Although hiring temp workers can be a great way to improve the overall productivity of your workforce, employers need to be aware of – and proactively address – the potential for tension between the permanent and temporary workers on their staff when integrating temp workers into their workforce. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take when bringing temp workers onboard at your organization that can help to smooth the transition and make both types of employees see one another as allies in a shared mission rather than competitors or even enemies in a struggle for resources. The following 5 steps should go a long way toward integrating temp workers into your team and making sure that all of your employees work together efficiently and successfully toward a common goal.

#1: Talk with Permanent Staff Beforehand

Springing a new temporary staff member or team of new temp workers on your permanent workforce without a “heads-up” beforehand is almost always a big mistake. It is human nature to be uncomfortable with and suspicious of sudden changes, and the sudden introduction of temporary workers to a group of permanent workers is no exception to this general rule. Without a clear explanation as to the role and purpose of the new temp employee(s), your permanent workers may view the temp(s) as a threat to their job security, an implicit judgement on their productivity or the quality of their work, or competition for overtime hours or promotion opportunities. Management needs to allay these fears and clearly communicate the specific roles that the temp workers will fill and the specific ways that these new employees will help alleviate stress and workload for your existing staff. This will help to create a more welcoming atmosphere for the new temp workers and cut down on the swirling rumors that can accompany any sudden change in the workplace. [1]

illustration of airplane icon symbols representing employees boarding the plane

#2: Onboard Temp Workers Properly

While, depending on the type of temp worker and length of their contract, it may not be necessary or even productive to give temporary workers the full “onboarding experience” that permanent workers receive at your company – even an “onboarding-lite” program can be enormously helpful in integrating temp workers into your company’s culture. All too often, temp workers are hired and thrown right into a specific project or task with little to no introduction to the company’s mission, vision, or values. This can lead to a number of problems down the road when these temp workers interact with your permanent staff members. By giving your temp workers a short version of the onboarding that their fellow permanent employees receive, it should help them to fit into your work culture more seamlessly and avoid any friction or misunderstandings between them and the rest of your team. [1]

illustration of a scale with each side showing an icon symbol representing a temp and perm employee

#3: Treat All Workers Fairly and Consistently

To ensure you avoid an “us vs. them” dynamic between permanent and temporary staff members, it is critical that management treats all workers in a fair and consistent manner, whether they are temporary or permanent staff. As management, your workers will follow your example; if you treat your temporary employees with less respect or hold them to different standards, your permanent employees will follow suit, creating an unproductive work environment for everyone involved. It is crucial for company leaders to set the example they want their staff to follow – and to encourage positive interactions between permanent and temporary employees whenever possible. Fostering this kind of positive engagement among employees as they work toward a common goal in the best way to make sure that you are integrating temp employees into your overall workforce in the most productive and efficient way possible. [1]

Temp Workers Don’t Always Give Accurate Feedback in Person

Temp workers can often be hesitant or intimidated to give honest feedback about negative experiences they may have had integrating into your company’s work culture. However, they may turn to employer review websites like Glassdoor.com to vent their frustrations and share their negative experiences. That’s why it’s important for employers to regularly review these sites to make sure they are aware of any issues involving their temporary employees that they may not have shared with management in-person. A key piece of advice when browsing these sites is to not take any individual negative review too personally, but to always pay close attention to any patterns of behavior or treatment that seem to emerge. This can help you to “get out in front of” any tensions between permanent and temporary employees that you wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. [2]

photo of temporary female employee using smartphone

#4: Nip Gossip and Bullying in the Bud

Regardless of the proactive steps you take at seamlessly integrating temp employees into your workforce, you may still encounter situations where permanent staff members engage in gossip about or attempt to belittle or bully the temporary workers on your team. In these cases it is critical that you address this issue quickly and emphatically to ensure that it does not spread and become an ongoing issue of concern. This process should include directly addressing the employees involved to correct the immediate behavior, as well as proactively talking with both permanent and temporary staff members to make sure that this kind of behavior is not going on without your knowledge. [1]

illustration showing icon symbols representing perm employees on the left and temp employees from TPG on the right

#5: Turn to Experts for Help

If you are new to the process of integrating temp workers into your company’s staff – or have had some negative experiences in the past – you shouldn’t hesitate to tap into the expertise of experienced staffing professionals like those that TPG Staffing has at your disposal. Our team has worked with many companies and helped them to not only recruit the best talent (both temporary and permanent) for their needs, but also to make sure that these new employees mesh seamlessly with our clients’ existing staff. We are here to help in any way that you need us to; you just need to ask, and we’ll put our skills to work to ensure that you get the most productive output from every segment of your workforce.

If you’re looking for help ensuring that your temporary and permanent employees work together as part of a frictionless and well-oiled machine, just call TPG Staffing today at 732-246-7100 to get the ball rolling.