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Retaining seasonal workers will take more than a bonus check

Protocol Workplace

Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter where we share the latest tips, tools and insights to help you stay informed about the modern tech office. Today: Recruiting seasonal workers, corporate name changes, and setting your own work hours.

—Amber Burton, reporter (twitter | email)

Securing seasonal workers

Tech companies are doing everything they can this year to woo prospective workers for the busy holiday season. A culmination of the labor shortage, increased retail demand and supply-chain issues has resulted in companies practically tripping over each other to recruit more workers. From logistics to ecommerce, organizations are upping wages, offering flashy bonuses and enhancing benefits plans to win over employees.

But some tech companies are getting more innovative in terms of the benefits they offer to attract workers. While monetary bonuses are effective in recruiting seasonal employees, David Baga, CEO of financial benefits platform Even, said financial wellness benefits go even further to retain a workforce. Even allows employers to set up early wage access programs for employees and it has kept a pulse on what benefits companies are offering to recruit hourly workers at this time.

  • "There's no question: Fair, transparent, market-based wages move people. So I don't want to underestimate that for a minute. Now, I do think that on top of that we're seeing that there are more progressive, innovative companies realizing that a wage alone is not enough and that there is an opportunity to build a more resilient workforce," said Baga.
  • Even found that 47% of HR and tech professionals agree they have an easier time attracting and hiring hourly workers when they have financial benefits in place.

What are financial wellness benefits?

  • Baga said traditional financial wellness benefits vary from financial literacy programs to employers offering 401(k)s, HSAs or FSAs. "For the hourly workforce, I think while that is sort of held up as the holy grail of financial benefits, it's somewhat unfair to ask somebody to be planning on an annual basis for retirement when they're just trying to figure out should they pay today's bill," he said.
  • Because of this he's seeing a rise in the number of companies offering financial wellness benefits geared toward hourly workers. This looks like giving people access to money they've earned without waiting the traditional two weeks. It also includes emergency savings programs for employees.

Overall, incentives and sign-on bonuses can get seasonal workers in the door, but more personalized benefit options lead to higher retention — something most companies are chasing these days.

  • Cash incentives put companies at risk of bonus- and incentive-chasing which might enable some of the workforce to almost "gamify" employers, said Baga.
  • "The onus really is on the employer to make sure they have a safe, engaged and productive workplace. And that's what is really required to make sure that they retain talent over time and those incentive dollars aren't just wasted on the front end of the relationship," he told Protocol.

What's in a name (change)?

Remember BackRub? It's the early name of Google. Or how about Burbn? It's now known as Instagram. Tech companies are no strangers to name changes. Facebook becoming Meta is just the latest in the list of companies that have changed their names over the years. The process can take up to a year at the largest companies. The hardest part in the process is managing team politics, Jen Grant, CEO of Appify, told Protocol. She herself has been through three company name changes at Appify, Box and Elastic. Changing the name of a company, though common, is still a delicate process, as different people favor different names. "You kind of have to rely on data, at some point, to say, 'Hey, this name you love is terrible,'" she said.

Read the full story here.

More stories from us

We're hoping this is one of the last emails you read before setting your out-of-office message for the Thanksgiving holiday. And if you're planning to do some shopping this week, Protocol has a new series about all things tech and shopping to help you out. Check out our latest on how technology is changing the ways we shop, buy and sell. For example, should you bypass supply chain woes altogether and just buy the entire family NFTs? Well, we can't confirm how that will go over. What we can do is guarantee you the gift of fresh shopping stories each day this week.

Read the full coverage here.

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Investing in technology isn't enough. To truly transform your workforce, you need to deliver engaging, relevant learning options that help your workforce acquire skills that align with their roles—and to your goals.

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Today's tips & tools

Thanksgiving is almost upon us in the U.S. Like every year, Christmas and New Year's will follow in a flash. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks can be the most stressful work period of the year as we struggle to get tasks done before we turn to 2022. Here are some tips to help you truly enjoy your time off, with advice from Joshua Zerkel, global engagement marketing head at Asana.

  • Make a shared out-of-office calendar. Everyone should know who's taking off time and when. This will help you plan projects around vacation time and put your mind at ease while you're out of the office.
  • Set realistic due dates pre-vacation. "There's nothing worse than seeing due dates that were supposed to occur in your absence," Zerkel said. You can use your work-management platforms to ensure you haven't set any deadlines during the vacation period. A calendar view might be most helpful for visualization. The Clockwise integration renders tasks as time blocks and can automatically reschedule your tasks for you.
  • Set aside time to reorient yourself. The first day back in the office after a long break can be jarring. Zerkel recommends blocking off a couple hours in the morning to get readjusted. Pre-vacation, write down incomplete tasks or record a short video that you can revisit when you return. "Assuming you can pick up where you left off is not a recipe for success," Zerkel said.
  • Unplug. You're off — you shouldn't be constantly communicating with co-workers. Set out-of-office notifications and turn on do-not-disturb modes for all your work apps. Zerkel moves his work apps to a less prominent home screen in his phone. If something urgent comes up, tell your team they can contact you over the phone.

— Lizzy Lawrence, reporter (twitter | email)


Investing in technology isn't enough. To truly transform your workforce, you need to deliver engaging, relevant learning options that help your workforce acquire skills that align with their roles—and to your goals.

Learn More

Set your own work hours

Between the four-day workweek, forced vacation time, flexible Fridays and weeks of rest, tech companies are experimenting with all sorts of new-fangled time-off policies to ease the stress of the daily 9-to-5. But what if companies did away with the 9-to-5 altogether and didn't even require tech workers to work eight-hour days, as long as they got their work done? New research from consulting firm Robert Half shows that some senior managers are now allowing workers to set their own hours.

According to senior managers, 41% let employees choose when they work and 27% don't mind if employees put in fewer than 40 hours a week.

According to workers, 72% need at least eight hours a day to get their work done, and 43% report that they spend more time in video meetings than they did six months ago.

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One fun thing, because what's the workplace if we can't relate everything to "The Office"? John Krasinski shared the one plot-line on the show he refused to go along with.

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to workplace@protocol.com. Have a great weekend, see you next week.

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