While some organizations slow down during the summer which allows staff members to take long weekends, vacations, or half day Fridays, some organizations peak during the summer. It is very common for organizations to hire interns, assistants, or temporary staff members to help out with office tasks and projects during the summer. Now that we are entering August, many of the hired summer staff members are leaving. What are some things that a project manager or business owner can do to thank them for their help during the season?
Gift or Reward. First, business owners and project managers should determine what summer staff members would enjoy more. For example, many summer interns consist of high school or college students who were looking for work for the summer before going back to school. If this is the case, maybe hold a pizza party before they depart, or distribute gift cards for iTunes or movie passes that they can take with them before going back to school. If the pool of assistants that you hired included a range of ages, then perhaps hosting a nice lunch offering several meal options would cater to everyone.
Positive Feedback, Commend a Job Well Done, Say ‘Thank You’. All in all, it’s important to thank everyone for their hard work. Sometimes a “thank you” and “everyone/you did a great job” goes a long way in employees’ eyes. In fact, studies have previously shown that most employees or staff members would prefer positive feedback over a monetary reward. Even though it may seem miniscule, “thank you’s” and positive feedback is worth a lot to staff members.
Offer to Be a Reference. It’s very possible that in during your working months or season together that you’ve developed great working relationships with the staff you hired. Sometimes even long term friendships or professional working relationships can stem from this. So the best thing you can do? Stay in touch! Exchange business cards or contact information or even offer to be a reference for them in the future. This is especially vital for younger workers since they may still be becoming established in the working environment. And who knows? Maybe there will be work come next year!
Regardless of whether business owners or project managers spent the summer on vacation or working with a full staff, dealing with the “summertime blues” with Labor Day and the end of the season on the not-too-distant horizon or saying goodbye to summer staff can come with a certain level of nostalgia.
All in all, it’s up to small business owners and project managers to decide how to see off summer staff. These are just a few suggestions on how to say, “thanks for a great season”. While it’s never easy to let staff go, even if the expectation is that they are temporary or seasonal, it is helpful for them to know that they were valued and appreciated and even consider working with you next year, or recommending your organization or firm to others for the next year.