As summer approaches, many businesses in the tours and attractions industry are gearing up for their busiest season.
However, with high turnover rates and the need to train seasonal or part-time employees quickly, managers often find themselves struggling to keep up. In this blog post, we'll share some tips on how to efficiently train your new employees while minimizing time drains for managers.
By following these tips, you can ensure a successful and profitable summer season with a fully trained team.
Problem: Many seasonal employees who need training
- Need to know the details of day-to-day operations.
- High turnover, low accountability
- Minimal ramp-up period, rapid knowledge transfer
- Significant time drains for managers
- It’s almost summer, which means preparations for the busy season are well underway!
Updating your content, re-evaluating prices, honing processes, and building new and exciting promotions are all on your plate. Among the flurry of activity, there will now be a new class of seasonal and part-time employees to help meet your demand.
These new team members often come with zero prior experience in the industry and need training from the ground up. This comes with a lot of questions, and a major time commitment, which can be overwhelming for management.
It’s imperative to get these employees up to speed quickly, and not use too much management time in the process.
Here are a few strategies we’ve seen working in the field to make training new employees a breeze.
Solution: An easy-to-use platform for ticketing and operations, and great training content
- Software with maximum ease-of-use
- Reliable veteran employees. “The Player-Coach”
- Employee Manuals: Use cases, Cheat Sheets and FAQs, updates.
Set Yourself Up for Success
The first step to training a large group of employees is to have software, hardware, and processes in place that are intuitive and easy to understand. If training many new employees is an important part of your operation, it’s imperative that you assess all your vendors with “Ease of Use” as an important scoring metric.
If a software system has an outdated back-end setup, requires managing servers, or requires any type of coding or manual configuration, you will frustrate yourself and your employees trying to explain and scale your processes. It should look and feel like using a common internet-based app that most people, particularly young summer employees, can pick up in no time.
Identify your Veteran Employees or “Player-Coaches”
This may be someone who started at age 16 and returned every busy season through college. Or it could be a particularly ambitious youngster who is interested in developing leadership skills.
In any event, you need to identify the employees that are willing and able to think beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to help you teach your newbies.
We recommend having a manager take several of these identified people under their wing and actively include them in the process of creating a training manual.
This way they take ownership of the processes they will be teaching and learn skills that will help them envision proactive ways to improve things day-to-day that you may be missing.
At RocketRez we call this our Train the Trainer approach. We understand that every operation is different and contains many nuances that make it special, so we won’t tell you what to do or how to do it.
Our goal is to guide you to the best capabilities our system provides, so you can take it and make it your own.
Create your own Employee Training Manual
We recommend three pieces be included in the training manual:
1. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Fill this section with the most common individual tasks that an employee may do over the course of a day:
- Point-of-Sale processes
- Ticket Scanning
- Checking in guests
- Applying discounts
- Creating combos/packages
- Setting up or adjusting schedules
- Adding new venues
- How to do a refund
2. Use Cases
This is where you go into detail about some important multi-step processes, generally centered around a specific product:
- “How to set up a whale watch”
- “How to set up a dinner cruise on the yacht”
- “How to set up a VIP experience”
- “How to book a wedding at the Zoo”
- “How to print cargo labels”
- “How to do a round trip ticket”
3. Cheat Sheets
It’s always good to have a quick reference guide that you can send out into the field with your newbies to refer to when they are getting started.
The cheat sheets will basically contain at-a-glance material from your above documents to reduce the reliance on memorization of multiple steps while dealing with customers. Generally, they are centered around a common use case.
We’ve seen several operators print and laminate their cheat sheets and literally tape them to the checkout counter or Point-of-Sale. Whatever works!
Finally, you want to pair new people with your “player-coaches” and send them out to help customers. Ideally, their demeanor and conduct will influence everyone who shadows them.
Result: Full employee buy-in with minimal time spent
Nothing is more rewarding for us than to see a team have a streamlined and successful training process lead straight into a busy and profitable summer season! We have teams of staff doing their part every day to make these outcomes a reality.
RocketRez understands that our customers cannot spend a lot of time training employees. As a result, we have made it an organizational priority to ensure that no matter how many functions our system covers, it should feel as comfortable and natural as navigating any smartphone, email system, or TV guide.
We take special care to batch similar functions together, simplify navigation and provide the warm and intuitive feel of your favorite consumer apps – and are proud to be named Capterra’s “Best Ease-of-Use Software in the tours and attractions space.
Our customer Chicago Line Cruises had a great experience setting up RocketRez.
“When we made the switch over, I learned the system in about ten minutes. Anyone could. It’s just user-friendly. Changing reservations, making notes for private events, running a financial report daily, weekly or monthly to see revenue and number of passengers. It’s cut down on a lot of time for us! We have hours and hours of time saved from switching to RocketRez,” says Elizabeth Johnson, Vice President.