According to the latest figures from the National Retail Federation (NRF), the average consumer will spend $800 in gift merchandise this holiday season. In fact, many retailers earn half of their yearly revenues during the holiday sales rush.
But while holiday shoppers are looking for that perfect gift, retailers, restaurants, and hospitality industry executives find themselves under enormous pressure to find that perfect quality part time and hourly employee that will ensure the holiday big buying season runs smoothly.
As most of these industry decision makers know, recruiting, training, and possibly keeping these employees requires an investment of time, money, and energy, and rightly, employers would like to be able to reap their investments long after the season has ceased. But how can these industries compete for quality employees with all time unemployment lows and rising wages? According to health care and employee benefits expert Susan Nicolai, the answer is offering participation in insurance to part time and hourly employees.
“It’s becoming a competitive mandatory in a variety of industries that employ a large number of part time and hourly staff—particularly acute during seasonal hiring spikes,” Nicolai, marketing director of Planned Administrators, Inc. says. “By offering insurance benefits, better candidates for the part time or hourly positions will apply, and those looking to earn some extra dollars or even take on a second job are more likely to stay on or be open to returning when called upon.”
The NRF continues to forecast that holiday sales will increase 5% percent to $457.4 billion this year and likely come in even higher in the years to come. Interestingly, the NRF attributes 4.4% of this spend solely to consumer preference based on customer service. “This is why it is critical that retail, restaurant, and hospitality businesses offer something new and exciting to their staff,” says Nicolai, “putting them ahead of the competition in retaining an engaged and appreciated group of employees, who in turn do good work.”
Nicolai says that limited benefit health insurance plans combine the right amount of coverage employees need with ease of access and minimal cost to employers. Once such program, EssentialCare, provides hourly and part time staffers added discounts with PPO networks, co-pays for doctor’s office visits and prescriptions, a toll free number to contact a registered nurse, and the ability for members to make up missed payroll deductions.