With today’s job market reaching its lowest unemployment level ever, we all know how important it is to retain talent. What is most interesting to me is that while companies actively focus on the retention of year-round employees, they often miss the boat when it comes to retaining their seasonal employees’ year over year.
Now that September is here, many vacation rental management companies are moving into their fall season which means laying off or terminating seasonal employees. Once you say goodbye and let these workers return to the potential job market, how can you keep those ‘rock star’ seasonal employees engaged, interested and looking forward to returning to work for your company next year?
The right employees in the right place at the right time is important to meeting and exceeding your guest expectations and keeping homeowners satisfied. When you can’t find seasonal staff to meet the operational demands of your high season, you risk losing guests, homeowners, and even other great full-time employees who are tired and burnt out. Don’t underestimate the power of having a retention plan in place for your seasonal workers.
If you have a strong seasonal return rate, that’s great! You must be doing things right. If you don’t, start focusing NOW on what you can do to improve your seasonal return rate for next year. It’s the simple things like inviting seasonal staff to company meetings, outings or celebrations to keep them informed and a part of your company community. Sending birthday cards, seasonal holiday cards, or just a note of thanks is a great way to personalize the relationship. But don’t stop there! Reach out and speak with them with an actual conversation (not a text or email) to let them know you are looking forward to their return in the spring. Make sure they feel valued, let them know you are thinking of them, and excited to have them back as part of the team – it’s paramount to creating a long-term relationship that keeps them as one of YOUR recurring ‘rock stars’!
Let’s face it, seasonal employees who return year after year require shorter training time and are more productive, which well outweighs the minimal effort and cost of keeping in touch throughout the slower season. Take the time now to invest in a simple retention strategy and reap the rewards of having a great team in place next year!