Managing and scheduling your seasonal employees to their fullest potential could determine whether you have a successful holiday sales period. And with the importance of holiday sales to your overall picture, it may be one of the things you need to get right to succeed year-round.
Fortunately, you've got all the tools and techniques you need, and a few you haven't tried online, to do a bang up job at it.
Consider Regular Staffing During Holiday Season
First, take a look at your regular staffing over the holidays. Request holiday schedules from everybody well in advance so you'll be able to fill in the gaps. Who you have from your full-time crowd to fill the critical seasonal shifts is going to drive how many seasonal employees you bring on, and what schedules you put them on.
Plan for "unexpected" absences that often pop up during the holidays due to inclement weather. Regular staff can fall ill or not be able to make it to work. It's 24/7 during the holidays, so you need to provide back-up for planned and unplanned absences of regular staff.
That's where seasonal employees come in.
Stagger the Seasonal Work Schedule
Hit by the twin impact of regular staff taking time off and customers buying more during the holiday sales season; you may need to get flexible to maintain your levels of service. To help get you through, offer your regular employees the opportunity to take certain shifts during the day. Or let them work certain days of the week through the holidays.
One set of your full-time staff might want to work mornings; another set the afternoons. Half a day off, and days off during the week, gives regular employees flexible time for gift buying, family gatherings, and other holiday events. Some may prefer to work from home during the holidays, depending on the nature of your business, which kills a couple of birds with the same stone.
Offering flexible holiday staffing takes off some of the pressure on scheduling your seasonal employees. Depending on how things develop with recruiting for the holidays, you might find you don't have enough to cover every absence. And it's always good to have a couple "veterans" around to offer guidance to the new people.
Rely on Technology to Optimize (and Simplify) Scheduling
When it comes to scheduling seasonal employees, you can rely on some helpful time-tracking apps to tell you who's working and who's running into overtime. Online scheduling software helps you create and update a schedule quickly by job or shift. Apps make completing and approving time sheets a snap, too.
At the holidays it's particularly important to remember that everybody is a potential customer. Look at your seasonal employees as potential brand advocates and you'll be sure to treat them right.