The run up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses in Northern Ireland. Thousands of seasonal jobs are being created on the high street alone to cope with the Christmas rush. However, the surge in demand from customers doesn’t just have an impact on retailers, many other businesses are affected.
Shauna Fenton, Head of Invest Northern Ireland’s nibusinessnfo.co.uk team, says: “Ensuring that a business has access to the right number ofpeople with the right skills to successfully service customers during this time is not easy, but there is plenty of help out there. We encourage businesses to visit the nibusinessinfo.co.uk website if they need quick and easy access to authoritative, impartial help and advice on issues such as ensuring that they meet their obligations as an employer.”
There is a range of employment options for businesses affected by the Christmas rush. These include:
recruiting temporary workers through an agency
engaging employees on fixed-term contracts
getting family and friends to help out
extending the hours of part-time workers
outsourcing some business activities.
The nibusinessinfo.co.uk website has pages dedicated to helping businesses work out their staffing options during the peak holiday season at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/staffingoptions.
Shauna Fenton continues: “It’s helpful to provide schedules well in advance so staff can plan their lives around them. Employers shouldn't assume that staff know when the busiest periods are; tell them, and consider offering incentives such as overtime payments or productivity bonuses. When things are really busy stress levels may increase, which can be made worse by new inexperienced staff, so reward success and hold team events to keep morale high.”