Sourcing, hiring and training new seasonal workers can be costly and time-consuming. That’s why it’s both economical and efficient to keep seasonal employees coming back year after year, but how can employers offer a stand-out seasonal experience that will positively impact retention?
In this article, we offer four strategies you can leverage to help ensure seasonal workers feel valued, supported and incentivized to return to your company again and again. But first, let’s discuss what benefits your organization is required to provide seasonal workers.
Is Your Business Required to Provide Benefits to Seasonal Workers?
Seasonal workers are not classified as full-time employees, which means they may not be entitled to all the benefits that full-time employees receive, such as health insurance. However, laws and regulations pertaining to benefits eligibility vary by state, country and industry, so we recommend working with compliance experts to ensure you’re correctly classifying employees and your policies are in accordance with applicable legislation.
Now, let’s explore benefits beyond health insurance and other tactics your organization can offer seasonal employees to keep them coming back year after year.
1. Offer Special Perks for Seasonal Workers
Just because seasonal workers may not be eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance doesn’t mean your business can’t offer other benefits to boost employee satisfaction and retention. Consider the following benefits as possible perks for your seasonal team members:
- Commuter Benefits: Getting to and from work can be costly, and commuter benefits can make everyday life easier for employees who utilize public transit, rideshares or paid parking.
- Flexible Scheduling: Flexible scheduling is a high-value perk that can help employees balance life and work responsibilities, especially during the holiday season.
- Employee Discounts: Consider offering discounts on the products or services your business provides as an added benefit for seasonal employees.
- Paid Lunches: Arranging occasional paid lunches is a great way to say “thank you” to your seasonal workers throughout their employment.
- End-of-Season Bonuses: If seasonal employees have gone above and beyond during their time with your company, reward their hard work with a much-deserved bonus.
2. Curate an Exceptional Employee Experience
Even the best benefits program won’t keep seasonal employees coming back if their overall experience with your company is a negative one. From onboarding to offboarding, seasonal employees should be treated as vital members of the team, which they are!
Due to the condensed nature of their tenure with your organization, seasonal employees’ onboarding process should be efficient yet effective. We recommend developing a streamlined onboarding process designed specifically for seasonal employees to help them learn the ropes at an accelerated pace. Once initial onboarding is complete, don’t make the mistake of throwing seasonal employees right into their roles before they’ve received proper, comprehensive training on their specific job duties. This can lead to customers and clients receiving a level of service that isn’t on par with your brand’s standards.
Creating opportunities for seasonal employees to become engrained in your company’s culture is another key element of curating an exceptional employee experience. Ensure that seasonal employees are aware of and encouraged to participate in employee resource groups (ERGs) and other activities that will help them connect with their coworkers and find their own community within your organization.
3. Invest in Seasonal Workers’ Growth & Development
One of the best ways to keep seasonal workers coming back is to think long-term. About half of all seasonal hires are interested in full-time positions, according to research conducted by online employment platform Snagajob. Investing in these individuals’ growth and development is a mutually beneficial choice that can help seasonal workers become valuable, full-time employees down the line.
There are a variety of ways to invest in seasonal workers’ growth and development, including:
- Offering career coaching;
- Encouraging participation in mentorship programs; and
- Providing tuition reimbursement to encourage continual learning.
4. Ask Seasonal Employees to Come Back — and Incentivize Them to Do So
At the conclusion of their employment, don’t send off your best seasonal employees without making it known that you want them to return next year. Ask them to come back, and back up that request with tangible incentives, such as a promotion or pay raise, a re-sign bonus or extra time off.
In addition, it’s a good idea to keep in touch with your seasonal employees during the off-season to keep your company fresh in their minds. Simply sending a quick hello via email or extending an invite to staff events throughout the year can show seasonal employees that you care.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Retaining Seasonal Workers
Retaining seasonal employees year after year can significantly impact your bottom line by creating opportunities for enhanced seasonal productivity and developing a pipeline of talented employees for the future. With proper planning and investment in benefits, growth and development programs, and the overall employee experience, your company can set itself up for long-term success with your seasonal workforce.