Five Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers

Jobmax_HiringSeasonalWorkersjpgIt’s very common for organizations to look to the support of seasonal temporary workers to during peak production times. In fact, hiring seasonal workers on a temporary basis can be one of the best ways to realize a positive return on investment for your business because it’s less costly than hiring regular employees.

Each year, major retailers hire seasonal temps to help out during the holidays and support increased shopping demands. The biggest industries that use seasonal help are manufacturing, retail, hospitality, customer service, sales, and shipping and transportation. However, any company may choose to hire seasonal temps to cover summer vacations or maternity leaves for regular employees.

Seasonal assignments may last for a few days to a few months, depending on the need of each organization. During this time, it’s up to the company to provide training and supervision so that seasonal temps have the ability to be productive. There are some key ways that any business can get the most from their temporary seasonal staff.

  1. Create accurate seasonal job descriptions. Your first step in maximizing seasonal staff ROI is to write seasonal job descriptions that clearly spell out the tasks and responsibilities of each assignment. Your seasonal workforce may have limited time to get projects completed, so make sure they are reasonable given the scope of work.
  2. Provide training and resources to get the job done. Set up all seasonal work stations and systems in advance to make sure you get the more out of seasonal temps. Arrange for an orientation and training day, utilizing your seasoned employees as mentors to seasonal staffers. Give your seasonal workforce access to the information and resources to be successful.
  3. Set clear goals and deadlines for tasks and projects. Your seasonal workers can only accomplish what you expect if you communicate this to them. Provide seasonal temps with a list of tasks they are to complete, along with daily and weekly goals. Provide reasonable deadlines for getting things done.
  4. Give seasonal workers incentives to perform to highest standards. Seasonal workers often respond well to short-term incentives because they may not have access to the same benefits as your regular employees. Set fun contests and provide bonuses for top performers. Give seasonal workers incentives such as on-site lunches, wellness services, and discounts for merchandise.
  5. Treat seasonal workforce with respect and offer some permanent jobs. The reason why some individuals take on seasonal work is to prove their worth for future employment consideration. Remember to treat all seasonal workers with respect and appreciation, offering a few the opportunity to become permanent employees based on their performance. You can find out who may be interested in perm placement by talking with your staffing agency.

Seasonal workers can be a valuable way to stay on top of busy production periods and project demands. Remember to make the most of your seasonal staffers by giving them rewarding assignments and interesting tasks.

Get More Done in twelve Weeks Than Most Do in Twelve Months

In efforts to improve, most companies and individuals search for new idea and strategies. They seek out new marketing techniques, sales ideas, cost-cutting measures, and customer service enhancements, that these approaches will deliver better results.

However, the number one factor preventing individuals and entire companies from achieving what they are truly capable of is not a lack of knowledge, intellect, or information; it’s not some new strategy or idea; it’s not additional training; it’s not a large network of connected people; it’s not hard work, natural talent, or luck. All these do help, all play a part but they are not the things that make the difference.

You’ve heard the saying that knowledge is power . knowledge is only powerful if you use it, if you act on it. it benefits no one unless the person acquiring the knowledge does some thing with it. Great ideas are worthless unless they are implemented. The market place rewards only those ideas that get implemented. You can be smart; you can have access to lots of information and great ideas; you can be well-connected, work hard, and have lots of natural talent, but in the end, you have to execute.

The barrier standing between you and the lift you are capable of living is a lack of consistent execution. Effective execution will set you free; it is the path to accomplish the things you desire.

The Twelve Week Year

One thing that gets in the way of individuals and organizations effectively executing and achieving their best is the annual planning process. As strange as this may sound, annual goals and plans are often a barrier to high performance. This doesn’t mean annual goals and plans don’t have a positive impact. They do. There is no question you will do better with annual goals you will do better with annual goals and plans than without . However, this annual process inherently limits performance.

The trap is annualized thinking, at the heart of which is an unspoken belief that there is plenty of time in the year to make things happen. In January, December looks a long way off, because we mistakenly believe that there is plenty of time in the year, we act accordingly. We lack a sense of urgency, not realizing that every week is important, every day is important, every moment is important. Ultimately, effective execution happens daily and weekly.

Forget about a “year”, because we’re redefining it. A year is now a 12 weeks. That’s right: A year is now a 12 week period. There are no longer four periods in a year: That’s old thinking. Now, there is just a 12-week year, followed by the next 12-week year, ad infinitum. Each 12-week period stands on its own: it is your year.

Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies and successful individuals execute better that their competition.

The 12 Week  Year creates a new endgame date, the point at which you assess your success (or lack thereof). It narrows your focus to the week and, more to the point, the day, which is when execution occurs. The 12 Week Year brings that reality front and centre. When you set your goals in the context of a 12-week year, you no longer have the luxury of putting off critical activities, thinking to yourself that there is plenty of time left in the year. Once 12 weeks becomes your year, then each week matters: each day matters: each moment matters.

