Training During the Holiday Rush

training during the holiday rush

The holiday season is soon approaching, the stores are already stocked with Halloween candy and costumes. On November 1, Christmas lights and trees will start popping up around your local city. Amongst the hustle and bustle of making everything perfect in the store are the employees. “It’s been a struggle for many companies in the consumer markets of retail, hospitality, and restaurants to recruit and retain enough workers,” said Scott Landoc vice president and practice lead at BRP. The holiday season is one of, if not the most, busiest season most companies handle. Training is a major part of the reason keeping employees on staff proves to be difficult.

The timeline to train a new employee isn’t the shortest, but when the holiday season is approaching, getting new employees in the door and trained, everything intensifies. Working in the restaurant business for many years as an employee, a manager, and in HR, I can tell that it’s always the same pattern. Recruit, recruit, recruit, train the new employees on the basics just to get them going, put them on a specific job, and let them learn as they go.

Can Holiday Training Be Efficient and Cost Effective?

Hiring new employees, no matter what season, cost companies a great amount of money. On-demand training systems are popularly used by companies, because it gives employees the ability to watch videos anytime and anywhere, even on the go. Well-trained employees bring more to the table, they’re more productive and usually turn into long-term employees. The lack of continued training from one’s company seems to be one of the biggest reasons employees leave, even if this is an employer of choice.

According to HR Dive, “over half (58%) of retailers offer on-demand training to their employees, but half of that contingent admit they need improvement, according to a new white paper from retail management consulting firm BPR.” As an employee of a company that recently started using on-demand training, I can attest to the fact that there are a lot of upgrades that need to be made and those are extremely costly. Having to continuously update videos because of new training methods or laws, is something that cannot be helped, and must be done. During the busiest season, having to take the time to upgrade these systems and make sure the employees find the time to watch them again is also another stressful issues, especially on management trying to watch the stores labor.

The holiday season is exciting, fast moving, there is hardly a time when an employee is standing still. With the craziness that comes, we can not forget about the people who make it possible for our customers leaving the stores, eating our foods, and spending the money they’ve worked hard to receive. It’s a magical time for all and a time that our employees, full-time, part-time, and seasonal all need to be prepared to conquer.

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Jazmine Wilkes

Proud millennial human resource leader focused on sharing HR insights, learnings and resources. Sharer of memes. Author of HRJazzy. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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  1. Jessica Cody says

    Good points here. Since many seasonal employees turn into full time employees, you always want to make sure they are thoroughly trained. Even if these seasonal employees don’t stay with your company, you want their experience with you to be positive, otherwise you risk getting a bad reputation to both potential talent and potential consumers. Choose some of your more experienced staff members to serve as mentors to your new seasonal employees to help show them the ropes. Put customer service training at the forefront of your priorities since even temporary employees are the face of your company to the customers they serve.


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