
  • Desk decorations (holiday trees, snow globes, festive desk accessories…)
  • Seasonal stationery (holiday-themed notebooks, pens, sticky notes…)
  • Branded snow globes
  • Holiday-themed tech accessories (phone cases, laptop sleeves, mouse pads…)

Preparing Employees for the Year-End Hustle and Bustle

Preparing seasonal employees for the year-end hustle and bustle is a crucial step; otherwise, the word “seasonal” would lose its meaning.

There are numerous established strategies in this regard, notably:

  • Pre-employment communication: Communicate the nature of the seasonal position. Employees need to understand workload volumes.
  • Comprehensive onboarding: The onboarding process should include detailed training on the specific tasks. Ensure that seasonal hires understand company processes, policies, and procedures.
  • Set clear expectations: Include info on work hours, productivity targets, and specific deadlines.
  • Schedule training sessions: These sessions should simulate the demands of the holiday season. You may include time management training, stress management techniques, and practical tips for handling high work volumes.
  • Communicate the importance of team collaboration: Encourage open communication.
  • Foster a sense of belonging: This may be particularly difficult as seasonal workers know they’re joining the company temporarily but make sure to think of a way nevertheless.
  • Guide time management skills: Create training sessions on task prioritization, realistic goals, and efficient workload management.
  • Set up appropriate software: think in terms of task organization and time tracking.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Seasonal employees need to understand that the workload may vary and they should know how to adapt.
  • Provide mentorship and support: Provide a support system for seasonal hires. Assigning a mentor and setting up proper communication channels is a good place to start.
  • Ensure that seasonal employees have easy access to the resources and tools they need to perform their tasks efficiently (technology, training materials, etc.)
  • Implement a system for recognizing and rewarding hard work during the busy season(team meetings, incentives, and company-wide acknowledgment).
  • Set up emergency protocols: Provide clear guidance on how to handle emergencies and unexpected situations (escalation procedures, emergency contacts, and contingency plans).

Building Team Bonding From Day One

To help new hires integrate faster, you’ll need a proven strategy that encourages bonding beyond the workplace.

For starters, new hires will be greeted by a festive atmosphere, so couple the mood with a fun workshop. A gift-giving occasion may boost new hires’ morale. You can hand out holiday swags and social-building activities.

Ensure a warm welcome for seasonal hires. Schedule team-building activities to encourage interactions. Pair each seasonal hire with a more experienced team member (“the buddy system”). Encourage regular check-ins to ensure the new hires are adjusting well.

Conduct orientation sessions that cover job responsibilities, company values, mission, and long-term goals. Highlight the importance of teamwork and. Create an environment where open communication is a given.

Hold regular team meetings to discuss ongoing projects, share updates, and provide a platform for team members to express their ideas. Organize social events outside of work hours to allow team members to connect on a personal level (team dinner, a weekend outing, casual get-togethers, etc.).

Acknowledge the contributions of seasonal hires publicly (during team meetings or via the company intranet). Offer training sessions or workshops that contribute to personal and professional development. Establish a feedback mechanism.

Celebrate milestones and achievements as a team. Foster a sense of shared success.

There’s so much that can be done to make seasonal hires welcome. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you brainstorm your onboarding strategy.


How Business Integrators Can Help Ease Employee Burnout?

8 Thoughtful Tips on Welcoming New Hires to Your Team.

Successfully Onboarding and Training Remote Employees.

Written by Angela Ash
Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, focusing on business topics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *