Hiring temporary workers has become a trend of sorts, particularly in the customer support department. These people are typically brought in to handle seasonal workload peaks, provide temporary assistance for employees on leave, or provide specialized skills for short-term projects.

However, integrating seasonal hires may prove a difficult task, especially in terms of a sense of belonging.

Some things can be done to ensure a smooth transition, though, so let’s take a look at what can be done.

Provide Effective Onboarding

The first step in successfully integrating any kind of new employee is an efficient onboarding program. These typically start with helping new hires familiarize themselves with the company culture and introducing them to other team members.

Seasonal hires usually don’t need to meet many people from different departments, with the exception of those who will work closely with them.

Still, learning the ropes of company processes is essential; hence, short-term tutorship programs are not uncommon.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Clear communication is the very prerequisite for a job well done. Seasonal workers need to have access to the same tools and communication platforms as permanent employees. In other words, HR teams need to set up their login credentials and provide training on the technology the company uses.

Next on, communication, in its essence, serves the purpose of helping people collaborate better. Temporary employees need to be comfortable communicating with their colleagues and participating in fresh ideas. 

Define Roles and Responsibilities

It is crucial to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of temporary workers. They should be set up in such a way that the workers understand their contribution to the bigger picture. This is important not only because it will boost employee engagement, but also because it will help seasonal workers work independently and take ownership of their tasks.

Encourage Team Bonding

One aspect that gets often overlooked is that temporary workers need to feel a sense of belonging to their team.

From the get-go, businesses should create opportunities for them to connect with the rest of the team. Some ideas include virtual team-building events, after-work social events, or team outings.

A collaborative culture is welcoming by definition, so businesses only need to provide the initial push to help newcomers feel welcome. The rest is up to the team!

Provide Training and Support

Typically, temporary workers are brought in for a specific purpose (usually seasonal peaks), which businesses have already anticipated. Also typically, there is an extensive training program aimed at empowering them to start working ASAP.

However, it is not that often that businesses actually invest in high-quality training for seasonal employees, probably because they won’t be staying with the company in the long run.

This is a huge no-go! For one thing, talents may be found everywhere. Who is to say that a perfect match for a demanding role might not start as a temporary employee?

Secondly, treating people as perishable goods isn’t the best approach. Businesses hoping to inspire their temporary employees need to go the extra mile to make them feel valued. Assigning a mentor to each new hire is one good example of how to welcome new people to an organization.

Recognize and Appreciate Contributions

Recognizing and appreciating contributions is always a good idea. Not only does this help new hires integrate faster and feel motivated, but it also goes to demonstrate organizational professionalism and dedication to employee wellbeing.

Not to mention that the practice helps new hires build a sense of belonging to the team and, by extension, the entire organization.

Encourage Knowledge Sharing

It is common for temporary workers to bring unique skills to the team. After all, they’re only being hired to assist permanent employees.

This specific knowledge can benefit the entire team, so it is critical to ensure that knowledge is being shared.

In other words, in addition to a business providing training to temporary employees, the latter should also share their knowledge with other team members.

This practice helps with bonding and sends the message that every employee’s contributions are being valued.

Monitor Workload

With temporary workers dealing with seasonal peaks, it’s only natural to expect that workloads may get too much. Isn’t this the primary reason why companies are bringing in more people to handle the demand?

That being said, it is critical for businesses to pay attention to employee well-being. Even though seasonal hires won’t be staying with the company for too long, they still need to leave with a positive impression.

Be mindful of the workload, which absolutely must be manageable and suitable for new hires’ skill sets.

Provide Clear End-of-Assignment Transition

Lastly, to ensure that all ends well, businesses need to pay particular attention to the end-of-assignment transition.

Seasonal workers know that their assignment is temporary. Still, once their agreement ends, their offboarding should be handled with care.

Firstly, the end of their assignment should be communicated clearly and be followed by expressing appreciation. It’s also a good idea to communicate potential future prospects as seasonal peaks aren’t going anywhere.

Finally, provide references and anything else they may need for their future career. This process ensures a positive closure and that employees are leaving with a good impression of the company.