How a Happy Seasonal Staff is Good for Business Year Round

The holiday season is here. Often there’s not much separating happiness from stressfulness. For shoppers in many cases, happiness comes when they’re finished stressing through the mall. For many businesses the stress is living with the knowledge that the holiday season can be the difference between having a great year, or shutting the doors.

There are plenty of searing questions. Did I buy the right or hottest products this year? Did I buy too little or too much? Is my advertising and marketing messaging on target? Do I have enough staff? Is my time and attendance process well defined? Did I hire the right part-time employees this year? The real answers won’t come until early in the New Year. While your product mix, and merchandising acumen are important, it’s your staff that will make the biggest difference. It’s worth remembering the mantra that “people don’t buy product, people buy people.” The performance of your seasonal part-time employees will make a huge difference for enjoying a happy New Year.

Remember warm bodies and a pulse won’t cut it. Your customers will not forgive poor service. Seasonal staff is a reality, not an excuse…You need part-time employees who have people skills and appreciate there’s more to the job than just ringing up sales. Here are some thoughts about why a happy and motivated group of part-time employees this holiday season, can be the gift that keeps giving all year around.

A bad hire can make you look bad. Someone with a bad attitude and poor skills can wear down and deflate your full-time and permanent part-time staff. The jobs marketplace is getting more competitive. It’s been reported that hiring projections are up for 2013, with the primary employers of holiday workers, Wholesale and Retail Trade expected to be up 22% and Leisure and Hospitality up 17%. You don’t want to risk losing good staff because they’re questioning your decision making.

While poor hiring decisions can haunt you in numerous ways, having a keen eye for quality seasonal staff can also ensure a good future source of future recruits and talent. You shouldn’t be thinking of your seasonal hires as being simply just here for the season. Some of them could be great candidates for more permanent roles. Stay keenly aware of who demonstrates potential. At the end of the season, you may find yourself with some quality new additions to the team.

Making sure your part-time seasonal employees have a positive experience gives you an opportunity to create great new evangelists for the business. Whether it’s word of mouth or through social media, sharing a positive experience with friends and family is good for sales and recruiting too.

Happy seasonal employees will reward you in the long-run. Remember the value of a little TLC this holiday season…

  • Show them appreciation for the job they do. A little appreciation goes a long way. Take the time to get to know people, and learn what motivates them.
  • Add a little bit of the personal touch. Everyone, needs and wants to feel a connection with the “team” or “family”. Regular contact through staff meetings, phone calls, or periodic drop-in “check ups” can work. Invite everyone to the company Christmas party.
  • Perks or incentive programs are remembered. Don’t just let them leave feeling unnoticed at the end of the season. Maybe throw a party, for everyone who finishes the season. You can also consider rewarding them with an hourly bonus, retroactive from their date of hire.

You’ve invested countless hours, amounts of energy, and financial resources into creating a business, but it’s your investment in people that will be the biggest payoff beyond having a happy and hopefully prosperous holiday season.

As VP of Marketing, Bimal Parmar manages the global marketing strategy and execution at Celayix. With over 20 years industry experience, Bimal is responsible for making sure the world learns about the benefits of Celayix’s solutions that include: advanced employee scheduling, time and attendance, employee communication as well as integration modules for payroll and billing. Before joining Celayix, Bimal was Vice President of Marketing at Faronics, a leading provider of IT solutions for the Education vertical where he helped grow revenue over 50% and launched exciting new solutions. Prior to that Bimal held senior marketing and product roles at technology companies such as Business Objects and McAfee Security where he gained significant international experience working with global companies such as Microsoft, Dell, Sony, HP, Orange, Telefonica and Ricoh.

Have a staff you want to reward with gifts this time of year? Here are some ideas! 

Planning an employee orientation? Here’s some help for you! 

Increase productivity this holiday season? Here’s how!

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