Countless industries in today’s economy rely on the support of seasonal workers. Sometimes driven by market fluctuations, company growth, or peak buying trends, thousands of Americans earn a living through seasonal employment. As a business with this business model, you also know that when it comes time to bring in those extra employees for the peak season, you have to be flexible about how you support them. Benefits, perks, and company amenities are just as important to seasonal hires as they are to your full-time, year-round teams. Here are three ways you can implement that much-needed company support for those who only work with you on an assignment basis.
1. Invest in Comprehensive & Consistent Training
Just because a worker is contract-based or seasonal doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t need proper training. Some companies make the mistake of bringing in teams for the peak season without putting those workers through an adequate onboarding and training process. Train everyone contributing to your organization with the same priority emphasis.
Offer the Same Training Across the Board
From job duties to workplace safety, training matters to every employee, not just full-timers. The more robust your training efforts are for seasonal hires, the more productive they’re likely to be. When seasonal teams are confident in knowing how to do their jobs safely, they’ll be less apt to make mistakes, and they’ll feel valued as contributing members of your team.
Be Transparent About Performance Expectations
Some managers assume that workers know what you expect from them. But with seasonal hires, who aren’t with your company throughout the year, they will need proper introductions to your company policies, roles, and missions. Be transparent and open with them about expectations of each role and department, so they can see how their contributions impact the whole team. Show them where you ‘set the bar’ and inspire them to exceed it.
Make Sure Seasonal Hires Know Where to Go for Help
Even if your seasonal hires are coming in to fill entry-level roles, don’t presume they won’t face challenges on the job. As you would with regular employees, take the time to explain to seasonal hires where they can go for help. Make sure they know proper channels for raising issues and which leaders can assist with answering questions. Set your seasonal hires up for assignment success by preparing them with the knowledge they need to work through on-the-job challenges.
2. Treat Seasonal Hires Like Full-Time Employees
Happy workers are 12 percent more productive on the job. Likewise, happy salespeople will sell 37 percent more than unhappy salespeople. And one of the best and most effective ways to ensure your seasonal hires are happy for the duration of their assignments is to treat them as you would your regular, full-time employees.
Pay & Schedule
Every role within your organization will likely have different tiers of compensation. But if you want your seasonal hires to feel equal to those who work with you year-round, make sure those pay and scheduling platforms are fair. When any employee, full-time, part-time, or seasonal, gets wind of inconsistencies in pay or unfair work schedules, there will be issues among your ranks that could ultimately affect productivity.
One Team, Not Two
Even though your seasonal hires are only part of the team for a short time, they’re still critical and vital contributors to your bottom line. Avoid separating your internal teams from your seasonal teams and instead promote a company culture of one team. Encourage collaboration between departments and staff across all employee types to ensure everyone is able to do their job effectively and operate as one unit.
Manage By the Book for Everyone
A level playing field for everyone will ensure that seasonal hires fit into your company culture, even though they’ll only be there for a shorter period of time. Play by the book when it comes to setting employee guidelines, rules of engagement, and policies. Establish clear procedures for everyone, and don’t make unnecessary exceptions that can ultimately lead to the appearance of impropriety or favoritism. Your seasonal hires will be more confident in their roles, knowing everyone around them has the same rules that they do.
3. Seasonal Hires Need Benefits Too
You might not be able to offer the same benefits plans or company perks to seasonal hires simply because their working assignment is different. However, employees of all types need to feel valued and will appreciate on-the-job perks. If your company relies on seasonal employees every year, it will be to your advantage to develop a benefits package for them, prompting workers to want to come back every year.
Bonuses & Recognition
A good job should never go unrecognized, regardless of the employee class. Consider creating a recognition program with bonuses or appreciation awards to demonstrate your appreciation for top performers. Employee of the Month perks or announcements can go a long way in rewarding your best seasonal employees and inspiring others to achieve the same level of productivity.
Employee Discounts, Lunches, & PTO
Don’t be afraid to extend employee discounts or Paid Time Off to your seasonal teams. When they’re on the clock, they should be able to tap into some of the same company benefits that others already enjoy.
And when it’s peak season, with crazy hours for everyone and hard work, bring in the food truck or pay for lunch. When your accountants are working late nights during tax season, order pizzas. Or when you expect seasonal hires to work on Thanksgiving, send them home after their shifts with turkeys. Get creative and take care of them just as you would your year-round team members.
ICHRA Health Benefit Options
The traditional group health insurance plans won’t let you cover seasonal hires. And depending on the number of hours worked, some individuals won’t qualify for company-sponsored health benefits. But you can explore the Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement, which allows you to reimburse healthcare-related expenses, including monthly ACA health plan premiums, for many employee types. The ICHRA model allows your company to offer flexible and affordable health benefit options to everyone, including temporary staff, seasonal hires, and part-time employees.
Explore some of these support options for your seasonal hires. And when you’re ready to talk about ICHRA solutions, let W3LL help you with setup, implementation, and ongoing reimbursement management.