There’s little doubt that the holiday season is prime time for the dynamic workforce. Only the back-to-school period really compares, but that’s limited to just a few sectors–education, retail, and transportation. But in the roughly eight weeks between Halloween and New Year’s Day, it’s not just those three sectors–hospitality and care are also really put to the test, just to name two more. And for temp agencies, of course, the complexity is always even higher.
If we look at retail, for example, the numbers are eye-opening: according to SIA, The retail trade association expects holiday retail sales this November and December to increase up to 4.8% over 2017 to a total of $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion. The forecast compares with an average annual increase of 3.9% over the past five years. Add to this increased traffic the inevitable difficult attitudes and challenging behaviour of shoppers. Managers and employees need to adapt to all of these circumstances. But retail is indeed just one example. You’re probably dealing with similar challenges regardless of your industry. Let’s go through some best practices we’ve identified to help!
Let Your Clients Communicate on Their Own Terms
It’s easy to get sucked in by the confusion and stress of the holiday season. Everyone seems to be too busy to chat or even send an email! Clients of temp agencies are just trying to stay out of their own way. So you need to do what you can–whether through technology, process, or both–to streamline how your clients communicate demand. Offering a client portal, or even just accepting shift requirements via spreadsheet, can go a long way towards client satisfaction. Or better yet, you can identify patterns in customer usage with better business intelligence!
Implement Referral Programmes
Worried about missing recruitment targets? Offering your teams a referral bonus can help you attract and onboard similarly skilled people. This extra motivation can also help them get up-to-speed more quickly and remain more engaged in the long run.
Properly Brief Your Workers
In terms of productivity, uncertainty is enemy number one during the busier times of the year. Briefing your workers can help your teams gain the knowledge (and extra confidence) they need to do a great job. Whether it’s handling customer service issues, navigating a large group of workers in hospitality, or taking care of passengers travelling during the holiday, your workers need to know what is it expected of them.
Improve Communications with your Teams
If you’re experiencing a higher demand, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all those extra shifts and extra workers your clients are requesting. Communicating with your teams becomes critical in these situations. Knowing your team’s availability and their time-off requests in advance can make you save valuable time. This, of course, can help your dynamic workers better balance their work and personal lives.
Offer Long-Term Opportunities
Some of the new people in your teams may want to keep working with you after the holiday season. If you’re considering expanding your workforce, let them know that the holiday season will be their test run. This is great motivation to perform their best.
Comply with Health and Safety Regulations
If you’re suffering from a lack of experienced workers, it’s not difficult to end up assigning too much work to your more veteran ones. However, this risky practice can put your staff at risk and make your company non-compliant with health and safety regulations. You need to be sure that your business is compliant with these laws, which vary across different geographies. Arm yourself with a workforce management solution with contextual risk mitigation and fatigue management to streamline your company’s operations.