Equal Value of Seasonal Employees

by Jody Ordioni

The year 2018 saw more seasonal jobs being created that there were people to fill them, in the US. As many as 23% of all retailers saw a dearth in the number of temporary workers, they wished to hire in the holiday season of 2017, as per the survey of consulting group Korn Ferry. With the decrease in the rate of unemployment, this year seems to unfold in the same way.

To gain an edge in the seasonal employment madness, companies are trying to compensate by offering robust plans and perks to retain employees- both new and existing. With pay being one of the major influences, the retail sector in the US saw a jump in the seasonal pay section by a whopping 54%.

Many companies are even providing their employees the option to work and earn additional overtime hours and receive overtime pay. The extra boost of cash can be a lucrative offer to those who wish to earn a little more during the season of expenditure. One of the largest national retailers, Walmart is exercising this experiment for two years in a row.

However, the busiest season of all also poses many challenges. Mainly the employees have to be engaged and retained. As per the National Retail Foundation, the holiday season brings in 30% of the retail sales in the corporates. Extra pay might ring in seasonal employees but it does not ensure their productivity.

Better Onboarding Process

Seasonal employees, since they are employed on a short-term basis, feel as if they are being thrown straight to the wolves. They do not get time to gather their bearings which makes them feel that they are not good enough at the job. This unsatisfactory training can develop into disinterest and disengagement at work. The security that employees need is the freedom to ask questions from their managers when they are uncertain.

A solid onboarding process is doubly important for the seasonal staff- it ensures psychological safety as well as occupational safety. A variety of channels that allow the employees to interact with managers and colleagues prevents them from being put on the spot. Safety should be wholesome, both physically and mentally.


As Robb Hepplewhite, District Manager of VANS elucidates, the team has to lead equally. The title or position does not matter, the leadership serves everyone equally, without discriminating against seasonal employees. The direct reports are a reflection of the boss rather than critiquing the work of the seasonal employees.

The employees work for the managers on paper but in reality, it is the duty of the manager also to make the transition easier for the employees, especially the temporary ones, who enter the rigmarole of the company abruptly. This approach, in Hepplewhite’s eyes, can create a movement that offers growth in culture and development. Ultimately, it helps in customer value.

Importance of Brand Ambassador

The primary question that should occupy the employers should be whether the employees would describe their work experience in good terms. Would any employee recommend your company as a good place to work? Seasonal workers might associate with your company for a short amount of time, but if their experience is rewarding, they would become loyal advocates and customers of your company. Publicity by the word of mouth, through employee ambassadors, reflects positively on your company. It would ease the process of recruiting employees and would also attract top talent.

The Benefits of Personal Perks

The requirement of small, decentralized teams cannot be overlooked. They are more fluid in their activities than the head office. Seasonal staff can be rewarded with memorable working experience by the deployment of these small gestures that create a big impact-

The idea is to generate a loyal staff that does not turn up simply for the vacations or discounts rather the gratification of the experience. Handing the seasonal employees their pay is necessary but personal gestures retain talented employees and create good ambassadors that bring in a loyal customer base.

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