Can’t Hire Fast Enough? Make the Most of Your Existing Employees This Holiday Season

December 7, 2023

by Carrie Bradfield

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The holiday season often brings a surge in business activities, yet it coincides with a notable labor shortage in many sectors. This period can be particularly challenging for businesses with high turnover or competitive hiring atmospheres. Retaining your current staff is crucial during these busy times.

Legion’s annual State of the Hourly Workforce survey can help highlight what might move the needle to get your workers to stay instead of seeking a job elsewhere. In the survey, the #1 incentive that would entice an employee to leave their current job is schedule flexibility. This can mean many things, but here are a few things to consider to incentivize employees to stay:

  • Offer additional shifts as open shifts to let your workers select when they want to work additional hours, allowing them to earn money at such a crucial time of year with shifts that fit into their already busy lives.
  • Let employees opt into working shifts at other locations. This adds another layer of flexibility in your scheduling practices that is a win-win for your organization. You get your shifts filled, and your staff can find shifts that may be closer to their home, childcare, or family.
  • Use a workforce management platform like Legion to make it easy for employees to opt into shifts from their phone, swap shifts that won’t work, or find coverage for shifts they need to drop. Put flexibility directly into their hands!

Employees also want to see greater recognition and rewards. Give your staff the kudos they deserve; it can go a long way! Set clear expectations and recognize the employees who meet or exceed expectations.

Here are a few ideas for incorporating recognition into your workflow.

  • Focus on positive behaviors you want to see, like perfect attendance or a willingness to pick up last-minute shift openings. Behaviors, such as tardiness, can be improved, thus avoiding an exclusive focus on negative things.
  • Use a tool like Legion’s Employee Performance and Rewards (EPR) to automatically track these behaviors and decide what reward works best for your organization.
  • Use frequent team communications. Sometimes, the most valuable form of recognition is a sincere compliment given personally or as part of a news posting. Modern communications tools like Legion Frontline Communications can create trust, transparency, and engagement.
  • Incorporate a mix of these by announcing new rewards earned through EPR and elevate employees by prioritizing them for high-value shifts during schedule creation.

Another important factor that influences hourly workers when considering leaving their jobs is money. In this case it’s about WHEN they can access their money. The holidays are such a stressful time for everyone. Getting paid between pay periods and on-demand is an important aspect of the job for many workers. Supporting financial wellness with earned wage access solutions such as Legion InstantPay can relieve some of the stress by putting payday in the hands of the employee. Having access to a paycheck as soon as you’re done with a shift is game-changing when every dollar counts for getting that special holiday gift or managing finances during the holiday season.

These strategies are not just about navigating the holiday season or a temporary labor shortage; they are about building a resilient, committed, and efficient workforce throughout the year. By focusing on these areas, businesses can create a work environment that attracts and retains top talent, facilitating success even in challenging times. Contact us today to learn more about the tools offered through Legion Workforce Management Software.