Incentives For Seasonal Employees

When scheduling seasonal staff for your contact center, employees must understand exactly how set or varied his or her schedule is going to be.

The volume of inbound calls often dictates an employee’s flexibility with start and stop times based on day of week or week of month. Setting clear expectations between the employer and employee ensures that the right candidates are selected for training.

Depending on state labor laws in which the contact center operates, one “incentive” possibility may be a pay-deferred training period. In this instance, the representative is only paid for training hours if the employee remains employed throughout the required time period.

For example, the representative is scheduled to work varied shifts through Dec. 23. If the employee stops work prior to that date, the employee forfeits any training dollars, which would be paid in his or her final pay check if the employee worked the entire schedule. In many cases, this “bonus” ranges from $300-$500.

An additional retention bonus option increases the employee’s hourly rate by a specified amount, usually $0.50-$0.75 per hour upon completion of the season. This provides the employee with an incentive to work the entire project as a full-time representative during an 8-to-12-week season, resulting in a bonus of $300-$500. Representatives who do not complete their entire schedules are not eligible for the incentive.

Non-monetary bonuses are also effective for encouraging seasonal employees to work their shifts as scheduled. Retention incentives include publicized pizza parties or sub lunches or other treat days for all in attendance. You can also use gift card drawings for perfect attendance by week, and even seasonal grand prizes such as TVs, iPods and other big-ticket items.

Ultimately the incentive and retention budget must be in line with the company’s seasonal staffing requirement.

Darcy Tudor is executive vice president, call center division, for service provider Marketing Alternatives.

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