Temp to Permanent: How to Groom Your Seasonal Workers Into Your A-Team

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Earlier this week we talked about why it’s important to integrate your seasonal workers into your company culture. Now that we’ve established “why,” let’s talk about the “how.”  Today, we’re going to talk about best practice methods that allow talent leaders to nurture rising stars from their seasonal teams.

Plant the seed

Not all seasonal workers come in with the same expectations. Some are looking to earn more for the holidays, while others are looking to turn their employment into a long-term gig. You want to start the conversation early. During the hiring process, communicate to your candidates that there is a possibility for full-time employment for stellar workers. Not only are you grooming new talent, this practice also staves off disengagement from workers who may not want to join permanently. According to HR publication, Ere Media, many seasonal employees quit when they begin to feel like hired help with no purpose, which is why goal-setting can be a powerful tool for retaining them. Putting the potential of full-time employment on the table early is an added incentive for seasonal workers to put their best foot forward.

Gain support from your staff

Managers have to rally their team to be part of creating an inclusive environment for the seasonal workers. In a recent article by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) associate professor of organizational studies at Clarkson University School of Business, Sandra L. Fisher weighs in on the potential adversarial tension that can occur between temp and permanent workers in the workplace. “The contingent worker literature clearly suggests that temporary employees can be threatening to the standard employees if there is a perception that the contingent workers might take the standard employees’ jobs,” Fisher said. “This would cause conflict in the workplace and an unwillingness to help the temps.” To mitigate this situation, be clear about your expectations from your team and articulate why you are bringing in more manpower. By putting their concerns to rest, you’ll create a culture that fosters teamwork and a healthy dose of competition.  

Mentoring for success

We get it– the holidays are a busy time, and managers have a lot on their plate. That said, before you skimp on developing your seasonal team, don’t forget about the long run. You don’t have to spend the whole workday with your seasonal team, however be available to them and make the effort to cultivate a strong rapport. In addition, there are positive psychological implications of a happy seasonal employee. The SIOP article suggests that temporary employees can form what are known as psychological contracts—the mutual beliefs, perceptions, and informal obligations between an employer and an employee—when they feel both parties are benefiting from the employment situation. In this instance, the employees are willing to go “above and beyond the call.” Managers can create the sense of mutual reciprocity to create a loyal team.

In the quest for talent, the holidays can be a manager’s best friend. Keep in mind that it starts with communicating your intentions. Start in the hiring process and stay consistent during their tenure at the organization. By planting the seed in the beginning, you will reap the benefits of a strong and efficient work culture from your efforts.  

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