In our recent monthly poll, we asked our readers how their companies handle the extra workload during the holiday season, and nearly three-quarters of businesses don’t make any adjustments to their current staff. With 39% of the votes, “we do not make any seasonal adjustments” was the number one answer, followed by “use current staff, offering overtime/incentives” with 34%.
The rest of the results are as follows:
- 14% of respondents “hire seasonal, temporary workers through a staffing firm.”
- 4% “outsource projects.”
- 3% “hire full-time employees.”
Another 6% of respondents selected the “other” option and added their own perspective on how to handle the seasonal upswing, including:
- “We work twice as hard, so we can be off for the holiday.”
- “We use interns and students home from college.”
- “We restrain job to priorities only.”
A three-year overview
Refresh Leadership has asked this question to its readers for the past few years. And interestingly enough, the results have stayed relatively the same since we first asked the question in 2013 with one caveat—companies are doing more with less. The inaugural poll found that 35% of companies don’t make any adjustments, and 34% of businesses offer overtime and incentives to their current staff,” with 69% of business using current staff. Compared to 2013, more businesses are actually opting to handle the extra workload with less help in 2016.
Fourth-quarter sales—holiday months in particular—have historically accounted for up to 40% of annual sales for retailers. So to understand why businesses are doing more with less, we have to first understand the effects of the Great Recession of 2008.
Our economy is still feeling the ripple effects of the recession eight years ago. During this time, companies laid off employees to offset low production output. However, when the economy started to recover, many businesses maintained a small staff when production levels rose. This philosophy continues to be popular even during a time where the U.S. is near-full employment.
Another way to handle the upswing
One issue with maintaining the same amount of workers during high-production seasons is many employees experience burnout and lower-efficiency output. To help your employees stay sharp and engaged in their work, consider using a staffing firm like Express Employment Professionals to offset the extra workload this fourth quarter. By adding qualified, skilled workers through a staffing firm, you will be able to meet your deadlines and maintain a competitive advantage in your market.
How has using a staffing firm helped you during seasonal swings? What do you do to ensure your team maintains a high level of productivity during the fourth quarter? Let us know in the comments section below!