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Despite Growth of Seasonal Hiring, There is a Lack of Company Dialogue to Engage and Motivate These Employees, Finds Study by Speakap

Aug 06, 2019

NEW YORK, Aug. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Last year, seasonal hiring hit a multiyear high and Forbes estimated that half of the workers in the U.S. will be part of the gig economy by 2020. In the battle for employee productivity, engagement is often perceived by HR and internal communications professionals to be a key differentiator. But as the "Seasonal Workers: The Hidden Fuel of the Gig Economy" research study from Speakap indicates, the temporary nature of gig worker employment is excluding this growing group from company dialogue.   

Key findings from the study include:

  • Age is not just a number, but makes a difference in how seasonal workers are treated by HR, management and operations employees. Those who work with older seasonal workers indicate that they are less engaged than younger workers. Despite this discrepancy, 'nothing' is most often done to engage older seasonal workers. 
  • Employees crave that personal touch. Organizations with many seasonal gig workers treat them less personally than organizations with few. However, making employees feel personally approached is the only way to go if you want to engage them, including seasonal workers. Finding ways to do so without losing an inordinate amount of time is key.   
  • There is a lack of clarity within the organization on how seasonal workers are performing, indicating that this significant workforce is not optimized to its full potential by those who train and guide them: 43 percent of employees who onboard seasonal workers state that they think these workers perform above expectations, compared to the 27 percent of employees who instruct their day-to-day.     
  • Easy-to-access internal communications is hard to find, with employees in organizations with 76%+ seasonal gig workers stating they use all forms of company communications (email, intranet, chat, bulletin boards, etc.), which can make it confusing for seasonal gig workers, often without access to company laptops or phones, to locate specific information when they need it.

According to Erwin Van Der Vlist, Co-Founder and CEO of Speakap, "Seasonal hiring is increasing and the gig economy will keep growing, there's no doubt about that. By using seasonal workers as an example, we're now seeing that the way in which companies traditionally engage, motivate and speak with their employees is not evolving with or reaching this growing, often deskless, workforce. Many companies still see gig workers as temporary employees, failing to future-proof their organization by ensuring this growing workforce is engaged with the company, feels valued within the workforce and is thus more productive than workers of their competitors. By focusing only on engaging with contracted employees, companies are proving that they don't understand the growth of the gig economy or the impact of company dialogue on employee engagement, retention, and productivity."

Van Der Vlist concluded: "While the study's findings clearly indicate that companies have not been updating their internal processes to accommodate the growth of the gig economy, there are relatively easy ways to improve. Technology, particularly employee communications platforms like Speakap, can be a vital tool in helping to make employees feel connected to both the wider company and fellow colleagues across the entire organization. This can lead to stronger workplace relationships, increased collaboration, more personal fulfillment and a greater sense of loyalty for employees – which means higher productivity rates and less turnover for companies."

Survey Methodology                                                            

Speakap surveyed 500 HR, management and operations professionals in mid and top management in large organizations (500+ employees) that employ seasonal gig workers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, to find out how companies are adapting their internal communications to accommodate the rise of the gig economy. The survey was fielded in June 2019 and targeted employees across a variety of business categories, including retail, hospitality, manufacturing and facility management.

About Speakap

Speakap provides branded communication platforms that enable companies to have structured dialogue with their frontline, to support and inform their deskless workers from anywhere at any time. The company's innovative solution, available on both mobile and desktop, connects workforces and empowers employees to provide optimal customer experiences. From messaging and news items to private groups and events, Speakap provides businesses the opportunity to deliver relevant and timely content to their workforces and supports both business growth and employee retention. Founded in 2011, Speakap has partnered with more than 400 organizations around the globe across various industries - such as hospitality, retail, manufacturing, and more - and has locations in New York, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cologne, and Brussels. More information can be found at www.speakap.com