By Jeandie Leone, Commercial Executive at Workforce Staffing Solutions
The holiday season is around the corner, and with the increased consumer demand comes an increased need for additional staff. Aside from the necessity to cater to staff who may take leave over this period, there is a general increase in absenteeism during this time. This year, vigilant businesses must cater for the predicted fourth wave of Covid-19. Gearing up now and planning how to scale and handle these challenges during peak season is critical to maintaining ‘business as usual’ and Temporary Employment Services (TES) may offer the ideal solution.
Black Friday in November typically kicks off the peak season, and this mega retail event has become increasingly popular with South African consumers in the past few years. Black Friday is followed by the festive season, Christmas time, back to school, Valentine’s Day and then Easter. Increased customer demand for everything from ecommerce to alcohol and food to stationery, puts the entire supply chain under pressure. Retailers, warehousing and logistics all need to plan their capacity very carefully to ensure they do not disrupt the delicate balance and affect others in the chain.
The holiday period is not only a time of increased demand, it is also the time when many employees will take their annual leave. In the past, businesses may have taken the decision to close for a few days or weeks over this time, but in the post-pandemic world, this is a luxury many can no longer afford. Absenteeism typically increases over this period as well, for a number of reasons, and this needs to be planned for.
The impending fourth wave of Covid-19 adds in another element of uncertainty, as it may result in increased need for sick leave and staff needing to isolate themselves after exposure. Businesses need to make provision for special leave for staff to obtain vaccinations, as this has been mandated by government.
To minimise disruption, organisations need to assess where they stand in terms of demand for products and services, how this will be affected by peak season, and how they may need to scale to meet demand. It is also important to identify relevant risk factors, and to plan for temporary staff who may be required to fill in at short notice, especially if training or specific skill sets are required.
Flexibility to meet your requirements
Continuity of business means planning ahead is vital, but what this means exactly depends on the industry and specific needs of a business. A TES provider can help businesses with their planning and advise on flexible models that will be suitable for particular requirements. They are able to source, recruit and vet a pool of temporary staff and ensure they have received the right training to allow them to fill in at short notice.
A reputable TES provider will have a pool of backup skills to draw from, so that fluctuations in demand and increased absenteeism can be countered quickly. In addition to this flexibility, TES providers also offer value-added services like staff management and the necessary human resources processes. In a time where the future is uncertain, but where organisations know they need to scale and flex on demand, TES providers are key in helping maintain business continuity and ‘business as usual’.