The result is profound. Most people experience about a %30 improvement in goal achievement in their first 12 weeks when operating on the 12 Week Year platform. To achieve more in the next 12 seeks than most will in 12 months, simply follow these steps.

1. Set a 12-week goal

Start by establishing a 12-week goal. Annual goals are helpful but lack immediacy and urgency, whereas 12-week goals create focus and urgency.

Focus on what you want to make happen over the next 12-weeks. The goal should be an outcome-income, sales production, dollars saved, pounds lost-and represent significant progress towards your longer-term vision. Limit your goals to a maximum of three, and make certain each goal is specific and measurable.

2. Build a 12-week plan

12-week planning is much more effective than traditional planning because it is more predictable and focused. The key is less more. A 12-week plan embraces the notion “Let’s be great at a few things versus mediocre at many”.

For each goal, you need to identify tactics, the daily and weekly actions that drive its accomplishment. If the goal is the “where” then the tactics are the “how”. Again, less is more. Focus on the critical few. Identify the four or five actions you need to take daily and weekly to accomplish your goal. Those are your tactics.

3. Apply the weekly routine

Having a goal and a plan is helpful, but it’s not enough . The key to your success is executing your plan. To ensure you execute at a high level, adopt the weekly routine. If you do the following three things on a weekly basis you can’t help but get better.

Plan your week

Take a few minutes at the beginning of each week to plan your week. Use your 12-week plan to identify the tactics that are due this particular week. The weekly plan is not a glorified to-do list: rather, it reflects the critical strategic activity that needs to take place this week to achieve your 12-week goals.

Save your week

At the end of each week. score your execution. In the end, you have greater control over your actions than your outcomes. The most effective lead indicator you have is a measure of your execution. Your are scoring your execution, not your results. Calculate a weekly execution score by dividing the number of tactics completed by the number due.

Meet with  a peer group

You are seven times more likely to be successful if you meet regularly with a group of your peers. Find two to three other people who are committed and willing to meet for 15 to 20 minutes each week. In your meeting, report on how you’re doing against your goals and how well you’re executing. Encourage and challenge one another.

That’s it-three simple steps. Plan your week, score your week, meet with a group of peers. How easy is that? Do them and you will improve-guaranteed. Here’s the catch: The steps are easy to do, and even easier not to do. Do make a commitment to engage with them for the next 12 weeks and watch what happens.

Five Mistakes New Managers Commonly Make

Most people want to progress in their work, and moving into management is a natural way of doing so. Some step into the new role and prosper. However, many struggle and become disillusioned, possibly stressed, and their performance dips: They’ve made the common mistakes of new managers. Here is how you can avoid making these mistakes.

MISTAKE 1: Not getting clarity on your role

Most people get a job description and may even have a quick chat with their new boss. Few, however take the time to get charity on their role. what the expectations are, and what key results are to be achieved.

SOLUTION: Make an appointment with your boos to be crystal  clear on what they expect of you and what you should deliver to be successful in your new position.

MISTAKE 2: Holding onto old tasks

If you have been promoted internally within the same organization, this is a challenge. You may have been very good at certain tasks and really enjoyed some of them.

Be crystal clear on what your boss expects of you and what you should deliver to be successful in your new position.

SOLUTION: If these are not tasks on which your performance as a manager will be judged, pass them on to someone else.

MISTAKE 3: Trying to please everyone

As a manager, you have to make decisions: Some will be popular with everyone, some will be popular with some and unpopular with others, and some will be unpopular with everyone. Accept that your decisions will not be popular with everyone.

SOLUTION: Take what you believe is the right decision based on the facts and information available, not the one that will please everyone.

MISTAKE 4: Not Believing in yourself

We all have our doubts about our skills, knowledge, experience, and personal attributes, but we can choose whether we use them as an opportunity to shrink or grow. When people take up a role as a manager, self-doubt can get in the way of their success.

SOLUTION: Recognize that opportunities to grow always exist, and remember that those who appointed you believe in you, and so should you.

MISTAKE 5: Going for a home fun too quickly

You will probably want to make an impact as soon as you can. You may have had some thoughts or ideas about what you would do and how you would be different when you became a manager. It is easy to fall into the trap of going for a home run too quickly.

SOLUTION: Take it a step at a time. Make small change. As you achieve success, raise the bar and be more adventurous.

When people take up a role as a manager, self-doubt can get in the way of their success.

Someone see your potential to be a great manager. To become one, make sure to avoid making the common mistakes of new managers.

