Many companies use a large number of temporary or seasonal workers. That said, it is prudent to consider the challenges these workers face when joining an unfamiliar workplace. Temporary employees deserve the same level of manager commitment and training as full-time employees. It is important to set them up for success with robust onboarding as you never know when a seasonal employee may be a viable candidate for a full-time position.

Even with limited time constraints, companies are best served when they cover all workplace safety, human resources, and company-specific policies and procedures. It is important to set clear guidelines, expectations and metrics to keep all parties aligned. Keep in mind that the responsibility of managing and executing training requirements needs to be fully understood when using a temporary agency as it relates to the qualifications and pre-training of temporary workers.

Given the need is great for an augmented workforce this time of year, the information following may be useful for maintaining quality performance of temporary and seasonal workers.

Onboard temporary workers 

They may only be with you for a short period of time, but they have a huge impact on your company culture.  By being inclusive, you can help them provide a positive influence during their tenure. Include a full orientation covering all company policies and procedures so your expectations for performance and accountability are clear.

Train for success

Provide workers with the knowledge they need to do a good job every day. Train using contextually correct materials on the topics they need to know. Keep the training concise and to the point to encourage knowledge retention. Train in the language, vocabulary and level they can best understand. Where possible, incorporate visual, entertaining content to hold their attention.

Reinforce training concepts

It is critical to keep employees working smart. Ongoing support is an important part of a successful onboarding and continuous improvement program. Regardless of the worker’s status or level of education, the only way to develop good habits is through practice and positive reinforcement.

Equip workers with the proper tools

There is nothing more frustrating than needing to perform a task without the right tools whether it be the knowledge of company policies, proper ergonomics, or reasonable working conditions.  Poorly equipped temporary workers will be unlikely to return after the first day or two leaving you back at square one.

Employ the buddy system

Workers that are with you on a temporary basis may not be as emotionally invested in seeking clarification of their duties when they have a question. Having a “buddy” close by to keep an eye out and provide quick answers is a huge advantage to keeping temporary employees on task and on track.

Incorporate temporary workers

Temporary and seasonal workers should be a part of the very fabric of the company. Teach them everything they need to know to return home to their families healthy and happy at the end of their shift. One of the tiers on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the importance of a sense of belonging. While they are working for you, temporary workers should feel they belong to your company just as much as your permanent employees.

With the overwhelming amount of tasks supervisors have on their plate, it is easy to overlook the basics of successfully onboarding temporary workers. Show them your company cares and give them a positive start through proper training and onboarding. You will reap the benefits of the impact on your team’s overall performance.

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