Seasonal Retail Employees: How Great Tech Can Help With Onboarding and Engagement
The holidays are right around the corner, and if you’re a retailer, this is the best time of the year for you, but it is also the most hectic and challenging. If you work in human resources or management, you know all too well the struggle of the seasonal employee.
The success of your holiday season in many ways hinges on how well you can prepare your seasonal employees. From onboarding to ongoing training the quality of your seasonal customer service makes a difference.
Let’s take a closer look at the challenges of seasonal employees and how great tech can help change the way you think about solving your onboarding and employee engagement woes.
Last year, retailers in the United States hired an additional 750,000 employees during the holiday season. All of those employees need to be recruited and onboarded in relatively record time. When you need to accomplish a task of this scale with efficiency and speed, utilizing technology to its fullest potential is the best way to go. Most retailers are using recruitment websites and apps already, but onboarding is an area where tech can play a huge and often overlooked part.
Seasonal employees are expected to learn workforce safety, company policy, etc., all on top of customers expecting these employees to be well-versed on product information and store policies. Imagine a custom onboarding tool that could be an on-demand resource for the seasonal employee, in which they can search quick store policies as well as product information. This not only shortens training time since the employee has a resource, but provides a better experience for the customer and the employee, who doesn’t have to worry that they don’t know the right information well enough or fast enough.
Engaging the seasonal employee: If the employee is just temporary, why should you care how engaged they are?
- "63% of highly engaged employees always try their hardest at work, compared with 42% of disengaged employees." Employee Engagement Benchmark Study, 2016
- “Highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.” - Talent Culture
- “Engaged companies grow profits as much as 3X faster than their competitors.” - Decision Wise
So how does mobile technology help with Employee Engagement?
"Workers who say their employers use mobile technology well are typically more productive, creative, satisfied and loyal” (Aruba). Today, there is a cell phone in everyone’s pocket. It is the easiest way to communicate and engage today’s worker, who wants to use the tool they are most comfortable with on the clock as well as off.
"Today’s workforce wants business communication tools to mimic their personal experience – something HR has been shy about doing in the past due to misconceptions about the technology.”
What other benefits can come from investing in seasonal employees?
Often, when the holidays are over and the new year starts, new positions can open, creating an opportunity for a great seasonal employee to become full time. Additionally, if a seasonal employee is exceptional, retailers may want to keep a relationship with that employee to bring him or her back the following year, as that employee will not have to be trained all over again. Repetitive hiring happens with college students who look for work when they are home for holiday breaks and are available to come back every year. If you use mobile technology to create a seamless onboarding and training experience, as well as to connect seasonal employees to your brand and culture, they are more likely to remember this experience and want to come back.