Communicate with Power

Many of the defining characteristics needed for effective leadership — like having a vision, integrity, commitment and resilience – are innate. Fortunately, another quality, as essential for success as the others, can be learned–the ability to mobilize a fire-in-the-belly effort among employees to help the leader realize ambitious goals. Leaders can acquire this ability by observing and learning from the behaviors of leaders who deploy these skills, by being coached or by incrementally stretching employees beyond the nom to generate the needed commitment.

The power of the leader’s position alone cannot command enthusiasm and dedication from today’s workforce. Instead, employees must be convinced that the leader’s objectives are achievable, understand that meeting the goals will provide a personal payoff, and be inspired to make their own full force contribution. To generate the needed support from everyone in the organization, leaders must put their leadership on parade: They must be visible, crystal clear about their message and take every opportunity to demonstrate– live and in person– their passion for their goals. Unless they show how deeply they cares, few others will care and their plan may be seen as another flavor of the month.


Some leaders believe it is sufficient to communicate their goals to the workforce through the organization’s internal media, such as employee publications, intranet, or videoconferencing–the more sophisticated the technology the better. Many have become enamored with blogging because it makes possible instant communications with large numbers of employees– assuming they make the effort to log on. Tlhis is useful because it allows for repetition of the leader’s message, which is essential for making an impact. But using media is not a substitute for interacting with employees face to face. Media cannot convey the intensity of feeling the leader has for his plan nearly as well as human contact does. The very fact that the leader is there, and has left the comfort of the office to communicate with employees, gives the message importance.

Leaders must make his case loudly, clearly and consistently. They should seize every opportunity to speak from the heart in personal engagements with the employees, Thus allowing them express their message with absolute clarity and address any concerns the employees may have about it. As an additional payoff, the workforce’s views about other company issues will come through unfiltered. (Reporting of bad news at these meetings should be encouraged because it can be dealt with on the spot and not spiral out of control.)

Personal interactions with the workforce can take many different forms. Leaders can make presentations before large groups in auditoriums. There can be smaller, more informal departmental or function-focused meetings, where participants will feel freer to ask questions or present problems. Leaders who appear at these meetings without the usual retinue of direct reports signals that they are approachable and welcome interaction.

Leaders also can meet with a cross-section of employees in skip-level meetings, conduct spontaneous walkabouts to fill in the time between planned events, have lunch in the organization’s cafeteria, and drop in on the back office, the factory floor or a remote office where employees may never have seen them and will be particularly impressed. When leaders give employee awards at presentation ceremonies, the awards become particularly special. Praise from an employee’s direct supervisor is a strong motivator; from the organization’s leader it is even stronger. Effective leaders are generous with their praise whenever it is deserved.


Putting leadership on parade does not come naturally to some leaders, particularly those who have led primarily by issuing directives. But presenting with power is a skill easily learned. Once learned, it becomes a habit and each presentation becomes increasingly effective. In any meeting, large or small, the effective leader captures the listeners’ attention immediately, holds it for the duration of the presentation, and creates the kind of energy that generates action.

The leader should organize the message so it is clear and compelling, appealing to both the heart and head. Stories involve the audience and reveal the leader’s humanity, which is essential for establishing trust. They paint word pictures, with characters, settings and action. The leader makes deliberate use of wording, voice, posture, movement and timing.

The most powerful communication tools are the eyes. Steady, warm eye contact conveys credibility. Failure to make eye contact can signal unease, defensiveness or perhaps lack of candor. When talking with one person, the leader looks at the other’s eyes, then moves away to avoid causing discomfort. With a large group, he makes everyone feel included by making eye contact with one person in the audience for as long as it takes to express a thought, and then moves his eyes to someone else in a different part of the room.

When a leader is able to zero in with eye contact toward one audience member, surrounding audience members benefit too; studies have shown that all the audience members in the area around the person being addressed feel they’re being spoken to directly. Using the eyes this way also alleviates whatever anxiety the presenter may be feeling because speaking one-to-one to an individual comes naturally. In contrast, nervous speakers scan the audience, never finding one focal point, which increases their anxiety because the brain has too much information to process.

An academic study conducted by faculty at the University of Akron’s School of Communication in US showed that using the eyes appropriately is the single most important factor for communicating effectively.


Effective presenters do not use a lectern, a barrier that separates the leader from the audience. They have no need for lecterns because they do not read from a written text. They understand that presentations that are read are considered old news and, as such, detract from the spontaneity that creates energy in the audience. Doing without visuals can be a particularly effective when the presentation is intended to inspire the audience rather than convey information.

Effective leaders showcase their passion by putting their whole body into the presentation. They support every statement with an appropriate gesture and make large body movements to underscore important points. They further accentuate these points with dramatic pauses or by raising or lowering their voice. Their choice of language demonstrates they are real because they avoid euphemisms, jargon and office-speak.

