Full-Time Employees vs. Seasonal Help – What Happens When The Two Clash

Posted November 22, 2011 by

It’s estimated that 30% of businesses will be hiring extra help for the holidays.  While that extra help might seem to be a positive factor to help with the increased workload, one executive level consultant and author warns it could cause some serious issues for your team.

Deb Spicer, author of the best-selling book POWER TEAMS, says bringing in a mix of new people for the holidays can cause a flare up in negative behavior – varying from downright infuriating to outright disruptive.

Here are some of the most common negative behaviors to watch out for:

  • Power Coalitions –  Small groups that defer mostly to each other, and withholding acknowledgement or feedback to members outside of their “clique.”  Usually most common when full-time employees side with their fellow full-time employees and season help takes more to other seasonal team members.
  • Piranha Factor – Those on a team who sabotage collaboration, interrupt the free exchange of ideas and destroy team success.  Usually a person who deliberately uses manipulation, coercion and sabotage for their personal gain.  In seasonal help, it could be someone who comes in and tries to takeover and change the way things are done, solely for the purpose of making it better for him or her, and without regard to how other people feel.
  • Complacency/Status Quo – Usually seen in team members who have been a part of the holiday season for a number of years.  Their thinking is just do it the same way we’ve done it every other year.  The goal here is to change things up, take that person out of his or her comfort zone and present them with new challenges.  Implementing a bonus structure for meeting objectives is also beneficial to overcome this behavior.
  • Lip Service (walk the talk) – Seen with seasonal help who promises the world, yet delivers very little.  One strategy is to create a series of short-term wins that demonstrate the power and success of operational initiatives. During the holiday retail season, things are stressful and don’t always go as planned.  Make sure the employee is not just simply overwhelmed.  Make it clear that trying to promote great service is important, but don’t promise what you can’t deliver.
  • Competing Factions Within A Team – Two opposing groups both extremely passionate about their viewpoints.  During the holidays, it’s usually the full-timers or regular staff vs. the season help.  You must rebuild the team to be cohesive and high-performing.

Spicer says seasonal help should definitely be a welcome addition to your team during the holidays, but just keep an eye out for these key behaviors that tend to show up in these situations.  She says no one can dispute the power that teamwork delivers to an organization.  When people come together and set aside their individual needs for the good of the whole, they get more done in less time and with less cost.

Deb Spicer is founder of Quantum Level Success, is a 25-year senior-level executive and consultant and is author of the best-selling book POWER TEAMS: The New SQUARE ROOT MODEL™ That Changes Everything!  Through her consulting, training and public speaking engagements, leaders can learn how to leverage the parts of the puzzle that unlock the power of highly-effective teams. By unleashing this power, business and healthcare teams can successfully complete key goals – ahead of schedule, under budget, and with exceptional results.

Deb holds a Registered Nurse degree, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Communications from Grand Valley State University. Her Master of Science degree from Mercer University, Stetson School of Business and Economics is in Policy and Public Administration. She has served on dozens of nonprofit boards and continues her volunteer efforts in the prevention and support of women and children in domestic violence, environment, and healthcare business arenas. Visit www.PowerTeamsVIP.com and http://quantumlevelsuccess.com/

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