The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Bring together your on-premise team this summer

Thomas Amos

Thomas Amos, CEO of Sidekicker, explains the importance of making your temporary staff feel part of the team.

Temps, casuals and seasonal workers provide the flexibility of being able to scale quickly when extra sets of hands are needed. However, despite the crucial role of temporary workers, managing a blended workforce of permanent and temporary staff can be challenging.

New people bring new skills but also need training in how your business operates. If they’re not appropriately assigned tasks or given an adequate onboarding, they won’t perform as well or as quickly.

Similarly for permanent staff, a revolving door of temps, casuals and contractors can be disruptive. They may need to interrupt their own work to help new colleagues, and there can be resentment when contingent workers aren’t subject to the same management or expectations as permanent employees.

Keeping up morale and ensuring that new people have the right support, without burdening existing team members, is essential to productivity and fostering a positive work culture. So how can you properly integrate flexible staff into your team?

Temps vs casuals: what’s the difference?
From both a legal and a practical standpoint, there is a difference between temporary and casual staff. This can impact certain aspects of how they are integrated into a team and how they are managed.

According to Employment New Zealand, casuals have no contracted guaranteed hours, usually work irregular hours, and don’t accrue annual leave – instead they are paid eight per cent on top of their wages or salary. Casuals can quit or be released without notice, however, after working a certain number of hours over a six-month period, they may be eligible for sick leave and bereavement leave.

Temporary or seasonal employees are usually contracted via a third-party staffing agency who are responsible for recruiting and managing a pool of individuals. This makes it much quicker and easier for businesses to quickly scale their teams for busy periods such as the holiday season or an event.

Both temps and casuals tend to come from similar backgrounds. They’re often students, travellers and recent graduates who want flexibility. Whether they are directly hired by your business or through an agency, it’s still important to integrate them with your existing team.

Have robust onboarding

Short-term hires may not need to go through your full onboarding programme if they are just needed for a specific job or task. But they should at least get an introduction to your company’s mission and values. This may also increase the chance of them returning next season or applying for permanent positions.

Proper onboarding will also reduce friction with existing staff as contingent workers will better understand how and why your business operates in a particular way, without being left to figure things out for themselves. Importantly, they won’t be constantly having to approach permanent staff with questions.

Treat contingent and permanent staff the same
Research has identified “camaraderie and peer motivation” as the top drivers for encouraging people to excel and go the extra mile. Staff who are made to feel part of a team are more motivated and deliver better results.

Conversely, temporary staff who feel excluded can underperform. It’s imperative to ensure that the same friendliness is extended to all employees, including work invitations and team lunches. This also demonstrates the behaviour you expect your permanent staff to model.

While temporary staff may not have the same KPIs and longer-term performance objectives of permanent employees, they should still be set clear and measurable goals. It’s worthwhile tracking their performance so you can see where your business may have training gaps, and also identify the best people to bring back during the next busy period or even hire for future permanent roles.

Communicate and get feedback
Because shift workers may not be there during regular hours, or only work intermittently, they may miss out on important information delivered to the permanent team. Poor communication can lead to mistakes and ultimately, a drop in morale; when people feel excluded their productivity drops. It’s important for businesses to have a comprehensive communications strategy that’s extended to everyone. This may mean having a permanent manager scheduled on other shifts, to guide shift workers through any changes.

Similarly, both contingent and permanent staff should be asked for feedback. This helps to refine the management process and adopt new strategies. New staff may also bring a useful outside perspective, bringing with them different processes and experiences from previous companies that could work well for your business.

With these steps, managing a blended workforce should be much more successful. It’s also worth considering using a sourcing solution to more easily bring back the contingent staff who worked well and became a valuable part of your team.

Sidekicker is an Australian and New Zealand temporary and casual staffing platform, for more information, visit

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