All good things come to an end, and seasonal employees know this better than most. They arrive with the expectation that their tenure with your company will be short-lived. Hopefully, they had a productive time on the job, adding to their work experience and potentially even making some new friends. But at the end of the season, it’s time to say, “Goodbye”. As a business owner or manager, here are some tips for letting seasonal employees go with class.
Provide a Letter of Recommendation
If you’ve had an outstanding seasonal employee, don’t make them ask for a letter of recommendation. Write one for them the week before they leave. That’s a great way to send them off to their next job and it will put some extra energy into their final days at your workplace. You can also provide a LinkedIn profile recommendation (if you haven’t sent one of those before, find out how to do it here). In your recommendation, consider what you would want to know if you were the employee’s next boss and focus on highlighting those aspects of the worker’s personality and performance. Remember, people who take on seasonal jobs may have a harder time finding long-term work because they have a track record of switching jobs very frequently. Your recommendation could make a big difference.
Perform Exit Interviews Every Time
With layoffs at the end of the season, you already know why a seasonal employee is leaving the company. What you may not know is what impression they are taking away with them. One of the best tips for letting seasonal employees go is to do an exit interview. When you take the time to do exit interviews with seasonal staff, you can learn specifically what they liked and disliked about the job and the work environment. This information can come in handy next season to make the workplace more happy and productive. Be sure to thank these employees for agreeing to participate and let them know their opinion matters and can have a positive impact how you operate your business. Remember, your former employees will be sharing their impression of your brand with others long after the season is over.
Throw a Going Away Party
Without your seasonal staff, you wouldn’t be able to manage the rush of customers during your busiest times of year. These are the people who helped you capture that seasonal revenue that makes your year profitable. They make sure customers are well served and shoulder a lot of the burden so your long-term employees don’t get burnt out working too much overtime. They deserve a day of recognition at the end of a grueling season. Set aside a time specifically to acknowledge the contributions of your temporary workers with a small celebration. You can even have a special award for the “employee of the season” to recognize someone who went above and beyond to get things done during a hectic time.
Stay in Touch in the Off-Season
You can’t transition every seasonal worker to full-time status—even if they are great at their job. But you can leave the door open for them to come back the next year. Keep your best seasonal workers in mind and consider sending them something simple like a birthday card or even just a quick email a few months after they leave. Let them know that you still appreciate all their hard work and that they are welcome back when the season starts again. You might be surprised how far a simple gesture can go in making seasonal workers feel like they are still part of the team.
Want more tips for letting seasonal employees go and making every employee feel at home? Check out our blog post on “Five Tips for Motivating Part Time Employees.”