Include Seasonal Employees In Incentive Schemes

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As we near Black Friday (27th November), retailers are bracing themselves for another few months of fluctuating footfall and website visits. We argue the case for including the extra staff that are brought in on a temporary or part-time basis on the company’s employee incentive scheme. If you don’t have one in place, find out why this year should be the one you look into how it can boost employee satisfaction (and, in turn, improve customer service).

Last year was the first time Britain embraced the American tradition of Black Friday. One day of massive discounts and offers to encourage the seasonal sales to kick off. There were quite a few ugly scenes of fights breaking out and staff looking simply overwhelmed by the sheer volume of shoppers, but overall the day was a huge retail success and this year is set to be no different. It may interest you to learn that 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer employee recognition have seen marked positive increases in customer satisfaction.1

Most retailers will have put into place more security and better processes to deal with the demands of the day. More staff members will be drafted in, many on a part time or temporary basis. But what employee incentives have you put in place to encourage the best customer service on a day that is already quite fraught and stressful?

To uphold your usual standards of service on days like these, with new staff, is a big task. You may already have an employee recognition scheme in place, but we would argue that it is just as important to include temporary staff on this scheme over the festive period.

You’re probably aware of the importance of employee reward schemes (monetary), but offering an employee recognition process (acknowledging a job well done) can have a far more lasting effect on job satisfaction and, ultimately, help to reduce staff turnover. This might seem a little redundant for staff that you know are only working for you for a little while during the busy holiday season.

In order to maintain a similar level of customer service to your longer term employees, we recommend including both new staff and old on an employee incentive scheme that rewards good service with monetary rewards but also peer-to-peer and management recognition. Not only does a reward scheme feature in the top engagement drivers2 (along with career opportunities and organization reputation), it can encourage top performers to want to stay on with the company.

Embracing this dual-attack rewards incentive (monetary and recognition) is proven time and again to ensure that staff are more satisfied. “ In these environments, (where opportunity and well-being are part of the culture) strong manager performance in recognizing employee performance increases engagement by almost 60% ”3. An engagement programme helps a company to align its core values with daily output from employees. This, in turn, translates into better interactions with your customers. This is even more vital in the equally busy January Sales period, where sales can top the pre-Christmas period and customer interaction is increased with purchase returns.

Here at Ovation, we wish you the best of luck with the busy festive period. Our sales consultants are on hand to discuss how we can help you to implement a successful employee recognition scheme that suits your company’s requirements. Give the team a ring on +44 (0) 20 7820 8800 or fill in our contact form for a prompt call back from one of our advisors.

1 SHRM Employee Recognition Survey, 2012
2 Aon Hewitt, 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement
3 Towers Watson, Turbocharging Employee Engagement: The Power of Recognition From Managers, 2009