Although their presentation may appear spontaneous, they have carefully rehearsed. They’ve put aside extraneous content. They’ve identified Questions that may be asked prepared and succinct and persuasive answers . Though an initial presentation like this may require serious rehearsing, the process becomes easier as the leader seeks out opportunities to continue presenting. A seasoned speaker who gets a deep sense of pleasure from presenting can become encouraged to present his views about significant issues on the national stage. This further helps cement leadership positioning.


The “leadership on parade” process begins with leaders  honestly assessing how the workforce perceives them and how they in turn views the employees. Mistaken impressions can hinder communication and, with that, the leader’s effectiveness.

Leaders may misunderstand the workforce’s values, particularly if he is new. They may have come from a company whose employees value making lots of money but their new culture emphasizes a concept like “do no evil.” Judgments from trusted direct reports will be needed because even a small change that runs counter to the culture can have large repercussions.

The workforce may not have a good understanding of the leader either. The leader may have served for many years but not been very visible. Unknowingly, the leader may be sending out contrary signals. Is the leader shirt-sleeved or double-breasted? Occupying a walnut-paneled corner office or at the center of the floor? Each is making a values statement. With these and other choices, leaders must project their true selves.

This is not a call for the leaders to improve their “image”– a mere artifice; honest, effective communication is authentic.

How to Manage High & Low Performers

People who invest their money wisely focus on the investments that have the greatest chance of turning out to be winners. Do you do the same when managing the performance of your employees? If you are sadly like most managers, the answer is you probably get caught up spending too much time with low performers who have a fair chance of being acceptable but not stars. What would happen if y0u dedicated more time to your employees who are acceptable performers yet exhibit clear signs of being high performers? The answer is that many of these acceptable performers will move into the ranks of high performers.

As a CEO, manager, or business owner, how do you identify the employees to focus on, and how can you make the most of your lower performers?

1. Be selective about whom you focus on

Carefully select who will be important for you to invest your time, energy, and other resources in to develop their performance. This decision is incredibly important. If you choose a low performer, your likely payoff will be less than if you select a high performer. This may seem at odds with what you have learned in the past, or it may even seem to go against the grain of democracy or fighting for the underdog. However, if your goal is to maximize performance, then this approach is more likely to yield grater results more quickly.

Anyone can really improve only two or three things at a single time, no matter what multitaskers tell you. Deliberately practicing two or three things is what drives high impact gains in performance and productivity, and that practice can be enhanced with explicit, targeted feedback from mangers. It is far easier, more rewarding, and more effective to leverage strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses. The key is to find strength in one area in the performer and get them to use that strength in an area that requires improvement. Real, sustained improvement takes time. As a manager, you require patience as you need to focus on the long term and not just quick fix. The quicker the fix, the less sustainable the result.

2. Keep hope alive for all performers

Keep hope alive for all performers, even those who are chronically low. What does this mean? As a manager or CEO, you want to make investments, though not equal investments, in all performers. But do not waste a lot of time, energy, and other resources on your employees who, at their very best, will only be average or acceptable performers. These are not bad people or bad fits for your company or not worthy of salary or slackers; they may simply be comfortable in their current position and have no desire to become the company superstar.

A manager who wants to improve performance should demonstrate what psychologists call “unconditional positive regard”. This means that you accept where your staff begins their performance improvement journey: Some may begin behind; others at the right place; and some even ahead. Assess the starting place but do not judge. Then, you can identify the signature strengths of all of your staff, even chronic low performers.

Watch out for the “Pygmalion effect” of your staff rising or falling to meet your expectations. In other words, if you have low expectations, they will move to meet your low expectations; if you have high expectations; your employees will move to meet your high expectations.

Focus on making progress toward a longer term goal and reward that progress, even if it is only one baby step after another. By rewarding small steps towards the larger performance goal, you will also feel less frustration because you know your efforts with the low performers are paying off.

3. Address chronic low performers

Cut your losses early. As a manager or CEO, you are responsible to your boss or stockholders, to your company, and to your customers. There are two ways to address chronic low performers. If, after setting clear expectations, monitoring their performance, coaching them, and then letting them know about the consequences of underperforming, you still see no improvement, you should let them go.

If your company cannot afford to let any employees go to keep the operation running, the second way to address the issue is to reassign chronic low performers. When you reassign an employee, you protect the majority of those who are performing well from smaller group that could persuade them to lower performance across the board of distract the higher performers.

Picture yourself three to six months from now after experimenting with these three recommendations. Not only will you have a plan for all performers, but you will have dedicated more time, energy, and resources to those performers with the greatest payoff. Your time is precious; you can focus on only so much. You have to be selective about what you focus on. When you are responsible for managing performance, prioritize and be confident knowing that your investment will pay off for you, your company, and your customers.