#1 Establish Work Ethic

Give new SubWorkers basic, unskilled tasks that take no more than 30 minutes (60 min at the very most) to train them on. Allow them the time and space to pick up multiple shifts with your business over the course of a few weeks doing basic, unskilled tasks. Let’s give SubWorkers the time and space to consistently pick up, show up and work. Then invest time and money into more in depth training on the same type of tasks or other tasks within your company.

#2 Their First Three Shifts

Setting clear expectation and establishing what’s next reduces frustration and makes them feel more confident about what they are doing.

In all three of the first shifts they pick up, show them how to do the task you want them to do 3 times and explain in detail what you are doing and why you are doing it. It’s the “why” that is important! Then ask them to do the task and hang out with them while they complete the task 3 times making sure they saw and heard you correctly. Ask them if they have any questions.

Let them know who their mentor is for the day so they know who to go to with questions.

Lastly, let them know when their first break/lunch is and how they will know it’s time to stop for break.

#3 Keeping Them Engaged

If you have to tell a SubWorker they are doing something wrong, we recommend the following. Tell them two things they are doing that you like, then what you would like them to do different.

For example: “You are doing great with sorting those pieces out and it seems like you are moving at a good pace. If you happen to see a piece that is broken, can you set them aside so they aren’t with the pieces that we are going to use? Thank you for your help today.”

Guiding SubWorkers in a positive manner reduces their worry about whether or not they are doing a good job for you.

#4 Part of the Team

Building a connection between the subworker and the other team members on your permanent staff will do wonders. Introduce them to team members you feel would engage in positive conversations with the subworker. A subworker is more likely to pick up more shifts if they feel part of the team and positivity is in the air.

We recommend making it the responsibility of the mentor to create an environment where the employees are welcoming to subworkers.

#5 Reporting Strikes

Make it clear at the orientation that you follow the ShiftSub Strike Policy and that you will report all strikes. Being consistent here with subworkers will benefit you greatly long-term.

Let them know that rules may be different for your permanent employees vs your subworkers so if they see employees doing something they were told they couldn’t do. They are to stick to the ShiftSub Strike Policy because that is what they will be reviewed on.

Then follow through on this! Make sure you report any/all strikes to ShiftSub.

#6 The Mentor

Assigning a mentor to each shift that is picked up by a subworker will save the day. SubWorkers need to know who to go to and who not to go to. If an employer would like subworkers to follow the rules and be successful at their business, mentors are going to be vital. See “What is a mentor?” for more information.

#7 Recruiting for full-time

This will chase your subworkers away quicker than asking someone to get married on the first date! Subworkers know that if they are interested in full-time employment with any of the employers they sub for, they are to go to the hiring manager or HR. There are plenty of job boards and staffing agencies out there to find full-time, permanent employees. SubWorkers on ShiftSub signed up here because they don’t want that.

What you CAN do! If you have a subworker that you really like and does a good job for you, simply offer them the opportunity (one at a time) to learn a new skill within the business whether in the same department or another. They can continue to pick up shifts doing what they have but can also pick up shifts in other areas of the business. Create an environment for them where they can work in multiple different roles within the business and let them pick. The more roles they are able to pick up shifts in, the more shifts they will pick up!

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