Employees are the company’s most important brand ambassadors, so staff satisfaction is something worth investing in. In addition to permanent employees, summer workers and trainees play an important role in building the image of the employer, as students often share their own experiences with each other, and this quickly creates a certain reputation for companies. Good summer work experience increases the attractiveness of the employer, especially among young professionals, and thus strengthens the employer brand, which is a significant competitive advantage in the job market. Read more about employer branding and its benefits here.
During May, most students put their studies aside for a moment and start their summer holiday, which in most cases means getting a summer job. The application process for a summer job often begins before Christmas and continues through the whole spring, so students have indeed worked hard even before the beginning of the summer job. Starting a new job is always exciting, but especially the first contacts with working life will be remembered forever. That is why it is important for employers to consider how they can offer a summer employee a positive experience so that they have a good image of the employer even after the summer.
They are often small and simple measures that have great influence, so an employer can significantly improve the summer workers’ experience without even putting in too much effort. We have put together a few easy ways to impress a summer worker and show that they are respected team members. Of course, these instructions work not only with summer jobs, but also with other employment relationships, like internships for instance.
Information before the beginning of summer job
There are many examples of students that have received a summer job earlier during the spring, but they have not heard anything about future summer job since accepting the job. In the worst case, the new summer worker will have to find out for themself where and when the work will officially begin. Sending some kind of welcome message well in advance is an extremely easy way to show a new employee that they are awaited and expected. It is also important to give good instructions regarding the first working day, at least confirm the place and time of the meeting. In addition, other possible instructions, for example regarding dressing, should be announced beforehand so the employee has time to prepare in peace.
Everything is ready when the summer worker comes to work
A first impression can only be made once and it plays a huge role in creating an employer image. It is an extremely awkward and embarrassing feeling to come to a new workplace where your workstation is not ready and no one even seems to be aware of the new employee. Although this is only an extreme example, such situations are unfortunately encountered surprisingly often.
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem as well: good communication between staff and preparation in good time. It is advisable to make a clear plan and schedule for yourself so that you can take care of everything essential in a timely manner and you have time to inform the staff adequately before starting an employment relationship. The new summer worker will feel welcomed when they have their workspace ready on the first day and work equipment such as a telephone, computer and other necessary devices for work are available. This also allows you to get to work faster by avoiding unnecessary hassle during the first few days.
Clear orientation and post-orientation support
At the beginning of the employment, the employer must provide the new employee with a good introduction to the work tasks and house habits. Orientation is good to plan in advance by making a clear division of work and also train instructors well for the task. It is important for the employer to make sure that the person in charge of the orientation has time to carry out the introduction properly from their own work. This allows them to focus on what they are doing and give full attention to the new employee. The length of the orientation varies greatly depending on the job, and in many cases the summer worker can get to work rather quickly – often you learn the best by doing. In addition to learning the work tasks, it is good to remember to go through other practical things, such as:
- How work hours are recorded
- Salary payment schedule
- Where the tax card is delivered
- Common areas for work and breaks
- How to act in cases of illness
- Key contact persons and details
- What to do if you experience harassment or bullying
Despite comprehensive orientation, the employee is likely to need help and guidance long after the formal orientation period, so support from the employer and supervisors is very important throughout the employment. Make it clear right from the start that the summer worker can ask for help if they are having problems and let them know who they can turn to for advice in different situations.
The summer worker is an equal member of the team
“Kesähessu” that could be translated to “summer goofy” is a well-established concept and refers precisely to the summer workers and summer interns with a slightly degrading style. While the concept itself is harmless and quite humorous, in some workplaces the attitude toward summer workers can really be even degrading and humiliating. Indeed, the hazing of summer workers and trainees does not fit in a modern workplace, and it has been replaced by mutual respect and appreciation.
It is smart to give the summer worker enough responsibility so that they feel relevant and they learn as much as possible from the experience, but at the same time they do not collapse under too much pressure. Involve summer workers in the work community as equal members and listen to their opinions. You will probably get more out of the employee when they have the courage to share their own views, which could even lead to some top ideas and innovations. So do not underestimate the summer workers or trainees, but openly accept fresh perspectives – you often learn from it yourself.
Are you looking for students for a summer job, an internship or a permanent job? Contact us and we will help you reach young experts all over Finland.